Sportress of Blogitude

NY state senator demands MLB probe Astros’ cheating against Yankees

If the fallout from the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal hasn’t been ugly enough already, the fact that politicians are getting involved will only make matters worse.

New York state senator James Skoufis (D) has drafted a resolution that demands Major League Baseball specifically investigate whether the Astros’ cheating cost the Yankees appearances in the World Series, both in 2017 and 2019.

“The Astros might have been able to pull a fast one on the MLB, but here in New York, we take pride in the integrity of our sports. The commissioner has a clear and unequivocal responsibility to investigate this further,” Skoufis, who chairs the Senate Investigations and Government Operations panel, told the New York Post.

“It’s not only a matter of right vs. wrong, but it’s a matter of consumer protection: people all over the country spend money each year going to baseball games, watching them with their families, and purchasing memorabilia. MLB must further investigate the impact of the Astros’ cheating on the 2017 and 2019 ALCS series and take any and all steps to restore virtue to our nation’s pastime.”

The Yankees are of course one of the teams left most aggrieved by the Astros’ transgressions, and vitriolic reactions by both current and former members of the team illustrate the organization’s outright hostility toward the Astros.

The Yankees lost to the Astros in seven games in the 2017 ALCS, with all four losses coming at Minute Maid Park, where the Astros’ sophisticated sign-stealing methods were best utilized. In 2019, the Yankees went down to the Astros in the ALCS in six games, a series in which manager Aaron Boone expressed concern over a whistle coming out of the Astros dugout during Game 1.

Skoufis’ resolution demanding MLB commissioner look into the matter reads as follows:

“URGING Rob Manfred, Commissioner of Major League Baseball, to open an investigation into whether illegal sign stealing by the Houston Astros organization may have cheated the New York Yankees out of victories in the 2017 and 2019 American League Championship Series. … An investigation by Major League Baseball concluded in January 2020 that the Houston Astros had been illegally using a system of cameras to steal signs during the regular season and the postseason in 2017, and during parts of the regular season in 2018.”

Skoufis has declined to say whether he’ll open his own investigation should Major League Baseball refuse to do so. MLB has declined comment.

The backlash over the original controversy — not to mention the fallout from both Manfred’s questionable comments about it as well as the Astros’ botched handling of the scandal — is now in its second week. All signs suggest the still-burgeoning and embarrassing crisis is not going away anytime soon.