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Around the Empire: Yankees News - 12/28/19

Matt Blake’s role was important in signing Cole; Bernie Williams offers Cole advice; trio of Yankees recognized as best New York athletes of the decade.

MLB: New York Yankees-Gerrit Cole Press Conference Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports | Brendan Kuty: There were plenty of parties involved in the courting of Gerrit Cole, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia and 324 million George Washingtons, to name a few. But new pitching coach Matt Blake also played a big role and impressed Cole when the Yankees met with him prior to him signing his record-breaking contract. Blake may not have major league experience in the dugout, but clearly, progressive pitchers like Cole see what he has to offer.

SNY | Garret Stepien: Cole’s $324-million deal means there will be a boatload of expectations, and fans will certainly decide whether the move is success based on World Series wins. Bernie Williams has been there before, albeit on a slightly smaller scale, and offers some advice to Cole. Of course, winning four World Series during his Yankee tenure like Bernie did would probably lead to most considering Cole’s contract a roaring success.

New York Post: The Post unveiled its top New York athletes of the past decade, and a few Yankees cracked the list. Mariano Rivera, Aaron Judge and CC Sabathia were all included, with Rivera taking the highest spot of Yankee selections at fifth. Jacob deGrom was the top selection.