Yankees: To check for doctored baseballs or not to check? That is the question!

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Justin Verlander
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Justin Verlander /

Was Trevor Bauer correct about the Astros doctoring baseball’s? Yankees manager Aaron Boone could check it out, but is he ready to put his close friend A.J. Hinch in harms way?

Three pitchers — Justin Verlander, who allowed one run to the Yankees on Monday; Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole are all virtually unhittable after being acquired by Houston. None of them were ever as good as they are now.

Verlander, in his prime, was never as effective as in his last 19 starts with the Astros. In his best season with the Detroit Tigers, he went 24-10, won the AL Cy Young Award and MVP and had an ERA of 2.40. He was 27-years-old.

Last season he was traded to the Astros at 34-years-old after making 28 starts, 172 innings pitched and a 3.82 ERA. In five regular starts last season, he pitched to a 1.06 ERA — then in the postseason, a 0.56 ERA. I said okay — hard to swallow, but maybe.

Now, in 2018, at 35, he continues where he left off last season. Verlander is 6-2 with a 1.08 ERA. I say, no way. I am not falling for the banana in tailpipe or tipping my cap, folks.

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Charlie Morton was signed by Houston at age 33 following the 2016 season with Philadelphia where he wielded an ERA of 4.15. The season before, Morton was worse at 4.81. His career-best 3.29 ERA came at age 29 with Pittsburgh. In Houston last year, Morton went 14-7 with a 3.62 ERA, followed in the postseason at 1.74 — and this season is 7-0 with a 2.04 ERA. Morton’s ERA dropped from 4.20 to 2.54 after Verlander arrived. Sound fishy?

Gerrit Cole, 27, was traded to Houston after six years with the Pirates. His best year was at age 24 when he went 19-10 with a 2.60 ERA. However, he regressed the last two seasons to an ERA of 3.88 in ’16 and 4.26 in ’17. Now Cole is 5-1 with an ERA of 2.04. Suspicious? Hell yes!

Are Verlander, Morton and Cole secretly X-Men mutants?

The centerpiece of this mystery is Verlander. Nobody can say that he was not one of the best pitchers of the last decade or so, but he is doing things that are just not possible, and the same with the others mentioned herein. They are behaving like X-Men mutants.

We the fans have been through a lot of MLB owners, commissioners, GM’s, managers, and players playing ostrich, looking the other way and covering-up for one another during the steroid and PED era. Only public pressure broke the top of a pimple that turned out to be an iceberg — and only after an intervention by Congress.

Why has it been so quiet since Trevor Bauer’s original accusations on Twitter? According to an anonymous source currently pitching in MLB, the use of illegal substances is so widespread that MLB cannot stop it without another explosive scandal, like with the steroids.

The most exciting thing about Bauers remarks was that he is not against the Stro’s pitchers for using illegal substances, he just wants to be able to use them also without getting nailed.

I am not buying Verlander’s outrageous mechanics explanation, as I recently read an article by Tom Verducci titled:

"Trevor Bauer’s Veiled Accusations of the Astros May Have Merit … But They’re Probably Personal"

I have been watching professional baseball for more than half a century, and I have never seen anything close to what the Houston X-Men are doing since Justin Verlander’s arrival.

Next: Time to convert one-position players into multi-position players

I am going with Bauer on this one, and more importantly, if the Yankees are not going to check this out, they might also consider “becoming X-Men,” if you know what I mean, especially if they want to compete for a World Series Championship this season.