Ken Griffey Jr had no love lost for the New York Yankees during his playing career, and now he is revealing exactly where that resentment stemmed from.
During MLB Network’s airing Sunday of the documentary “Junior,” Griffey, the subject of the film, told a story about how then-New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner once had him removed from the team’s dugout as a kid. Griffey’s father Ken Sr. was an outfielder for the Yankees at the time.
“I came up to visit my dad, and it was just me and him, and got to the ballpark early,” said Griffey. “I’m sitting in the dugout, and the security guard comes over and says, ‘Hey, George doesn’t want anyone in the dugout.’ My dad was like, ‘What? My son.’ So he goes, ‘Alright, hey, go in my locker. But before you go, look at third base.’ It’s Graig Nettles’ son taking groundballs at third base.”
The film also showed Griffey in archival footage from early on in his MLB career telling fans, “If the Yankees were the last team, if they were the only team that gave me a contract, I’d retire.”
Griffey would get his revenge against the Yankees by becoming one of baseball’s best all-around players for the American League rival Seattle Mariners. He also knocked the Yankees out of the playoffs with a series-winning hit in Game 5 of the 1995 ALDS.
Ken Sr. also shared a story a few years ago about a run-in that his son had with then-Yankees manager Billy Martin that may have contributed to Junior’s ire as well. Regardless, Griffey was one of the few stars of that era that the Yanks were not able to acquire at some point, and now we have a better idea of why.
As expected, the New York Yankees are officially launching a legal fight to prevent a letter that allegedly details sign-stealing allegations against the team from going public.
Evan Drellich of The Athletic shared the relevant filing on Monday, with Major League Baseball joining the Yankees in appealing the decision.
Things like this will only raise suspicion of what is in the letter, fairly or not. What we know is that commissioner Rob Manfred sent the letter in 2017 around the time the Yankees were fined for illegally using a dugout phone for stealing signs. A judge had ordered the letter released publicly as part of a lawsuit brought by daily fantasy sports players against MLB in light of sign-stealing schemes put together by the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros. The plaintiffs believe the letter in question contains details of more severe sign-stealing allegations against the Yankees that have not been publicly shared.
The Yankees have promised to fight the release, claiming that the letter going public would lead to “significant reputational injury.” Those efforts to fight it are understandable, but will only make fans more curious about what Manfred told the Yankees.
The Houston Astros certainly seemed to take note of a new report that accuses the 2017 New York Yankees of participating in more severe sign-stealing than was previously reported.
The Yankees were among the teams most critical of the Astros for what Houston did in 2017. When the new allegations against the Astros came to light, Houston players seemed to waste no time in responding. They were led by Alex Bregman, who raised eyebrows with a tweet he has since deleted.
Carlos Correa seemed to take a shot at Aaron Judge by posting the exact same thing Judge did when the Yankee slugger initially responded to the first report of the Astros allegations.
Josh Reddick, on the other hand, simply went with Hulk Hogan.
A judge has ordered the Yankees to release a letter from commissioner Rob Manfred detailing the results of a 2017 sign-stealing investigation, with plaintiffs alleging its contents are more serious than publicly reported. The fact that the Yankees are arguing that they would be subject to “significant reputational injury” if it is made public certainly raised some eyebrows around the baseball world.
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.
New York Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner has died after battling a lengthy illness. He was 63.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post was told by sources that Steinbrenner, the oldest son of late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, died at his home in Florida surrounded by his family. The illness he had been dealing with had nothing to do with the coronavirus that has claimed the lives of thousands of Americans in recent weeks.
Steinbrenner took over day-to-day operations of the Yankees when George died over a decade ago. Hank immediately made it clear that he was planning to run the team with the same attitude his father had, but he stepped down from that role in recent years and gave day-to-day control to his younger brother Hal.
Hank and Hal Steinbrenner have two sisters, Jessica and Jennifer. Hank also leaves behind four children including George Michael Steinbrenner IV, who is the owner of IndyCar team Steinbrenner Racing.
Three NBA players have tested positive for the coronavirus since last week, and professional baseball now has its first known case of the virus as well.
A minor league player in the New York Yankees’ system has tested positive for the coronavirus, ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported on Sunday. The player was instructed to quarantine on Friday morning after coming down with a fever, and he has since tested positive for COV-19.
The news of a professional baseball player testing positive for the coronavirus came not long after Major League Baseball sent a memo to teams instructing them to end organized workouts, so it seems likely that the two events were related.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the first pro athlete from the major American sports to test positive for the Coronavirus, and his teammate Donovan Mitchell as well as Detroit Pistons center Christian Wood have tested positive since.
The New York Yankees have some injury problems in their rotation, and they may turn to their crosstown rivals to try to acquire a stopgap.
According to Mike Puma and Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, the Yankees have contacted the New York Mets with interest in pitcher Steven Matz.
Matz is battling for the final spot in the Mets’ rotation. While the Mets are open to listening, there appears to be little momentum toward a deal at this time, as the Mets would want an MLB-ready position player in return.
The Yankees are down multiple starters. Domingo German is serving a suspension for domestic abuse, while James Paxton is likely out for at least a month or two after undergoing back surgery. The latest news is probably the biggest blow yet to their pitching staff.
The Yankees don’t have a lot of options this early in the season. They are, at the very least, scouring the trade market for help.
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman revealed on Tuesday that doctors have recommended Tommy John surgery for Luis Severino, and the right-hander has confirmed he will undergo the season-ending procedure.
Severino issued a statement saying he is “extremely disappointed” he will not be able to pitch in 2020 but assuring Yankees fans he will “come back stronger than ever to make the greatest fans in baseball proud.”
Severino made just three starts last season after battling arm trouble throughout the entire year. The 26-year-old threw 191.1 innings in 2018 and went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and 220 strikeouts. He was named to the All-Star team in both 2017 and 2018, so not having him this season will be a major blow for the Yankees once again.
The Yankees bolstered their rotation this winter with the addition of Gerrit Cole, but they will already be without another top starting pitcher in addition to Severino to begin the season. Their depth will be tested early, and it would not be a surprise if they make a move to add a starter at the trade deadline or sooner with Severino now officially out for the season.
The Washington Nationals are reveling in the fact that they managed to beat the Houston Astros in the 2019 World Series, and they’re having some fun with it on social media.
The Nationals sent a Valentine’s Day note to the New York Yankees, the team that lost the 2017 ALCS to the sign-stealing Astros team, in a bid to make them feel a little bit better about things.
It’s a cute message, but don’t expect the Yankees to feel better. The rest of baseball won’t either. There’s a huge degree of animosity toward the Astros, which probably only makes the Nationals feel more proud that they managed to overcome Houston and win the World Series in 2019.
Carlos Beltran has been painted as one of the masterminds behind the elaborate cheating scheme that was in place with the Houston Astros during the 2017 season, and many have wondered if he taught some of his methods to the New York Yankees last year. According to Brian Cashman, the Yankees had no involvement in anything like that.
Cashman had high praise for Beltran when speaking with reporters on Friday, calling the former Yankees special advisor a “good person” and a “gentle giant.” When asked about the rumblings that Beltran must have shared his sign-stealing tactics with the Yankees, Cashman said his team “did things right.”
“Well Carlos Beltran was a part of our organization last year and didn’t have any influence … we did things right,” the Yankees GM said, via SNY’s Coby Green. “We asked so many people, Carlos included, because there’s been a lot of suspicion on the Houston Astros and what happened in ’17, and anybody that’s been a part of that and they kind of avoided answering the questions.”
While he stopped short of calling Beltran innocent, Cashman said he has a hard time believing the report about Beltran having “steamrolled” Astros players who did not want to adhere to his illegal system.
“I’m not saying he didn’t do anything wrong,” Cashman admitted. “Obviously the commissioner’s report speaks for itself, but in terms of forcing people to do this that or another thing, I’m having a hard time buying that, because that’s not the person that I knew as a player and not the person that I knew as our special advisor.”
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa enthusiastically defended Beltran this week against talk that Beltran pressured other players to hop aboard his cheating train, so it’s possible that report was exaggerated a bit.
As for the Yankees, many will find it hard to believe that Beltran went from being the mastermind of an elaborate cheating scheme to doing everything by the book in New York. The way Alex Cora spoke about Beltran during a press conference after the Boston Red Sox faced the Yankees last year has also led to some suspicions. Beltran and anyone associated with the 2017 Astros have lost the benefit of the doubt.
The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here: