At the end of Game 7 of the World Series, as the Washington Nationals celebrated their win, Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole took off his team hat and replaced it with a blank cap.
It was a sign that Cole, a free agent, was done with the World Series losing team.
Cole seems to have had quite the week — despite losing the series. On Sunday, he was flashed by women claim they were performing a stunt in the name of breast cancer awareness, and that night, he helped his team score a World Series Game 5 win. And then on Wednesday, he missed the opportunity to pitch in the final game of the series. The Astros put Zack Greinke in place instead.
But Cole shouldn't be too distraught: as a free agent he's set to become one of the highest-paid pitchers in baseball next season. But before he makes his next move, let's take a look back at Cole's last few days.
Two women flashed Cole while he was pitching Sunday night
On Sunday, during the 7th inning of Sunday's Game 5 at Nationals Park in Washington DC, two women flashed Cole as he was on the mound.
Julia Rose and Lauren Summer, executives at Shagmag — an online lifestyle and sports publication that features topless photos of models and Instagram influencers — were banned from Major League Baseball events indefinitely after the incident, but the stunt helped them gain hundreds of subscribers and new Instagram followers. The pair claimed they flashed their breasts to raise breast cancer awareness.
Then Cole blocked Julia Rose on Twitter
While the story took over the media, Cole seemed unfazed by the flashing, and the Astros won the game 7-1.
But in the days after, while Rose was going viral online, Cole blocked her on Twitter.
Rose trolled him in another tweet, where she again flashed Cole's image as he appeared on TV.
She told Complex she tried reaching out to Cole.
"I mean, apparently he has a wife, and, you know, things can get tricky in that situation. But I have had people say, 'Oh, I guess that players reach out, but you definitely got his attention,'" she told Complex. "And it was, you know, who knows if people are telling the truth or not? But I have reached out, and I said like, 'Hey, Gerrit. I was just trying to, you know, catch your eye really quick.' Hopefully his wife and I can be friends one day."
After the Nationals won the World Series title in Game 7 on Wednesday, Cole took off his hat and distanced himself from the Astros
Though Cole was seen warming up in the bullpen on Wednesday, he didn't pitch in the game. The Astros ended up losing, and the Nationals scored their first World Series title.
After the game, Cole took off his Astros hat and put on a hat featuring a logo from his agent's company, Boras Corp.
When a media relations reporter spoke to him about talking to the press, Cole said "I'm not employee of the team."
He then agreed to speak with reporters, but said he was representing himself.
He told reporters he expected to throw in certain situations in Game 7, though manager AJ Hinch told reporters he only wanted to use Cole if the Astros were leading.
Cole told reporters he had made "a lot of good friendships" while with the Astros.
"Obviously l learned a lot about pitching from my teammates. From the pitching coaches and pitching staff. I learned a lot more about the game from [manager] A.J. [Hinch]. And it was just a pleasure to play in the city of Houston," he said.
It's not all bad — Cole's now set up to be one of the highest-paid pitchers in baseball
Cole is heading into the offseason as a free agent, and will likely pick up a nine-figure contract next season.
He's been linked to several teams, including the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels, but it remains unknown where he'll end up.
For now, though, said Cole, "technically I'm unemployed."