Astros: MLB may have covered up Yankees sign stealing scheme

Houston Astros fans could soon find out that MLB covered up the extent of the Yankees sign stealing.

Well well well. My, how the tables have turned. All the trash talk and social media posturing that came from Yankees players like Aaron Judge and CC Sabathia regarding the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal may be coming back to haunt them. Their MLB-provided shield may have a big crack in it.

News broke overnight that a federal judge is wanting to unseal a letter sent by Commissioner Rob Manfred to Yankees GM Brian Cashman, presumably back in 2017. The letter supposedly will reveal that the Yankees engaged in a much more serious sign stealing operation than MLB had admitted at the time.

All MLB revealed is that the Yankees improperly used a dugout phone, but the Red Sox, who were fined for using an Apple Watch to steal signs, alleged at the time that the Yankees were using YES Network cameras to steal signs. Manfred simply said there wasn’t enough evidence to support that assertion.

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This letter was discovered as part of a $5 million lawsuit brought by a DraftKings player alleging the Astros, Red Sox and MLB were liable for money that DraftKings bettors lost from games in which the two teams supposedly cheated. Unsurprisingly, both MLB and the Yankees are attempting to keep the letter under wraps, though the judge doesn’t appear sympathetic to their claim that it shouldn’t be revealed because it would damage the team’s reputation.

We should know more about the letter in the coming days, as the judge gave the team until Monday to submit a redacted version of the letter that protects certain individuals’ privacy. The Yankees will undoubtedly used whatever legal avenues they can to keep this sealed, but the cat’s already peeked its head out of the bag.

Told You So

The existence of this letter just confirms what Astros fans have been saying for months. While what the Astros did was certainly against the rules and deserving of punishment, it’s clear they were made into a scapegoat by MLB while its blue blood franchises got a pat on the wrist.

As soon as we knew about Carlos Beltran’s central role in the Astros scheme, it was clear the Yankees weren’t innocent. Beltran had spent most of the previous three seasons with the Yankees, and the fact that he came to Houston in 2017 and told the Astros they were “behind the times” in their sign stealing is a clear indication of their guilt. Where else would he have picked up his vast sign stealing knowledge?

The Red Sox actually got busted twice — once for the Apple Watch use in 2017 and once for their improper use of the replay room in 2018. Of course, MLB botched the investigation into the latter allegation and allowed the Red Sox to get by with a light punishment despite being a repeat offender.

Besides, are we really to believe that Alex Cora, one of the supposed masterminds behind the Astros scheme in 2017, knew absolutely nothing about sign stealing that was taking place in his own dugout in 2018? Cora and Beltran are common denominators here for a reason.

But fans and opposing players have displayed their schadenfreude loud and clear toward the Astros, showing they’re more than happy to paint this team as a villain that cheated 29 other spotless teams from a legitimate shot at a championship in 2017. Now we get to give it right back to them.

Astros players such as Josh Reddick, Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr and Myles Straw have already made social media posts, with Correa’s being the winner thus far. His repeat of Aaron Judge’s reaction to news of Houston’s scandal is pure gold.

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Regardless of how much of this letter is revealed, its very existence and the fact that MLB and the Yankees are desperately trying to keep it under wraps tells us all we need to know. Manfred is a stooge who serves and protects the Yankees, and the rest of the sports world is finally seeing him for what he really is.

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