TIRED: Screaming at the Boston Red Sox for giving Cheatin’ Alex Cora his job back, turning a career-altering suspension into a 60-game vacation in a tanking season.
WIRED: Screaming at the Detroit Tigers for letting AJ Hinch manage again after a similar one-year break, especially considering all of MLB let them get away with it because Hinch “hated the cheating” enough to smash monitors, but not enough to, you know, stop it as it won him a title.
While it’s difficult to agree with Yankees GM Brian Cashman when he goes on one of his laborious, “Give me a GOOD asterisk!” sign-stealing rants, the fact remains that very few of the “punishments” doled out by Rob Manfred for the biggest scandal in modern baseball history stuck whatsoever.
Ex-Astros GM Jeff Luhnow remains exiled from the game and a few draft picks went missing, but Manfred’s decision to pin sign-stealing on those in charge and not on the players resulted in two managers immediately walking back into the game — one in the very same job! — once fans were allowed back in the ballpark.
This was disheartening for Yankees fans for two reasons: it proved the bad guys win sometimes (unless the Yankees are the bad guys, in which case they don’t), and it meant that, if the Yankee Letter really was damaging, it wouldn’t result in a lifetime ban for Aaron Boone.
Add umpire Jerry Layne to the mix of confusion. During a late review in Wednesday’s Yankees-Tigers game, he attributed the challenge to Houston, proving nothing has really changed at all since 2019. Everyone who mattered is still around and doing things!
Hey, completely anecdotally, anyone else notice how damn good the Detroit Tigers are at spoiling pitches/putting balls in play once they get to two strikes? Anyone ever see another team excel at that? A team managed by, like, a familiar guy?
Umpire in Yankees-Tigers called AJ Hinch ‘the Astros’
Preemptive response to anyone who quote tweets this article with, “Yeah there ARE more cheaters in baseball. They’re called THE YANKEES!!!”: the Astros were the league’s worst offenders post-MLB’s ban on technology-based sign-stealing, until proven otherwise (which will not happen). Anything you eventually unearth from the 2014 Yankees’ bullpen phones will never change this. All teams were told to stop. Houston — AJ Hinch’s Houston — did not stop.
They continued so long, in fact, that they challenged a call at home plate in a Yankees-Tigers game in the Year of Our Lord 2022 from all the way across the country.
If nothing else, this moment of levity reminded us that the central figures from the cheating scandal that blew up baseball are still around and making our lives a living hell. Luckily, the Yankees — who most fans would agree are pretty boring! — have already won two series off Cora and Hinch to open the campaign. Things could be worse.
Now, they just have to beat the actual Houston, not just Dunder Mifflin Houston’s Detroit Branch.