Former Yankees outfielder, Cameron Maybin, hints that he warned of Astros sign-stealing

New York Yankees, Cameron Maybin

When the New York Yankees entered the 2019 ALCS against the Houston Astros, few were aware of their sign-stealing techniques and the illegal activities they were embarking on. However, there was one player on the Yankees that hinted towards their demoralizing ways.

Having signed with the Detroit Tigers this offseason, outfielder Cameron Maybin stated that he had a conversation with his teammates over the Astros’ sign-stealing ways, stating:

“I’m very loyal to who I’m playing for,” he said. “Going into a tough series, you know, these are my brothers. A conversation happened, that I’ll keep between those guys.

“We had a conversation. I’ll keep that conversation between them, but — heads-up.”

The Bombers fell four games to two in the series, and reports have emerged stating that Houston has been cheating throughout the postseason and even in the World Series. As time goes on and players begin to voice their opinion and perspective on the matter, it’s becoming clear that a ton of influential people were aware or suspicious of their actions leading to the unveiling of the truth.

What makes Maybin so credible?

Cameron spent a few weeks with Houston in 2017, when they were at the peak of their scandal.

“I was never really pressured about it,” he said. “I just kind of kept my head down and approached the game how I always approached it.”

Ex-Yankee Pitcher Weighs in on Astros

Current New York Yankee players have plenty to be ticked off about, as they were victims of the Astros in 2 separate seasons. But that doesn’t stop former Yankees from feeling equally cheated.

David Robertson Chimes In

In 2017, Robertson was traded back to his original team from the Chicago White Sox, along with Todd Frazier. Robertson was brilliant in his return to the Bronx, giving up 4 runs in 30 games down the stretch for the Yanks. He was as good that October, giving up 2 over 11 innings of relief.

But then came Game 6 of the 2017 ALCS. I’ll let him sum it up, in this excerpt from Mollie Walker of the NY Post:

“I got roughed up in Game 6,” Robertson said. “And I felt like in that game, I threw as well as I’ve ever thrown in my entire life. I had some pitches that got hit that I was a little shocked by and some pitches that didn’t get swung at that I was a little shocked by. At the time, I wasn’t thinking about what we know now. But it all comes together now and, you know, I’m upset about it, that’s for sure.”

Robertson could not retire any of the 4 men he faced that night.

Asked for his thoughts on the mastermind behind the operation, Carlos Beltran, Robertson has this to say about his former teammate:

“I always respected him as a player, especially being a veteran player on our team when I got a chance to play with him in New York,” Robertson said. “I enjoyed the way he played and the way he went about his business. He’s got to live with it.”

David Robertson is currently in year 2 of a 3 year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Reunited with former manager, Joe Girardi, Robertson hopes to come back strong in 2020, after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2019.

New York Yankees: Former Yankee Killed His Hall of Fame Chances

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Carlos Beltran

More reports surfaced this week about former New York Yankee, and mastermind of the Astros sign-stealing scandal, Carlos Beltran. If former Yankee, Roger Clemens, and home run king, Barry Bonds, are being kept out of the Baseball Hall of Fame over their involvement with, and suspected use of steroids, Carlos Beltran secured his permanent exclusion from Cooperstown over new, damning information.

Astros Felt Powerless to Stop Beltran, Who Said He Saw a “Better Way to Steal Signs”

According to a report from the Athletic, when Beltran got to Houston in 2017, he told the team their sign decoding operation was “behind the times”. He was so instrumental in implementing and orchestrating the electronic sign stealing, he would shut down anyone who asked him to stop it. That includes former Yankee teammate (and the Astros 2017 catcher) Brian McCann, or even his manager, AJ Hinch (remember how he supposedly destroyed the monitor on two separate occasions).

Beltran was considered the “godfather of the dugout by his teammates. His will was the law. And now, he’s put his entire baseball future in jeopardy over (supposedly) his desire to win just one championship.

But Where Did He Get the Idea From?

Beltran, allegedly, saw what became the Astros operation “somewhere else”. Many are suspecting that he saw it during his 2.5 years in New York, with the Yankees. But the Yankees were middling at best when Beltran was on the team. Going into the video replay room, something the Yankees admitted to doing but stopped several years before electronic sign-stealing became illegal, is still a far cry from banging a trash can in real time to tip a hitter off. There was still one more pit stop before Beltran became an Astro, and that was the Texas Rangers.

But all this is speculation over whether or not every team in baseball was, in fact, stealing signs the way that the Astros were. It was definitively proven that the Astros set up a camera in center field, someone decided the signs in real-time and relayed that information to the hitter. The Red Sox didn’t use a trash can, they used Apple smartwatches. So… is Beltran a dirty cheater who tried to get the Yankees to implement what the Astros implemented, or is he just a terrible liar (he did tell the NY Post he didn’t know about a center field camera in Houston in November)?

No matter the answer, it’s a terrible stain. Not just on the man’s career, but on the sport, he represented for 20 years so admirably. I think this is the end of Beltran’s career in baseball once and for all, with an unofficial banishment from Cooperstown.

Lugo Says Astros’ Cheating Scam Cost Him a Spot in Mets’ Rotation

How deep has the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing endeavor affected Major League Baseball? The rippling effects are endless, it seems. The New York Mets’ 2020 season has already been disrupted as their newly hired manager, Carlos Beltran, was let go after being identified as the ‘Godfather’ of the scheme.

The Met shave replaced Beltran with Luis Rojas, an up-and-coming managerial candidate but not the one they had hoped to compete with this season and beyond.

But there are others who have felt the sting of the cheating scandal. Mets’ reliever Seth Lugo claims that the Astros scam during a game in 2017 cost him a potential role in the Mets’ 2018 starting rotation.

From Newsday’s Tim Healey: 

Lugo’s cameo in this saga came on Sept. 2, 2017, in the second game of a doubleheader in Houston. As the Mets limped to the end of a losing season, Lugo was in the rotation, a de facto audition for 2018 — invaluable reps for a second-year player trying to establish himself in the majors.

 

For five innings, Lugo managed to shut out the Astros, scattering five hits and a walk. Then came the bottom of the sixth: single, walk, single, single. Just like that, one of the best starts of Lugo’s young career was over after 75 pitches.

 

“I remember pitching really good the first half of the game, and then I don’t know why, they knocked me out of the game in one inning,” Lugo said. “I pitched that inning. I was making good pitches. And when you execute a pitch, you shouldn’t give up good hits. Maybe a little bloop or a ground ball up the middle or something. But their whole approach changed.”

 

Hansel Robles entered and allowed both inherited runners to score, including one on a sacrifice fly by J.D. Davis, now with the Mets. Lugo’s final line wasn’t pretty: five innings, eight hits, four runs (all earned), two walks, six strikeouts.

 

The next spring, Lugo was back in contention for a starting role, but the dearth of effective pitchers in the bullpen forced the Mets’ hand and Lugo was banished. He appeared in 54 games in 2018 but started only five. In 2019, Lugo was used strictly as a bullpen option, pitching 80 innings over 61 appearances.

He is no longer in their plans as a starter. Lugo can only watch as the Mets traded for Marcus Stroman last summer and signed Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello this winter to seal the back end of their rotation.

“It doesn’t feel good thinking about the Astros situation, but it’s in the past, honestly,” Lugo said. “If I could’ve finished a shutout against the Astros that game…who knows where I could be?”

True. Just one of the many side stories of this devastating saga that has altered the game of baseball for the foreseeable future and perhaps beyond.

 

Yankees: Baseball Yankee fans finally get an apology from the Astros!

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve

Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP has reported that the Houston Astros, after a postseason of complete silence, have finally addressed the sign-stealing scandal this morning.  In front of the media, Astro owner Jim Crane, new Manager Dusty Baker and players Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman discussed the sign-stealing situation by reading prepared statements.  Team owner Jim Crane spoke first, saying this will never happen again, while he’s in charge.  He blamed the scandal on the front office and leadership.  He further added that the players should not be held responsible for the lack of leadership.

Alex Bregman than spoke, saying:

“I am really sorry about the choices that were made by my team, by the organization, and by me. I have learned from this, and I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans.”

Jose Altuve said he felt remorse:

“I want to say that the whole Astros organization feels bad about what happened in 2017. We especially feel remorse for the impacts on the fans and the game of baseball. Our team is determined to move forward.”

Following Bregman and Altuve’s statements, they immediately returned to the clubhouse without taking any questions from the media.

Crane and Baker did stick around to answer some questions.  Crane, in answering a question, said: “Our opinion is this didn’t impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series, and we’ll leave it at that.” “I truly believe there were no buzzers ever.” He continued that he felt that he should not be accountable for the actions of the team.  He also added that he did not think it was necessary to reach out to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He did not refer to the Yankees.  Altuve and Bregman’s comments were an improvement over their less than apologetic comments made recently at the Houston Astros FanFest.

After Commissioner Manfred released his report on January 15 detailing the scheme, reactions around the league began to seep out slowly.  Now that pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training, many of the pent up feelings of anger are coming to light.  Yankee pitchers CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka have both expressed that they felt cheated.  Sabathia now retired felt he may have missed on his last chance at another WS ring.

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone and catcher Gary Sanchez expressed doubt that the Astros were totally clean this past year either.  Boone, in his news conference, said when asked about the scheme, he summarily replied that we have moved on and are focused on the 2020 campaign.  There will likely be many more statements coming forth that will express disappointment with the Astros.  With spring training starting, the Astros had to address the situation to ease the backlash they will most certainly feel as the storyline occupies the season.

So What Exactly Did Beltran do on the Yankees Last season?

The New York Yankees employed Carlos Beltran as a special advisor to the team in 2019. Some people think it’s fair to heap some of the criticism the Astros and Red Sox got on the Yankees, unjustifiably.

What Beltran Did for the Yankees

What role he had was well within the confines of the rules for the game. He broke down the video for the Yankees, analyzing pitchers, and what the pitchers were giving away, and how the hitters could exploit that. It also worked for our starting pitchers. He analyzed their pitching performances to see if they were tipping their pitches to opponents.

For instance, after a rough outing James Paxton had in May (against Houston at Minute Maid Park), Paxton said this about an encounter he had with Beltran:

“I was talking to Carlos Beltran a little bit, he was in here, and he showed me some video and he said, ‘Look at these takes, look at this swing. They wouldn’t be making these swings or these takes if they didn’t know what was coming.’”

It seems like a weird thing to tell Paxton when the Astros would’ve known what was coming even if Paxton wasn’t tipping his pitches.

What Beltran DIDN’T Do for the Yankees

In the ALCS, the Yankees felt the Astros were cheating through whistling. Beltran, however, remained mum about the sign-stealing system he helped implement in Houston. Beltran probably stayed quiet for fear of what would happen to his future career if word got out he spilled the beans on the Astros to the Yankees. Maybe he didn’t want to implement the Yankees, should word about the cheating become public (which it inevitably did)?

Remember that inside the park home run he gave up while playing right field for the Yankees? Because I do. Knowing he sat on this information, rather than helping us out, it makes me wonder if he actually ever wanted to be a Yankee at all.

MLB: Dallas Keuchel apologies, other players should follow

Dallas Keuchel spoke to the media Friday about the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal from the 2017 season and was apologetic about what happened during that year.

“I think first and foremost, apologies should be in order … for everyone on the team,” said Keuchel. “When the stuff was going on, it was never intended to be what it’s made to be right now.”

Keuchel is the first player from that team that was apologetic publicly and also said that his teammates from that season should do the same thing.

I think that everyone on the Astros team that year that was apart of the cheating should publicly apologize to their fans and the rest of Major League Baseball. I don’t think that people realize how bad this makes the MLB look and in the time of trying to raise fan numbers, this scandal was the opposite of what the league needed.

Not only should the position players be apologizing, but the pitchers should as well. Anyone who was apart of the cheating and/or knew about it had the opportunity to stop it and play the game correctly, but it continued and the players are responsible.

Dallas Keuchel obviously wasn’t gaining any advantage during the cheating because he’s a pitcher, but he’s setting a great example for his teammates from that year.

This will always look bad for the players on the Astros and definitely won’t be forgotten anytime soon, but a public apology from all of them will definitely help a ton.

Let’s Clear One Thing Up About the Yankees in the Astros Debate

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve

The New York Yankees are pretty embroiled in the Astros scandal. But some altered information is beginning to surface painting the boys in the Bronx in a less than favorable light. A light that makes them look like beneficiaries of the investigation into the Astros.

The Yankees/Red Sox Sign Stealing Debate of 2017

In an August series between the Sox and Yanks, the Yankees accused the Red Sox of electronically stealing signs. It was discovered that the Red Sox DID steal signs, and relayed them back to the dugout using Apple smartwatches. The Red Sox, in turn, accused the Yankees of stealing signs via a feed from the YES broadcasts. MLB investigated both claims and fined both teams. The Red Sox were found to have been guilty of using electronics to steal and relay signs to the Boston dugout. The Yankees were fined for improper use of dugout phones, not for stealing signs electronically. Later that year, the commissioner issued the ruling on electronic sign-stealing that is part of the basis for the Astros punishment.

What ACTUALLY Was Revealed About the Yankees Electronically Stealing Signs

In an article from Andy Martino, the Yankees WERE found to have committed the same crimes the Red Sox and Astros are being punished for today. But, and this is important (if albeit semantics-based) but, the Yankees were found to have committed these crimes back BEFORE the commissioner took the stance he took in 2017 on electronic sign stealing. The Yankees inevitably stopped the sign stealing, which helped clear the Yankees of further punishment.

Why Is This Important?

The Yankees, while found to have been guilty of past electronic sign stealing, weren’t in violation of MLB rules and regulations, as this rule came into effect AFTER the Yankees were done with their practice. The Red Sox and Astros are being punished for electronically stealing signs AFTER it was deemed a punishable offense by the commissioner’s office.

Is it a loophole like how Beltran wasn’t punished by baseball? Not really. Look at The Purge. For one night, you can do whatever you want without legal repercussions. If it wasn’t a punishable offense, why should the Yankees be punished for doing something that was legal to do?

Let’s stop acting like David Brosius, who committed slander accusing Mike Trout of taking HGH. Get your facts straight, and be informed before jumping to wild conclusions.

New York Yankees: Do the Houston Astros pass the Duck Test?

UNCLE BILL ASKS:  DO THE HOUSTON ASTROS PASS THE DUCK TEST? The New York Yankees should be wary of them during 2020.

Surely you have heard of the Duck Test. “If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”  That phase is generally considered to identify something or someone that is defined by their habitual characteristics.  According to the nine-page report issued by Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred the Houston Astros cheated during the 2017 postseason by the use of electronic means in stealing the signs of opposing catchers.  Okay, now we know that, although we expected it long before the report.

There is also a saying that states, “once a cheater always a cheater,” that is at least until your caught.  It would be natural to wonder if you were successful at cheating, would you give it up or work to refine it even more?  Some believe Houston was successful at it and continued it in even more refined ways, right up to and including this past postseason.   However, the MLB took steps before the 2019 season to further prevent electronic sign-stealing from happening by limiting live feeds and preventing the placement of in house cameras from being placed between the foul poles.

It was evident that the Astros were very creative in scheming to steal signs and allowing their hitters to know what pitch was coming from the opposing pitcher.  Due to their creativity, all kinds of things creep into your mind, like why did Jose Altuve, the MVP of the series, scream at fellow players waiting for him at home plate as he rounded third base.  He shouted twice, “don’t rip off my jersey.”  There are three possibilities.  One is his wife wouldn’t like it, two he wanted to save it as a souvenir of his walk-off homer, or three he was hiding something under his jersey.  Unfortunately, now that they have been proven to be cheaters, the later might well have been true.  He could have had some wiring under his jersey that would signal in some way, possibly through vibrations, what pitch was coming.  If you are of the negative mind, you think that Altuve was intimately involved.

That’s the big problem the Houston Astros will be facing for years to come, the Duck test.  In Minutemaid Park and wherever they travel, fans and the opposing team will continually be wondering if they are cheating in some way.   If you are positive of mind, you will believe the steps the MLB has taken will prevent them from doing so and that they have learned their lesson.   One thing is for sure, the 2020 season for the Houston Astros is going to be a challenge in many ways as they try to restore their reputation and avoid the Duck Test.

The New York Yankees Have the Key to Take the Astros Down

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees made their displeasure with the Houston Astros known. During the 2019 ALCS, the Yankees accused the Astros of using whistling to signal to the Astros hitters. And after the commissioners office confirmed that yes, the Yankees were indeed victims of cheating, guys like CC Sabathia were pretty ticked off.

But with the speculation that the Astros upped the anti by affixing their players with buzzers to electronically send them what pitch was coming, this truly has become the biggest scandal to hit baseball since the Chicago Black Sox.

The Newest Yankees Ace Could Put His Old Team to Bed

Some chastise former Astros pitcher, who was a part of that 2017 run, Mike Fiers, for saying anything publicly about what happened in 2017. But, in accordance with his on the record statements, Fiers told his teammates in Detroit, and Oakland, what to expect when they played the Astros before he told the Athletic what happened.

So, could Gerrit Cole follow suit and spill the beans on the Astros?

Apparently He Knows Nothing

Cole, shortly after signing with the New York Yankees, announced that he “didn’t see anything illegal”. But just because he doesn’t go public now, doesn’t mean he won’t tell his team.

In April, 2014, Michael Pineda started against the Boston Red Sox twice. The first time, on April 10th, the Red Sox wanted to check to see if Pineda was using pine tar to doctor the ball, but were too late. But, on April 24th that year, Pineda was spotted that game using pine tar, on the same place he used it during the April 10th game.

Nothing is stopping Gerrit Cole from telling the Yankees what to look out for when the team goes to Houston. That isn’t far removed from the Red Sox pinning Michael Pineda in 2014. Only time will tell.