What Gerrit Cole did Monday night at Rosenblatt Stadium was college baseball in its best light. It was obvious why Cole was a first-round pick in 2008; he ranked No. 17 on Baseball America's Top 200 Draft Prospects that year, and after two years at UCLA, he's even better than he was in high school.
He didn't sign with the Yankees that year as the No. 28 pick in the draft. Naturally, Cole says, he heard about it from Yankees fans at first. "I didn't seek it out," he said, "but right off the bat I heard from them. But it's no big deal."
Cole said Monday that he holds no animosity toward the Yankees whatsoever; in fact, it's quite the opposite.
"Negotiations were 100 percent good," he said. "They knew how we felt, we knew how they felt. It's just how it turned out.
"Actually, Damon Oppenheimer (the Yankees' scouting director) called me before this season started to wish me luck. For him to do that just shows how much class he has and the organization has. I couldn't have asked to have been drafted by a better organization. It's the best organization in pro sports, and it's built on class."
Cole will be draft-eligible again in 2011 as a junior. But the draft is far from his thoughts now. Thanks in part to him, his Bruins are three wins away from the school's first College World Series championship.
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