Yankees Aaron Boone ‘tips his cap’ to Astros pitchers accused of cheating

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Manager Aaron Boone
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Manager Aaron Boone /

Yankees manager Aaron Boone is playing dumb about the accusations of cheating against the Houston Astros. Could it be because of his close friendship with Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch?

When asked prior to the Yankees 4-0 victory over the Astros on Monday, about speculation that Astros pitchers are doctoring baseballs to increase its spin rate and thereby create an advantage over hitters, Yanks manager Aaron Boone failed to weigh in. Per NJ.com:

"“I don’t know,” Boone said. “I don’t get into Twitter wars anymore. I don’t read that much into it. Guys use stuff to try and help with grip, but I don’t think anything in my view fishy is going on.”"

According to a post by Brian McTaggart, a reporter for MLB.com, Boone’s strong relationship with Astros’ skipper A.J. Hinch could be hindering his bipartisanship.

"One of the people Aaron Boone leaned on heavily when trying to become a big league manager, something he eventually did when the Yankees hired him this past offseason, was Astros manager AJ Hinch."

So why is Boone so surprised by Cleveland Indians RHP Trevor Bauer’s accusations of cheating by the Astros’ pitchers? Cheating has been rampant in baseball since Bobby Thompson’s famous shot heard round the world.

Most people do not know that the Giants cheated during Thompson’s at-bat. The team was stealing signs from center field, then relaying them through the bullpen and eventually the batter.

Examples of MLB pitchers caught cheating are not “few and far between.” Here is a short list of some well-known hurlers that got caught tampering with the baseball.

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To be fair, hitters are also trying to get an illegal edge. One example: the Houston Astros might remember the name Billy Hatcher, who was an outfielder in 1987 during his “career year.” Hatcher was caught using a cork-filled bat which most likely explained his sudden success at the plate. There are many others.

The use of drugs that enhanced performance was also widespread by players looking for an advantage until MLB was forced to crack down: yet guys are still getting caught and thus serving 80 game suspensions.

Bauer’s accusations should at least raise questions how certain pitchers traded to Houston have suddenly reinvented their careers and are pitching like Cy Young Award winners. Verlander, Morton and Cole are prime examples of smoke potentially leading to fire.

And by the way, Bauer says isn’t even angry at Houston for cheating. As a matter of fact, he respects them. Bauer is mad because MLB doesn’t enforce the rules equally. I mean, why would he lie about sensitive this?

As for the Yankees’ Boone, he looks dumb tipping his cap to the Astros. He was a professional player and is acutely aware of cheating in baseball that was found, and not seen.

Taking a stand with the guy that helped him get his job reeks of favoritism.

Next: Is Neil Walker a bigger bust than Chris Carter?

It will be interesting to see if MLB investigates, or even tries to catch the accused in action — and whether Boone will ever stop tipping his cap.