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Report: Yankees Will Appeal Release of 2017 Letter Allegedly Detailing Sign-Stealing

Erin WalshApril 1, 2022

Mark Brown/Getty Images

The New York Yankees will reportedly appeal the release of an investigative letter sent to them by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in 2017 regarding sign-stealing, according to The Athletic's Evan Drellich.

The news comes after judge Debra Ann Livingston upheld a previous ruling March 21 that the letter should be made public. The Yankees will file for an "en banc" hearing, which means all judges on the circuit would rehear the case. 

"The public release of the letter is expected to wait until the court decides whether to grant the new hearing," Drellich wrote. "That decision could come quickly, as these petitions are frequently rejected."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman received the letter from Manfred after filing a complaint about the Boston Red Sox's use of Apple Watches to steal signs during the 2017 season, for which the club was fined an undisclosed amount. The Yankees were also investigated for stealing signs after Boston countered with a complaint, and New York was fined a lesser amount for misuse of dugout phones.

The letter detailed the league's findings. 

In June 2020, SNY's Andy Martino reported the letter Cashman received did not include sign-stealing allegations against the Yankees. However, team president Randy Levine said in December 2020 that the unsealing of the letter would "harm" the club's reputation, per ESPN's Joon Lee.

Lee reported March 21 that a group of daily fantasy sports players, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed against MLB, allege Manfred "hid the full findings" of what the Yankees did. He added the letter is alleged to contain proof of the team's sign-stealing in 2017.

Sign-stealing since became an even larger topic when the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal came to light in 2019. The club was fined $5 million, lost draft picks and had its general manager and head coach suspended for the entire 2020 season. 

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