On a recent episode of the ‘BLEAV in Dodgers’ podcast, now-retired CC Sabathia addressed his beliefs that the 2017 Yankees were cheated out of a World Series due to the Astros sign-stealing scandal.
October 21st, 2017 was a warm and inviting night for baseball in Houston, Texas. There, Minute Maid Park would play host to Game 7 of the ALCS, where the raucous crowd was anything but welcoming toward the visiting New York Yankees. Yes, there were conversations being had that referred to the excitement of the series, but mainly, discussions posed a simple yet integral question.
“Would the home team really win every game of the series?” Many couldn’t believe that this would be the case. Surely, one of the visiting squads should have stolen a game at this point, and because they hadn’t, the inevitable was bound to happen in Houston that night. That question would be answered when Greg Bird would fly a Lance McCullers Jr. curveball to George Springer in center field to end the game.
That final out sealed a rather remarkable historical anomaly, as the series became just the fifth seven-game series ever in which the home side captured every win, according to MLB’s Manny Randhawa.
Now, just two and a half years after that irregular ALCS, allegations and penalties have been levied against the Astros, directly related to their stealing signs at home games during the 2017 season. The revelation of the Astros cheating scandal agitated many in the Yankees organization rather quickly, including veteran left-hander CC Sabathia.
Recently, Sabathia stirred up this controversy yet again with his comments on the ‘BLEAV in Dodgers’ podcast hosted by former player Brett Tomko and Josh Luke. On the show, he discussed the scandal and how he feels for the younger players such as Aaron Judge stating, “If I hadn’t won a World Series, you’d hear me talk about it every day. It just sucks that a guy like Aaron Judge in his first full season would have won a World Series.”
CC, who was on the mound for that deciding game seven, took the loss and scandal more personally than most. At the time, the loss to the Astros could have been the 6’6″ hurler’s final chance at a world title, and according to the man himself, the Yankees would have claimed ring number 28.
In ’09, I felt that we were going to win. And in ’17 I had that same feeling. Like I just felt that we were the better team. – CC Sabathia
The veteran does have a point. The first two games of the series, in Houston, were both one-run games with the final score being 2-1 in each. In games that are excruciatingly important one sign could be the difference between winning or losing, and that thought is what drives the ire of the rest of baseball.
Yes, the Yankees offense scored a total of three runs in four games in Houston, an anemic offensive display to say the least. And yes, behind the arms of Justin Verlander, Charlie Morton, and Dallas Keuchel, the Astros pitching staff could single-handedly shut down the opposition on any night.
But when the Yankees dominated at home in the fashion they did, holding the Astros bats down while in turn demolishing their pitching staff, red flags will get raised.
Then you turn to CC, who in game seven lasted a mere 3.1 innings while giving up one run, three walks, and five hits at Minute Maid Park. Yet, the same CC Sabathia pitched just five days earlier at Yankee Stadium, cruising through six scoreless innings while allowing just three hits during game three.
The Astros scandal definitely tainted the legacy of the 2017 World Series team, despite the brilliance of their rotation. Yankees players and Dodgers players alike feel slighted by the actions of the Astros, as both organizations fell just one game short of defeating them.
Merit can be found in Sabathia’s passionate words, and behind his guided rage is a man who will forever believe that the New York Yankees should have won the World Series back in 2017.
To listen to the rest of Sabathia’s interview and the entirety of the BLEAV in Dodgers podcast, click on this link here.