Yankees president Randy Levine goes off during sign-stealing letter hearing
The Yankees are fighting back against a ruling they deem unfair.
Back in June, a federal judge ruled that a 2017 letter from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman would be unsealed and made public. That letter allegedly contained information detailing the Yankees’ involvement in “more serious” sign-stealing tactics, though new information from Monday’s hearing significantly disputes that.
As we all assumed, the Yankees aren’t going down without a fight.
We’re all for revealing any “truth” that exists, but the only problem with the previous decision from this judge? There remain court-sealed letters allegedly unearthing further damning evidence against the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox in regards to the very same thing. If the Yankees’ gets unsealed, ok, fine — then unseal the rest.
Yankees president Randy Levine was in court (via Zoom) on Monday arguing on the team’s behalf, putting forth a convincing argument to have all of this overturned.
Here’s what Levine said during the hearing on Monday:
"“It was a Hail Mary. They looked at it and said, ‘This is the New York Yankees. We’ll release these papers. The Yankees get a lot, a lot of publicity, and guess what’s going to happen? Maybe (U.S. District Court) Judge (Jed S.) Rakoff would like a little bit of the publicity and hear this.”“If you allow this to stand, you’re going to have plaintiffs bringing frivolous actions to get discovery to obtain confidential documents from parties who weren’t even part of the stated action.”"
Let’s also clarify that this class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of bettors, who argued MLB and its teams should be responsible for the gambling losses on wagers placed against teams that were allegedly cheating. Levine argued that such a case not directly related to the game of baseball shouldn’t sway a judge to release sensitive information when the original lawsuit (on behalf of the bettors) was thrown out.
Of course Yankees fans will call this a publicity stunt because it directly affects their team, but when you look at this from afar and dissect the timeline of all that’s happened, you can’t help but think this was an ill-advised decision by the judge.
After all, attorney David Golub — on behalf of the bettors — backed off his previous claims of “more serious” sign-stealing, now saying only that the hidden material “indicates that something happened in 2015.” 2015? That has already been addressed by Major League Baseball. Weren’t Houston fans crowing about a heretofore unknown 2017 scheme?
Though it’s a bold claim by Levine to accuse the judge of using this ruling to leverage his career, it’s all-around confounding as to why the ruling was made in the first place when this was a case about sports betting and teams like the Astros and Red Sox, both of whom were found guilty in greater scope by MLB investigations, have been let off the hook here.