New York Yankees News/Rumors: Former Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel apologizes, and Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks honored!

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

A Daily look at a summary of News and Rumors of interest for New York Yankees fans!

Dallas Keuchel apologizes: Baseball fans from all over the country, particularly the New York Yankees and the Los Angels Dodgers, have been waiting for the Astros team and players to apologize for there part in the Astros sign-stealing scheme.  Back on January 13, the MLB and Commission Rob Manfred detailed the illegal electronic assisted cheating that went on during the Astros 2017 World Championship season.

Manfred issued punishments including the  5MM monetary fine, the suspension of the General Manager and Field Manager A.J. Hinch.  The suspensions were for one year, and the team would also lose their first and second draft picks for 2020 and 2021.  Since then, fans have been waiting for some penance.  Yesterday afternoon in an interview, Dallas Keuchel, who pitched for the Astros during that season, issued what some would consider an apology.  “It’s just what the state of baseball was at that point in time. Was it against the rules? Yes, it was. And I personally am sorry for what’s come about the whole situation,” Keuchel said. Keuchel, who now pitches for the White Sox.

Even though he is the first current or former Astros player to apologize, he spent as much time making excuses for it and blaming Mike Fiers for being a whistleblower.  “I can only speak for myself but just knowing some of those guys over there and knowing how they are as people, we’re all people to an extent, I mean, some guys are robots, I’ll tell you that,” Keuchel said. “But for most of us, the human element is real. And a lot of guys are not happy with the fact that Mike came out and said something or the fact that this even happened.”  “It sucks to the extent of that the clubhouse rule was broken,” he said. “I mean and that’s where I’ll go with that. I don’t have much else to say about Mike.”  To this writer, that sounds more like I’m sorry that we got caught rather than a real apology.

Following Manfred’s nine-page report and the issuing of punishments, both General Manager Luhnow and Field Manager Hinch were fired by Astros owner Jim Crane.  Last week at Astros fan fest, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman spoke of the scheme but in no way apologized for their part in it.  Unless and even if the players apologize, this is going to be a rough season for the Astros as they visit baseball parks around the country.  The Astros and Yankees will not meet at Yankee Stadium until September, but you can be sure the Yankee faithful will give them an ear-full.

Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks:   Yankee centerfielders Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks were named in the top 10 of baseball centerfielders by the MLB Network.  This is not new news, but the list did not make much of a splash at the time as it was released at the same time as the Manfred report.  In the updated assessment by the Network Los Angeles Angel, Mike Trout was listed as the best centerfielder in baseball, followed by Dodger Cody Bellinger.

Aaron Hicks came in at number 8 and Brett Gardner as number 10. Brett Gardner has spent the majority of his career in centerfield at Yankee Stadium.  For the past few years, the position has belonged to Aaron Hicks; however, Gardner had to step in again for Hicks in the outfield during the 2019 season when Hicks was again injured.  Gardner, at the ripe old age of 36, still has excellent range and speed.  Also, in the 2019 season, he hit a career-high 28 home runs.