New York Yankees senior vice president and General Manager Brian Cashman has been more than a little sensitive about cheating accusations recently. Cashman is one of the more famous people in the MLB due to his long tenure with the Yankees. MLB Odds say that anyone looking to wager on baseball on BetUS during the past 10 seasons may have suffered due to sign-stealing scandals.
What has Cashman upset is the continual accusations that the Yankees were just as involved with the cheating as the Houston Astros were. While anyone betting on BetUS odds knows that the Yankees were implicated in a scandal of their own, how bad New York was is still up for debate. Houston Astros owner Jim Crane has been attacking Cashman in the press recently, while Cashman has been defending New York’s (relative) innocence.
The Yankees cheated too; they just didn’t win.
Cashman equated what New York did to receiving a parking ticket compared to 162 felonies committed by Houston during its cheating scandal. However, Cashman can’t deny the Yankees were less than honorable during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
A letter from the MLB that was leaked showed that the league fined the Yankees $100,00 for improper use of a dugout phone during the season mentioned above. New York utilized its video replay room to figure out what pitches opponents were going to throw and call them into the dugout.
The dugout would signal Yankees’ second-base runners who would then signal messages to the batters. New York lost in the Wild Card to the Houston Astros in 2015 and didn’t make the playoffs at all in 2016.
So how is that different from what the Astros did?
Crane claimed Cashman’s comments about the only reason the 2017 Yankees were stopped short of the World Series was that the Astros stealing signs were hypocritical due to the Yankees’ own indiscretions. Houston beat New York in a memorable seven-game series during the ALCS in 2017.
The Astros would go on to beat the Dodgers in six games to win their first-ever World Series crown. Houston’s success has sustained, as the Astros made trips to the World Series in 2019 and 2021 before bowing to the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves, respectively.
The Astros had a system devised where they would bang a trash can in the dugout to signal to batters in real-time which pitches were coming. This would give Houston’s batters the edge on the pitching staff.
Cashman has pointed out the letter shows the Yankees got in trouble for using the dugout phone, not relaying signals like Houston did. Cashman has also stated that most people in MLB are on his side.
Isn’t there a difference between the two semantics?
Cashman and Crane still bickering about what happened five years ago is tiring. The reality is both teams cheated. However, while this is a big deal for integrity, it really doesn’t seem that out of place for the context of MLB history.
Baseball, more so than other professional sports, has a long history of players and managers attempting to gain an edge over the competition. One of the most famous home runs in MLB history, Bobby Thomson’s 1951 home run to win the pennant for the New York Giants, has long been tainted by the accusation the Giants were stealing signs.
Cashman is especially bitter that the Yankees’ best chance of winning a World Series for the first time since 2009 was ruined by a team blatantly cheating. New York hasn’t even been back to the Fall Classic since they beat the Phillies in six games in 2009.
Can we move forward?
Cashman and Crane’s war of words will likely continue as long as both are bitter about what happened in the past. Houston built up a powerhouse organization that likely could have won without cheating, but is now forever tainted by their decisions. Cashman doesn’t have a lot to show for the Yankees’ spending over the past 20 years.
When it comes to these two, expect the pettiness to extend every time the two teams meet for as long as they are both around. Baseball people love to hold grudges against each other.