The Yankees had been scheduled to face the Astros for the first time during the 2020 season beginning Friday in Houston.
Whatever revenge they might be looking for in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal that rocked MLB over the winter will have to wait due to the coronavirus pandemic, but general manager Brian Cashman made it clear Thursday he’s still not over the controversy.
And his disappointment isn’t just directed at the Astros, who used their trash can-banging system to help them beat the Yankees in the 2017 ALCS en route to a World Series victory.
“There is a little bit of frustration,” Cashman said, crediting online sleuth Jomboy for “decoding” the trash can system by pouring over game videos to find the evidence.
“Frustration after the fact that Jomboy, for instance, put out online and decoded after the A’s Mike Fiers revealed [to The Athletic] what was transpiring [in Houston],’’ Cashman said. “Frustration in, ‘Wow, we knew something was going on and we complained about it.’ But we didn’t have the fact of what the specifics [were] and once you saw it playing out, once it was decoded, you say, ‘How could we have not have figured that out?’ ”
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Cashman added the Yankees “tried every which way to determine if they were doing something. We don’t know what they’re doing. We don’t know how they’re conveying the signals, but it’s clear as day and the whole industry knew about it.’’
Speaking Thursday on a virtual conversation to raise funds for Family Centers’ Emergency Client Assistance Fund, the GM also said he hadn’t been as vocal in his reaction to the scandal out of respect to the sport and the commissioner’s office, which investigated the case and levied punishment.
“I think people in my position have to be very careful to be critical of decisions that ultimately are in somebody else’s hands,’’ Cashman said. “Is there frustration in what transpired and how it potentially denied us further play in the postseason? Of course there is. Do I have strong feelings on that? Of course I do. Does it serve me or the Yankees or the industry of baseball by at times letting my guard down and sharing how I really feel from that and the emotion that comes from that? I’m not sure it’s helpful to the process.’’
Still, Cashman admitted the irritation lingered, even as he acknowledged that Houston fired manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow and Boston canned Alex Cora as a result of the scandal.
“They clearly benefited from [the system],’’ Cashman said of the Astros. “They’ve been disciplined for it now and as we move forward, we just have to move forward and not look in the past because there’s nothing we can do about it.’’
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