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Friday, April 10, 2020

Articles tagged: New York Yankees

MLB clears Astros of sign stealing allegations from Game 1 of ALCS

Minute Maid Park Houston

The Houston Astros this week were once again accused of stealing signs during a playoff series, but they are not going to face any penalties from Major League Baseball.

A report on Wednesday claimed some members of the New York Yankees believed the Astros were using a whistling sound from the dugout to relay potential pitch types to their hitters during Game 1 of the ALCS Saturday night. MLB officials investigated the claims and determined the Astros did not break any league rules, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

A lot of sign-stealing techniques are a violation of baseball’s unwritten rules but not actually prohibited. Opponents believe the Astros have pushed the envelope in recent years, as they were accused of similar antics when they played the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS last year. They lost that series.

The Astros scored three runs in the first two games of the ALCS and had their most success at the plate during Game 3, when no sounds were observed coming from their dugout. Whatever they were allegedly trying to do doesn’t appear to have worked, but there have been indications that people around baseball want the league to come down on them at some point. Like we have seen with the New England Patriots in the NFL, the paranoia may actually start to work in their favor at some point.

Report: Yankees believe Astros were stealing signs by whistling in Game 1

Minute Maid Park Houston

The New York Yankees reportedly believe that the Houston Astros were stealing signs in a way that broke “unwritten rules” in Game 1 of the ALCS.

According to Andy Martino of SNY, a Yankees coach noticed a whistling sound coming from the Houston dugout before certain pitches during the ALCS opener at Minute Maid Park. The Yankees became angry and yelled across the field, believing that the whistling was a form of sign-stealing and was being used to alert batters to what was coming.

A number of coaches and executives said that such an act would be widely considered a violation of the sport’s “unwritten rules.”

“They are NASA,” one coach said. “If a pitcher is tipping and the players can see from the dugout, no biggie. If they get it from somewhere else, that’s dicey.”

If the Astros had the Yankees’ signs, it didn’t really help them, as they lost Game 1 7-0. The whistling stopped for Game 2, which saw Houston win 3-2 in 11 innings. During that game, the Yankees frequently changed the signs even with no one on base, which indicates there was heavy suspicion that the Astros were stealing them.

Sign-stealing allegations have followed the Astros for a while now. A lot of it stems from the 2018 postseason, when some very suspicious things were happening early in the ALCS. The reputation for sign-stealing beyond what would be brushed off by other clubs has followed them ever since. For all the accusations, though, Houston scored three runs in 20 innings during the first two games, and actually had more success at the plate in the game where no whistling was observed. In that sense, it certainly doesn’t seem to have impacted the series much.

Reggie Jackson apologizes to Giancarlo Stanton after foul-mouthed rant

Giancarlo Stanton

New York Yankees special advisor Reggie Jackson unleashed a foul-mouthed on-air rant against slugger Giancarlo Stanton on Sunday after learning that the highly-paid superstar would sit out Game 2 of the ALCS due to an ailing quad.

During an interview with Jim Bowden of the MLB Network, Jackson dropped multiple f-bombs out of frustration, questioning Stanton’s desire to stay on the field after missing 144 games due to injury this season.

“[Expletive], he’s been out all [expletive] year! How the [expletive] could he be hurt?” Jackson said, later adding that he didn’t realize they were live on the air.

After a few moments of silence, reality set in for Jackson.

“[I was] trying to make fun of the question, thinking it can’t go on the air with the swear words, I said, ‘He’s been out all [expletive] year,” Jackson explained via text with NJ Advance Media. “I thought [Bowden] would then say, ‘OK, Reggie, since you’re going to shoot yourself since we have the same birthday and you filled my tape with all the swear words, let’s do one for radio as we’re wanting to go on the air with you.’

“That was the an ‘Oh [expletive]’ for me. I thought it was all a joke. I almost choked when he said they were on the air.”

Jackson immediately reached out to Yankees media relations VP Jason Zillo to explain the situation and was informed he should bring it to Stanton before the media does.

“I immediately spoke to Jason Zillo and he advised I go in and talk to Stanton, which I did,” Jackson added in his texts to NJ Advance Media. “I’d just spent several days with him during his rehab [from a knee injury] and he graciously accept my faux paux.

“Please know this was said to belittle the question, not with intent or malice.”

Stanton batted .288 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 72 plate appearances this season.

Astros already trolling Yankees ahead of ALCS?

Minute Maid Park Houston

Fresh from emerging victorious in a winner-take-all game against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Houston Astros may already be getting a head start on the warfare against their next playoff opponent.

Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle shared that the Astros’ radio broadcast used “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra as its bump music right as the team was closing out the Rays in Game 5 of the ALDS.

While it might just be an innocuous way of celebrating the fact that the Astros are advancing to face New York, the song has taken on a life of its own, having been used in multiple Yankees-related troll jobs these last two postseasons.

The ALCS series, which starts on Saturday, pits the 107-win Astros, who have home-field advantage, against the 103-win Yankees, who have been off since sweeping the Minnesota Twins on Monday. The two teams were clearly the best two in the AL this season, and the anticipation is already sky high.

Yankees have new Aaron Boone-inspired clubhouse nameplates for playoffs

Aaron Boone

The New York Yankees appear to have their October slogan.

Marc Carig of The Athletic noted Wednesday that the Yankees have replaced their clubhouse nameplates with new ones that include a rather apt slogan inspired by manager Aaron Boone, labeling themselves “October savages.”

The reference comes from audio picked up from an argument Boone had with an umpire in July. His words became something of a rallying cry for the Yankees that they’re clearly looking to take into October with them.

The Yankees open their playoff run Friday night when they host the Minnesota Twins for the opener of the American League Division Series. They’ll be looking to live up to the slogan.

Yankees had celebration prep ruined by Rays’ comeback win

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees will have to wait at least another day to celebrate their impending division title.

The AL East-best Yankees came entered play on Wednesday needing either a victory over the Los Angeles Angels or a loss by the Tampa Bay Rays to the NL-best Los Angeles Dodgers to officially clinch the division. Unfortunately, the Yankees could not take care of business and suffered a 3-2 defeat to the Angels several hours before the Rays-Dodgers game.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reported that the Yankees spent three hours watching the latter game on the clubhouse television. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com even added that workers came out of the clubhouse at one point to get more plastic sheeting in anticipation of a celebration. Lo and behold though, the Rays rallied from a two-run deficit in the top of the ninth and pulled out the 8-7 win over the Dodgers in 11 innings.

The Yankees still seem likely to clinch the division crown, their first since 2012, when play resumes again on Thursday. However, between their failed celebration prep and the news that they just received, it hasn’t exactly been the best week for them.

Yankees troll Red Sox with clubhouse music after eliminating Boston from AL East

Red Sox Yankees

The New York Yankees have added more to fuel to what is already one of the biggest rivalries in North American sports.

With a 5-0 victory over the Red Sox on Monday, the Yankees eliminated the Red Sox from contention for the American League East division title race. Following the game, the Yankees blasted Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” inside the visitor’s clubhouse at Fenway Park.

This marks another addition to a history of trolling between the two franchises. New York played the same song last year after winning Game 2 of the ALDS in Boston. Then Boston played “New York, New York” after clinching the series at Yankee Stadium.

The Red Sox didn’t stop there. They again played “New York, New York” in the clubhouse after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series to win the championship.

If there’s one thing the Yankees and Red Sox enjoy it’s sticking it to the other franchise whenever the opportunity presents itself. With New York cruising towards the postseason, Boston’s hopes of making it rest on the wild card game. They are currently eight games back of the second wild card spot with 18 games remaining. Should the Red Sox be eliminated from contention there as well, there will surely be more joy in the Yankees clubhouse, wherever they happen to be at the time.