Boras: Asking Cole about ball-doctoring creates 'unfair perception'
Cole was asked directly on Tuesday if he'd ever used Spider Tack, a substance known to be used by pitchers in order to increase spin rate and improve grip. He struggled to respond, taking a long pause before saying, "I don't quite know how to answer that, to be honest."
Boras believes it was unfair to single out Cole when the issue is widespread throughout the sport.
"All players are taught methods of practice to optimize performance when they enter professional baseball," Boras told SNY's Andy Martino on Wednesday. "Asking G specifics about those customs and practices creates an unfair perception as it attempts to exclude him from the teachings and common practices provided to all MLB pitchers by coaches and teams.
"Players want to protect both their teachers and teams, so they are cautious to respond, especially when legislative definition is a future concept."
Boras added that this is a more complex issue ranging far beyond one star, so baseball should be working on fixing the problem rather than trying to cast blame on specific people.
"With blind boundaries, intellect requires hesitation as any answer has a different meaning dependent upon the legislative outcome," the agent said. "Do not expect black and white when there is a gray divide. The focus of this issue should be on the lack of and need for legislation and far from the specifics of historical practices taught to all MLB pitchers."
Major League Baseball is looking to crack down on pitchers' use of foreign substances. Umpires are expected to begin enforcing a longstanding rule by randomly checking pitchers for substances, perhaps as often as eight-to-10 times per game.
Cole, one of baseball's premier strikeout artists over the past few seasons, was specifically called out by Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson last week. He was also named in legal documents filed last year, which claimed he requested such substances in the past.