Petty payback or premature celebrations?
A new wrinkle to the sign-stealing scandal that commanded the baseball world this past offseason circulated Friday night. This time it's the Yankees, rather than the Astros, under the microscope.
Months after Houston was found guilty of stealing signs during the 2017 season, a judge has called for a letter from commissioner Rob Manfred sent to the Yankees to be unsealed. The contents of the documents allegedly include findings regarding a similar investigation into the Yankees stealing signs.
Whether or not New York will be caught red handed remains to be see. In the meantime, however, a few well-known members of the Astros took to social media in response to the rumors on Saturday morning.
Shortstop Carlos Correa, who has been very vocal in the past in regards to his team's involvement in the sign-stealing scheme, sent out this tweet:
Seems harmless at first glance, right? Perhaps it's just how he was processing the rumor? Think again.
Correa's caption is two characters shy of being identical to what Yankees' slugger Aaron Judge tweeted last fall when reports first surfaced of the Astros electronically stealing signs en route to winning the 2017 World Series.
It's certainly a clever jab, although sometimes even the best comebacks are better unsaid. After all, Correa's club has already been proven guilty in one of the game's biggest scandals in decades. This doesn't change that.
His teammate Alex Bregman also took to Twitter, posting the following less than 30 minutes after Correa's tweet. The third baseman, unlike Correa, deleted his post shortly after. Screenshots of the picture, however, live on.
Correa and Bregman weren't alone. Outfielder Josh Reddick and right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. joined in on Saturday morning as well, posting these GIFs on their Twitter feeds.
When the Yankees first reported to camp earlier this spring – long before the coronavirus-induced shutdown that's kept the sport dormant since mid-March – countless members of the Bombers organization voiced their displeasure with the Astros.
Remember, Houston eliminated the Yankees in the postseason in both 2017 and 2019. When New York's key contributors found out they had been playing a team that was taking a competitive advantage, their frustration was justified.
Judge called for an increased punishment that involved the Astros' players while explaining Houston's title in '17 holds no value. Gleyber Torres, generally a mild-mannered individual, bashed the Astros for cheating, admitting he believed the team had continued its scheme as recent as last season.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman chimed in, explaining he felt that "without question" Houston had an unfair advantage over New York and the rest of the league during '17.
Plus, who can forget Gary Sánchez's comments in response to rumors of José Altuve wearing clandestine technology underneath his jersey when he hit a walk-off home run to send the Yankees home in the 2019 American League Championship Series.
“I can tell you that if I hit a homer and I get my team to the World Series, they can rip off my pants,” he said. ”They can rip everything off.”
The Yankees reportedly have until Monday afternoon to unveil the contents of the sealed letter. That said, individuals with knowledge of the case, according to The Athletic, believes the organization will appeal.
If and when the letter is unsealed, keep an eye out for how members of the Astros react. Will we see more trolling on social media or did Correa and Bregman speak to soon...
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