Something has felt off about the New York Yankees and this new sign-stealing scandal since the news broke. As a Yankee fan, it is embarrassing.
I hate the Boston Red Sox. I hate the Houston Astros.
And if it turns out the Yankees stole signs, I’d hate that too.
While the Astros and Red Sox have both been busted for stealing signs via technology, the Yankees have been involved in both cases. Sure, some of it is because they lost to both teams en route to their trips to the last three World Series.
But the Yankees have been mentioned plenty in their own potential scandal and previous fines.
According to The Athletic, the Yankees were fined for improper use of a dugout phone prior to the 2017 season, and used their replay room “as far back as 2015 … learn other teams’ sign sequences.”
As a Yankee fan, that is upsetting. And I cannot begin to explain why that has been swept under the rug.
But now, after a court case, we are seeing that the Yankees might be guilty themselves as early as 2017, and 2015 has been brought back to light.
While reports differ, the Yankees have had a bad smell throughout this whole situation.
Andy Martino of SNY reported that the letter states nothing about any cheating in 2017.
However, Joe Rivera of Sporting News reported that the Yankees had some help that year.
Astros fans and players have been on quite the high horse since Saturday — not rightfully so in my opinion, considering all signs point to the Astros’ scandal being far and away much worse than whatever the Yankees may be guilty of.
However, if the Yankees are guilty, I won’t be celebrating anything — unlike Astros’ fans, who many seem not to care that they cheated.
I’d be embarrassed.
The 2017 season was the most fun I ever had watching baseball. I grew up a spoiled Yankee fan and as a 14-year old, 2009 was just another ring to me.
But after missing the postseason in three out of four years, and playing just one postseason game in that stretch, I was humbled.
The 2017 Yankees had low expectations, and then Aaron Judge took the world by storm.
I was at that Wild Card game. I have never heard a bigger pop at any game ever than when Didi Gregorius hit that home run. And I saw Derek Jeter’s last home game. I saw Matt Harvey’s return to baseball after Tommy John surgery. I saw Victor Cruz run for 74 yards against the Cowboys in a win-or-go-home Week 17 ballgame. I saw Alex Rodriguez hit a walk off home run against the Red Sox in the bottom of the 15th inning in 2009.
I went to the ALCS Game 4 comeback victory.
Everything about that season is amazing to me.
But if it turns out they cheated, I’d be heartbroken, and would hate to even think about that season.
What place do I have to brag about how memorable that year was for me? That’s why the fans who brag about that title annoy me to no end.
If that’s how I would feel, imagine how the Yankees themselves would feel.
Judge was very vocal in his disrespect for the Astros organization, and spoke at length about deleting his congratulatory post to Jose Altuve after winning MVP.
CC Sabathia went off on his podcast with Ryan Ruocco. Masahiro Tanaka and Aroldis Chapman both said they felt cheated out of a World Series appearance.
The Astros hardly feel guilty about 2017, and I hate them for that.
But if the Yankees are guilty themselves, after trashing the Astros and the scandal for months, that’s an even worse look. The Yankees played the victim card, and might have no right to do so.
I’ll hate the Astros for a long time. At the end of the day, they still have knocked out the Yankees three times in the last five seasons. The hatred doesn’t come just from cheating. I’ll admit, I’m very jealous of the Astros’ success since 2015.
But if that letter says the Yankees stole signs illegally that season, what right do I have to hate the Astros anymore, if my team was guilty, too?