A letter containing information about the 2015 and 2016 Yankees’ sign-stealing investigation will be made public in about a week, and Astros fans are awaiting its release like Democrats anticipated the findings of Robert Mueller’s Trump investigation.
The team and the MLB have fought the release of what’s been creatively dubbed, the “Yankees Letter,” and on Thursday, the organization lost its appeal to keep the letter sealed, according to The Athletic.
Here’s what team president Randy Levine said of the outcome.
“We’re disappointed by the Court of Appeals’ decision, but we respect it. However, I believe that as described in my petition, this will lead to a lot of bad results down the road.”
The letter originated from a now-dropped lawsuit by DraftKings users who alleged that the cheating scandals involving the Red Sox, Astros, and Yankees negatively affected their daily fantasy outcomes. The fact that unlucky degenerates, irate over the sports betting version of KENO taking their money, were the catalyst for the Yankees Letter is my favorite part about this story. (My least favorite part is the name. We can do better than the Yankees Letter.)
The contents of the message are unknown, but now the public will be able to see how MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred interpreted the findings of the investigation into the Bronx Bombers’ use of Apple Watches and video rooms to steal signs. Houston fans contend that Manfred “scapegoated” their team as the most egregious violator of sign stealing, and have probably fantasized about the release of the letter as much as any horny teenager has fantasized about sex stuff.
Who knows how damning the correspondence will be. It could end up as inconsequential as the Mueller Report (not The Washington Post’s Yankees Letter-esque book titled “The Mueller Report” but the actual Mueller report), with the people getting mad but not getting the warranted punishment they desire. Brian Cashman is certainly hoping it’ll blow over after he blamed the team’s World Series drought on the one year Houston cheated — and not his ineptitude all the other seasons.
It’s honestly shocking that the GM has lasted this long. He’s survived multiple postseason collapses and Steinbrenners, and is currently overseeing the team’s third-longest run without a title. He’s unkillable for some inexplicable, cockroach-ian reason.
Maybe the letter is just an Excel printout of the Steinbrenner’s stressed books, with a hand-written note from Hal asking for leniency because he has to scrape his coffers to pay his star players. (Dwindling funds would certainly explain a lot.) I have no idea, but speculating is a lot of fun.
However, the person who stands to take the biggest hit is Manfred. If he showed preferential treatment to the league’s most popular franchise and downplayed the extent of its cheating scandal, it’ll have fans, teams, and, most importantly, owners, fuming. While outraged cries from angry owners put me at ease like an Old Fashioned on a Friday evening, it does the opposite for Manfred.
After the MLB handled the lockout by staring into space and waiting for the players to cave, more bad PR for the commish would be worrisome. The caveat is Manfred might be a nihilist who doesn’t care about anything let alone baseball. Fire him. See if he bleeds — or blinks.
Also, ’Stros fans, if you think this letter is somehow going to absolve your team of its transgressions, or shut up Yankees fans, you’re delusional. Unless New York was using the PA system to tip pitches, nothing will top banging on a trash can. And even if the cheating was more blatant than previously reported, have you met Yankees fans? They don’t cede an inch, and if you make a good point, they go straight to “27 rings, bitch.”
Whatever is in the letter is juicy enough that Yankee brass resorted to asking for a rarely granted “en banc” rehearing, which the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied, per Evan Drellich of the Athletic.
I’m not going to pretend that I know what an en banc rehearing is (ok it’s having all the judges weigh in as opposed to three), or what’s in the Yankees Letter, I just know that my interest is piqued whenever Big Baseball tries to keep private anything related to a cheating scandal, especially one involving the most storied team in the MLB.
The truth shall set you free — or at least bolster your baseball arguments.