For all of the anger, I have shown towards the Houston Astros for their sign-stealing scandal, I always knew that there had to be other teams getting away with some form of cheating, I just did not know who…yet. And of course, there was the sign-stealing from the Boston Red Sox that led manager Alex Cora to be suspended for the 2020 season, but I was not aware of any other ones. That all changed yesterday. There have been accusations or rumors before, but now we can thank MLB writer Ryan Spaeder for having new allegations to talk about. This article will review two of the biggest ones that struck a nerve with me.
New York Yankees
According to the Spaeder, “The Yankees had cameras in left, center, and right, all pointing at the pitcher’s glove, rather than the catcher, to pick up his grip.” What makes this accusation funny and infuriating at the same time is they were knocked out of the playoffs by the Houston Astros in the 2017 and 2019 ALCS and Houston received a lot of negativity for that (rightfully so) but it seems like the Yankees were no better. This could bring major ramifications down the road in terms of suspension for players or manager Aaron Boone, but there’s one player who should be worried if these are proven true.
RF Aaron Judge hit a career-high 52 home runs in 2017, which is the season highlighted in Spaeder’s article. More importantly, he finished second in the MVP race to Jose Altuve. Remember when Cody Bellinger accused Altuve of cheating him out of an MVP that year? Well if these accusations prove to be true, that comment will not age well. And to think I actually rooted for the Yankees when they took two of three games against the Astros last month. I am suddenly regretting that decision.
My next question is which seasons were the Yankees cheating in? Could this have ties to this Stephen Rex Brown’s New York Daily News Article from December 2020? Brown reported that a confidential document was kept “under wraps” that provided proof of an MLB investigation into allegations that the New York Yankees in 2015 and 2016 also participated in sign-stealing. No matter what comes out, this is a bad look for the Bronx Bombers and after everything, they are dealing with when it comes to Gerrit Cole’s use of illegal substances, this does not help.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
So morally speaking, it is a terrible look for your team’s star player to call out the Houston Astros for cheating in a world series against your team when one of your employees is potentially doing the same. How did nobody catch someone in a Dodger polo setting up cameras in Houston? Oh, wait that’s the same season the Astros were using cameras to steal signs…never mind.
I have a question: what game of that world series was this Dodgers’ employee caught in the act? Was it before or after game 5? Remember, the Astros won 13-12 and launched five of the seven combined home runs in this game. The contest also featured four lead changes and four ties, but I can never look at this game the same after everything that has come out about both teams. That is truly a shame because it was the most epic game I have ever watched in my life.
MLB officials need to not let history repeat itself in regards to how it handles punishments for all the teams being accused by Ryan Spaeder. So for example if any of these were player-driven, like the final report in the Astros cheating scandal said, I expect suspensions for any players who are active or currently holding coaching positions at any level. Additionally, I would strip teams of draft picks and potentially ban them from postseason play for one year, on top of losing draft picks and being fined. Teams thrive on postseason berths and success, so why not punish those who try to cheat their way in.
Now, this is just my opinion and while it seems harsh, I think a strong message needs to be sent out to prevent any future sign-stealing schemes. Clearly watching the Astros, Red Sox, and Mets losing their managers and/or general managers was not enough to send a message or potentially get teams to confess, so I believe these drastic measures are something to consider. Additionally, an independent investigation should be launched. I am simply getting sick and tired of hearing about the latest cheating scandal and believe something else needs to be done to stop it.
I look forward to seeing what results from the impending investigation and hearing players’ reactions to both the accusations and finding in the coming months. What are your thoughts on the latest accusations and how should teams be punished if they prove to be true? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or on the CruelFan Facebook page.
By: Whitney Dowds CruelFan.com