Sanbornton’s Jordan Cote, seen here signing an autograph during the spring season with Winnisquam, is home for the holiday season following a busy fall. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
November 28, 2011SANBORNTON – Life has taken Sanbornton's Jordan Cote all over the place since officially signing on the dotted line with the New York Yankees in August.
The 2011 third-round pick of the Bronx Bombers left just a day after his signing press conference in Concord, flying to Tampa Bay for the end of the Gulf Coast League season. While Cote didn't get into any games, the GCL Yankees captured the league championship, a fun experience for the big righty to be a part of.
"I got to experience a championship so that part was pretty cool," said Cote. "I kind of jumped in but didn't play at all. But to witness what the Yankees minor league system is about was obviously the big take away from that."
While there, Cote was put into a throwing program while adjusting to the life of a professional baseball player.
"They have a clause in your contract where they can't touch anything you do for 30 days, they just get to know you," he explained.
Cote returned to the Granite State for a few weeks following the championship run, and he returned to Tampa to take part in the Instructional League. The informal camp had Cote pitch about 12 innings against all sorts of minor leaguers, an experience he enjoyed after finally facing live hitters.
"They kind of just told us to pitch and just do our thing," he said. "We pitched against some AA guys, some kids that were left off the playoff roster like Ramiro Pena, Dominic Brown. Some bigger name guys."
After experiencing life in the U.S. Instructional League, Cote then made his way to the Dominican Republic for their version of the I-L. The hurler spent two weeks in the D.R. before returning back to the Lakes Region for the offseason. He anticipates being home until just after New Years.
"We have a throwing program we start in January, that's why I'm going back there so early," he explained.
Cote has enjoyed acclimating himself to the Yankees way of life, and he's gone about his business ensuring he gets his work done each and every day.
"Everybody needs to be pretty much the same exact way," said Cote of the Yankees philosophy. "You do things the same way…how you carry yourself, how you dress, you shave every day, you need to look professional. Just looking the part is half the battle. It's really about looking like you belong, making a good first impression."
He's also seen what goes on throughout the course of the season at the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa, meeting several big leaguers in the process.
"The scouting department is great….(scouting director) Damon Oppenheimer, all those guys are awesome," said Cote. "When I went down for my physical before signing I met Robinson Cano. A-Rod was down there for the first week of the Gulf Coast League when he was hurt. Pedro Feliciano, Mark Prior, those guys were down there working when I was. It's really cool kind of getting to know these guys, seeing how they got there."
Cote also had an interesting meeting on the golf course, as he was paired with none other than Roger Clemens for a charity tournament after being set up by his former summer team, The Ruffnecks.
"They host a benefit golf tournament every year, give out scholarships and stuff and asked if I'd play and want to play with Roger Clemens," he said. "It was a great time, such a nice guy and down to earth. We talked about anything, any questions I had he answered. It was a pretty cool experience, not one I was expecting either."
Back home for the holidays, Cote is looking forward to some quiet time, maybe playing some Call of Duty 3 and a little time cruising in his newly-purchased Chevy Tahoe. But he's still got a workout schedule to stick with, and he knows his full-time job is slightly different that the mosts.
"I'm going to the gym four to five times a week….that's your job," he began. "It's a lot different from a real job where you go in nine to five every day. In the end it's just as much work, just a different kind of work. But it's nice being back here with my family and friends. I just don't want to be back in the snow. I'm looking to just hang out and kind of just lay back for the holidays because once I head back down to Florida, it's going to be pretty busy."