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Gerrit Cole wants to play for the Yankees, and that deserves celebrating

A rare time for Yankees fans to take it in and enjoy the moment.

MLB: New York Yankees at Pittsburgh Pirates
Two of my favorite pitchers in one picture.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

By now you know that the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole late last night to a record-smashing contract. He agreed to a nine-year, $324 million deal with the Bombers, the largest payday for a pitcher in baseball history. The Yankees long coveted the ace right-hander, drafting him in 2008 and then trying to swing a trade for him in December 2017. Of course both times, though, they proved unsuccessful.

Yesterday, though, Cole changed the game. He dispelled the narratives that he wanted to pitch on the West Coast. Not only that, but he actively embraced the franchise. The Dodgers and Angels flexed their financial muscles and their geographic advantage, but that didn’t do enough to persuade the 29-year-old.

Consider what Jon Heyman had to say on the matter:

Gerrit Cole simply wanted to be a Yankee.”

The worst kept secret last season was how Manny Machado wanted to play for the Yankees. The Bombers didn’t share that enthusiasm, though. That disconnect led to a division in the fanbase, one that persisted all year long. There’s none of that, now, however. The Yankees wanted Cole, and Cole wanted the Yankees.

That enthusiasm deserves celebrating. Aaron Boone couldn’t contain his emotions last night, as Andy Martino says he pumped his fist in excitement along the walk to dinner. There are few times when fans can openly enjoy an achievement, and this is one of them. I hope you all take a moment to let it all sink in and appreciate it.