An old letter sent by Major League Baseball to New York Yankees and obtained by ESPN on Tuesday detailing the illegal use of the technology during the 2015 and ’16 seasons as relatively benign amid the sign-stealing scandals surrounding the game around the same time. .
Earlier this month, the US Second Court of Appeals denied Yankees’ request to keep the letter – from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman – sealed.
The letter was first published by SNY on Tuesday.
Manfred’s letter contained information about technology breaches that occurred before the commissioner issued a memo to all teams in September 2017, a task seen as the norm amid growing concern. about stealing symbols in the sport. Manfred warned teams that he will hold front offices and staff accountable for violations and that violators face penalties including possible loss of draft votes.
The details contained in Manfred’s letter to the Yankees document violations that players and staff say became common in the sport after instant replay screens were installed near stadiums. dug road in 2014.
In the letter, Manfred informed the Yankees that the MLB investigation found that the team’s players viewed screens in 2015 and 2016 to discern pitch sequence information that was then relayed to the players. in the hope that they can inform the hitter. Additionally, sources told ESPN that the letter notes that former Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild called the replay room to inquire about pitch identification, which is against the rules.
“At the time, the use of the replay room to decode the markings was not prohibited under MLB rules as long as the information was not communicated electronically to the digger,” MLB said in a statement. on Tuesday.
The letter to Cashman does not suggest any real-time transmission of cues from the mine to the tops of their bats – the threshold established in the case of the Astros – or the breach after Manfred’s memo in September 2017.
“As the facts of the letter again show, the Yankees were not penalized for sign stealing but were fined for improper use of the phone in the replay room,” the Yankees said in a statement Tuesday. . “…At the time, sign stealing was used as a competitive tool by many teams in Major League Baseball and became illegal only after the Commissioner specifically delineated the rules. on September 15, 2017.”
The Yankees were fined $100,000 by Major League Baseball, and the money was allocated for Hurricane Irma relief.
The fact that the Yankees have fought to keep the letter under a court-ordered seal in recent years has raised eyebrows and raised conspiracy theories about what’s in it – so much so that some baseball officials was confused by the team’s handling of the problem, believing it would. better just release the letter and move on.
In their statement on Tuesday, the Yankees said that they fought the release of the letter “to prevent incorrect misinterpretation of events that have occurred” and that a $100,000 fine had been imposed on the team. to be “prior to New MLB regulations and standards have been issued. “
During its investigation of the Astros, MLB determined that with the use of television screens, the league leaders were informed of the identity of the upcoming field during their game time, in real time – systemic, widespread violations will result in the suspension and firing of general manager Jeff Luhnow, coach AJ Hinch and Astros bench coach/Red Sox coach Alex Cora, in when ex-Astros player Carlos Beltran resigns new as coach New York Mets.