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New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman called out Houston Astros owner Jim Crane ahead of Thursday’s game against the Chicago White Sox for comparing the Pinstripes’ $100,000 fine for having used their dugout phone to relay signs in 2015 and 2016 to the big Houston sign-stealing scandal in 2017 that resulted in a World Series title.
“I don’t think anyone is going to dance to the tune that they sing,” Cashman said, according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera. “I would say it’s called a diversion, him trying to equate probably… the equivalent of a parking ticket to maybe 162 crimes.”
Earlier this week, Crane called out Cashman for mentioning the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal as one of the reasons the Yankees haven’t won a championship since 2009. Houston eliminated New York in Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS to reach the World Series.
All of the Yankees’ losses in this series were on the road at Minute Maid Park, where the Astros used trash hits as a way to relay signs.
“I found his comments extremely odd,” Crane said. USA todayit’s Bob Nightengale. “There is the letter, and you were doing it too. You were there man. What are you talking about? If I was one of the teams and I knew our team was doing it [cheating], I was silent and I took care of our business. But look, I can only control what happens here. I can’t control what the other guys do.”
A letter from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred sent to the Yankees in 2017 became public knowledge last month. The letter said an investigation had found the Bronx Bombers guilty of stealing signs in 2015 and part of 2016 by using the dugout’s phone and video playback room to decode and communicate the signs.
Cashman’s comments about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal came during spring training, before Manfred’s letter was made public. He told Andy McCullough of The Athletic that the only thing that stopped the Yankees from winning the World Series “was something so illegal and horrible.”
He added: “So I’m offended when I start hearing that we haven’t been to the World Series since 2009. Because I’m like, ‘Well, I think we did it the right way. I pulled it down, pulled it up. Well written, well negotiated, well developed, well signed. The only thing that derailed us was a cheating circumstance that discouraged us.
While the Yankees were only fined $100,000, the Astros received a much harsher sentence for hitting trash cans to relay signs in 2017. Houston was fined $5 million dollars and forced to give up his first- and second-round picks in 2020 and 2021. Additionally, former manager AJ Hinch and former general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for one year.