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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Report: Yankees told to release letter that allegedly details sign stealing

New York Yankees

A lawsuit regarding MLB sign-stealing may ultimately ensnare the New York Yankees — if plaintiffs are correct.

On Friday, a New York judge ordered the New York Yankees to release a minimally redacted letter the organization received from commissioner Rob Manfred in 2017, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic. The ruling comes as part of a lawsuit brought against MLB by daily fantasy sports contestants who felt defrauded by sign-stealing scandals in Houston and Boston.

The Yankees had fought against the release, arguing that its contents being made public would cause “significant reputational injury.” For this reason, plaintiffs in the lawsuit believe that the letter details a more serious sign-stealing scheme than MLB publicly reported at the time. MLB had publicly stated in 2017 that the Yankees received a fine for minor rules violations relating to use of the dugout phone.

A lawyer representing the Yankees, Jonathan Schiller, said the letter’s release should be blocked because the court had held that its contents were irrelevant to the suit when the complaint was originally dismissed. A Yankees source told Drellich that the Yankees are “not doing this to cover up some smoking gun.” An emergency appeal is expected, but if denied, the letter is to be released on June 19.

The Yankees lost in the 2017 ALCS to the Astros team that was engaged in the most severe sign-stealing scheme. Subsequently, Yankee players were among the most vocal about how harmful Houston’s cheating was. It would certainly be something if that same Yankees team engaged in some sign-stealing of their own. If the letter in question is ultimately released, we’ll soon find out for ourselves.

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