The infamous Yankees Letter was opened a week ago and while nothing major happened as a result, it did affect one particular team, the Houston Astros.
The Yankees Letter was a letter kept from the MLB commissioner because it contained a synopsis about the Yankees cheating scheme from 2017, or so we thought. The letter also contained information on a scheme used by New York during the 2015 season. The cheating is similar to that of which the Astros did during their title run in 2017, although not to that extent. As ESPN writer Jeff Passan stated in his tweet, “Yankees used their replay room to decode catchers signs and relay them to runners on second”, which in baseball is illegal.
So let’s get something straight, yes, sign stealing is 100% legal in baseball unless you do it electronically as many teams have. The Astros scheme was strikingly similar to that of the Yankees two years prior, with the twist of the trash can banging.
So, how does the letter affect Houston? In a later tweet by Jeff Passan, it is stated that within the letter that it was shown that the Astros were cheating during their 107 win campaign in 2019, which was proven false during the inaugural reports of the 2017 scandal back in 2020.
This letter proves that cheating has been going on well before the Astros 2017 scandal, and most importantly, that Major League Baseball knew about it the entire time. Perhaps the worst part of the letter was the “punishment” given to the Yankees, which was nothing more than a $100,000 fine, which is basically $10 to non-billionaires.
The punishment was unfair when you consider what the Astros got for participating in this system, as you might recall it was a $5,000,000 fine, suspension of both general manager and manager, and loss of first and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.
So with the release of the letter it begs the question, “Were the Astros scapegoated?”, to which the answer would be yes. The MLB office knew about the Yankees scheme that occurred two years before the 2017 mess and decided to cover it up and it’s time for the league to even the playing field for all 30 teams.
However, the most hilarious part of the whole situation is that the Yankees cheated in 2015 and lost to the Astros in the wildcard round 3-0 in Yankee Stadium, so it’s safe to say it didn’t work out.
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