Both Major League Baseball and the Yankees released statements Tuesday after the contents of a previously sealed letter from Commissioner Rob Manfred to Yankees general manager and senior vice president Brian Cashman from September 2017 were publicly revealed.
In the letter dated September 14, 2017, Manfred Cashman reported that an investigation into allegations of signal theft found that the Yankees used a video replay room in 2015 and 2016 to decode sequences of signals and pass them on to a runner at second base, who would then move them into the mix. The Yankees were fined $100,000 for improper use of a cache phone. The investigation cleared the Yankees of using YES Network cameras (ie the central camera) to steal signals, the Red Sox alleged.
The letter does not include accusations of the Yankees using technology to steal banners during the 2017 season, and more importantly, it precedes Manfred’s announcement on September 15, 2017 that from that day forward, electronic banner theft will be subject to heavier penalties. . Both the Astros and the Red Sox were subsequently punished for the theft of electronic signals that occurred after September 15, 2017.
The MLB’s statement on the matter came as follows:
“As previously announced in 2017, the New York Yankees have been fined for improper use of a cache phone because replay review regulations prohibit the use of a replay phone to transmit any information other than whether or not a play should be changed. The Yankees did not violate MLB rules in Time that rules signal theft.
At the time, the use of the replay room to decode tags was not expressly prohibited by MLB rules as long as information was not electronically transmitted to the dugout. Due to the evolution of rules regarding the use of replays, many clubs have moved their video equipment closer to the field. , giving personnel the potential ability to quickly transmit signals to the field.
The MLB clarified the rules regarding the use of electronic equipment on September 15, 2017. The MLB took further action on March 27, 2018, by drawing a clear line and making it explicit to all 30 clubs that no club or video room equipment could be used to decode signals and that future violations of signal theft e-mail will be subject to serious penalties, including the potential for loss of draft selections.”
The Yankees had resisted public release of the letter as part of a lawsuit brought by the DraftKings contestants that alleges damages from theft of MLB tags. In April 2020, US District Judge Jade S. Rakoff dismissed the lawsuit but ordered the letter to be opened. The Yankees lost their final appeal of this decision last week.
The Yankees statement said:
“The contents and details of the message from Commissioner Manfred to Brian Cashman have been extensively reported since 2017. As the facts of the message once again show, the Yankees were not punished for the theft of signals but they were penalized for improper use of the phone in the return room (which was to be used Only for discussions regarding replay review challenges.) At the time, streamer stealing was used as a competitive tool by many teams throughout Major League Baseball and only became illegal after the commissioner determined the rules on September 15, 2017.
The Yankees have also been acquitted by Major League Baseball over allegations that the team used YES network resources in efforts to gain an illegal advantage during matches. These allegations have been found to be unfounded.
“The Yankees fought vigorously to produce this message, not only for the legal principle in question, but to prevent an incorrect equality of the events that occurred before the commissioner’s signal-stealing rules were created with those that occurred afterwards. What should be made very clear is this: were imposed The fine mentioned in a Major League Baseball letter prior to the issuance of the new MLB regulations and standards.
“Since Major League Baseball clarified its regulations regarding the use of video room equipment on September 15, 2017, the Yankees have not committed any wrongdoing or violations.”
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