Yankees: “Apple Watch-Gate” a distraction in a compelling season

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Yankees fans watched today as the MLB Commissioner solemnly took the podium to announce his “findings” and subsequent disciplinary measures for Apple Watch-Gate. This, in the midst of a baseball season, to dream for. Does anyone care?

The Yankees were taken to task today by Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball for something they supposedly did in one of their (undisclosed) Championship seasons, involving the use of the dugout phones to do something or other (also undisclosed) that amounted to “stealing” signs.

Manfred, in his never-ending campaign to be politically correct in all he does, chose Fenway Park, where the more immediate culprits reside to make his bold announcement.

Which, as it turns out is a big secret covered up by the fines being contributed by both teams to the Hurricane Relief Fund, set up by MLB. Now, how about that for the timely intervention of nature allowing MLB to “handle” a problem they didn’t want to deal with in the first place.

New York Yankees. Guilty as charged. Boston Red Sox. Guilty as charged. Twenty-eight other teams are, I guess, are supposed to be fleeing for far corners of the planet now, lest they are caught too following Manfred’s “lowering of the boom” against all challengers to league rules.

Get over it, Rob. Stealing signs has been a part of baseball since “Wee” Willie Keeler proclaimed it’s always best to “hit ’em where they ain’t.”

MLB is blind to the big picture

But here’s the question I have. How many of us were waiting on the edge of our seats waiting for MLB to make this announcement? And if had come on November 10,  instead of today, would we have been ready to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge?

And what is there left after the “firm hand of justice” has descended on the Red Sox and the Yankees? Do we have anything constructive put forth by the league to prevent future embarrassment to baseball, or is this just an attempt by Richard Nixon to “fire” Archibald Cox when he got too close to the fire for Nixon’s comfort.

It could have and should have waited. We are in the midst of one of the most compelling seasons major league baseball has had to offer in decades.

We have a team here in the Yankees who were supposed to a .500 team until next year qualifying for the playoffs with a good chance of making some noise once they get there. We have Giancarlo Stanton, finally healthy for a full season, challenging whatever record you want to call it (Roger Maris?).

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We have the Chicago Cubs; the defending World Champions going into their last few games trying to hold onto a minuscule lead against the Brewers and Cardinals no one thought possible in April. And we have the Cleveland Indians achieving a mind-boggling 22-games (and counting) win streak.

And then we have the Minnesota Twins? Really, the Twins??,  challenging the Yankees for the top Wild Card spot in the American League, while everyone tries to explain the sudden and inexplicable decline of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

This is the season baseball fans live for. And particularly for Yankees fans, up or down, the 2017 season will be marked in their long and heralded history as one of the most compelling seasons ever, regardless of the outcome.

Next: Aaron Judge: Wrong conviction, true redemption

Rob Manfred did what he did today and, I suppose it’s time to move on. Yankees fans will do so with a relish that hasn’t been seen in this town for a good long while, and for that, there’s no thanks to you, Rob.