Sean Pendergast

Four Thoughts on the New York Yankees (Possibly) Getting Their Cheating Comeuppance

Perhaps Aaron Judge will owe Jose Altuve an engraved apology.
Perhaps Aaron Judge will owe Jose Altuve an engraved apology. Photo by Jack Gorman
There's an old saying on social media (if social media has been around long enough for anything related to it to be considered "old") — "it's tough on these Twitter streets." Houston Astro fans know exactly what that means. Since the Astros were pinched for stealing signs during the 2017 season (and possibly portions of the postseason and briefly in 2018), the team and its fans have been a virtual piñata, with fan bases from around MLB lining up to take their whacks.

The only reply that you can really send to those opposing fans, as a means of irritating them, is a GIF of [fill in name of any Astro here] holding up the 2017 World Series trophy, and while that feels good in the moment, deep down, you're still harboring feelings of sadness (I mean, YEAH, I wish they hadn't cheated) and resentment (but EVERYBODY cheats in MLB!).

It's that second post-GIF sensation, the resentment coming from the Astros being seemingly singled out, that got a little potential satisfaction on Saturday morning, as we all woke up to the following story, courtesy of Evan Drellich of The Athletic:
Indeed, Saturday was a better day on these Twitter streets, as it would appear there is a chance that the Yankees and their fans, in all their bottle throwing, obnoxious glory, may have to do the sign-stealing walk of shame. Here are four thoughts on this story:

This news dropped as late as a Friday news dump could possibly happen
If you wonder about the Yankees getting any sort of preferential treatment, this story is chock full of evidence that you're not necessarily WRONG to wonder. I mean, look at the time stamp on the story — 11:57 p.m. on Friday. Now, I don't know if that was the Athletic's choosing (I doubt it), or happened to be the time it was made known that a New York judge would be unsealing this confidential letter from Rob Manfred to the team about what exactly they did back in 2015 and 2016 (the years the Yankees were believed to be cheating), but it's curious, to say the least.

What the hell are the Yankees hiding?
Man, for a team that acted like they were (a) above all this cheating stuff back when the Astros were getting punished and (b) cheated out of a World Series title because of the Astros' sign stealing scandal, they Yankees sure are acting guilty. Here is their lawyer, Jonathan Schiller:

“There is no justification for public disclosure of the letter,” Jonathan Schiller, a lawyer representing the Yankees, said in a statement to The Athletic. “The plaintiff has no case anymore, and the court held that what MLB wrote in confidence was irrelevant to the court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s case. Under established law, this supports the Yankees’ right to confidentiality required by the Commissioner of Baseball.”

Added a Yankees official, speaking on the condition of anonymity: “We’re not doing this to cover up some smoking gun.”
Methinks thou doth protest too much, Schiller.

At least the Astros won a damn title while cheating!
So now the rest of the world, outside of the greater New York area, sits and waits for the Yankees to, presumably, fight like hell to keep this letter sealed, and once that's over, hopefully, find out exactly what baseball's ultimate blue blood did that has them so concerned about letting the American public know. Depending on how you feel about the Astros' ham-handed scheme of banging on trash cans to convey what pitch was coming, and exactly how egregious that was, It's worth pointing that when Carlos Beltran arrived in Houston in 2017, after three seasons with the Yankees, he commented to his new teammates on how "behind the times" the Astros were in thieving signs.

Will (the very petty) Aaron Judge reinstate congratulations for Jose Altuve for winning the 2017 AL MVP?
Remember this little bit of sanctimonious fluff from Aaron Judge during spring training, when he was asked about removing his congratulatory tweet to Jose Altuve for beating him out of the 2017 AL MVP award?

Well, now that we know that (a) Altuve was innocent of using the garbage can scheme in 2017 (as disclosed by multiple teammates, most notably Carlos Correa) and (b) some of Judge's Yankee teammates may have been doing something similar in 2015 and 2016 (Judge didn't arrive in New York until 2017, full disclosure), does Aaron Judge still have a tummy ache over cheating?

Yes, Saturday was a good day on these Twitter streets.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast