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The war of words between New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Houston Astros owner Jim Crane over the sign-stealing scandal continued this week with Cashman calling Crane’s recent comments a “deflection.”
Cashman slammed Crane on Thursday for equating the Yankees’ illegal use of the dugout phone during the 2015 and 2016 seasons to that of the Astros 2017 sign-stealing scandal.
“I don’t think anybody’s going to dance to the tune he’s singing,” Cashman told reporters before Thursday’s game against the Chicago White Sox, via ESPN. “I’d say it’s called deflection, him trying to equate probably… an equivalent of a parking ticket to maybe 162 felonies.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman speaks to the media before the Boston Red Sox game on April 8, 2022, in New York City. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Before the start of the season, Cashman told The Athletic that the Astros were to blame for the Yankees’ World Series drought.
“The only thing that stopped [the 2017 Yankees] was something that was so illegal and horrific,” Cashman said. “So I get offended when I start hearing we haven’t been to the World Series since ’09.’ … The only thing that derailed us was a cheating circumstance that threw us off.”
The comments were met with backlash, particularly from Crane, who pointed to a recently released letter sent from the MLB to the Yankees in 2017 that detailed the team’s illicit use of technology during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
“I found his comments to be extremely strange,” Crane told USA Today earlier this week. “There’s the letter, and you were doing it, too. You were there, dude. What are you talking about?”
Jim Crane, owner of the Astros, before game one of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on Oct. 4, 2019, in Houston, Texas. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)
“If I was one of the teams, and I knew our team was doing it (cheating), I’d keep my mouth shut and just go about our business. But listen, I can only control what’s going on here. I can’t control what the other guys do.”
But Cashman told reporters Thursday that no one in the league, including MLB, sees it the way Crane does.
“… The reason I kind of equated it to a parking ticket versus a felony is, as you recall, they lost multiple years of first-round draft picks, they were fined millions of dollars and decided to fire their manager and general manager because of their actions. There’s no equivalent to any of it. So that’s why I said it’s a deflection. No one’s buying it. No one’s singing to that dance tune. It is what it is. But I applaud him for trying.”
A detail shot of the Mitel Press, Replay and Bullpen phones and the social distancing signs in the dugout prior to the game between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Washington, District of Columbia. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
The Yankees were punished with a fine of $100,000 to be used for Hurricane Irma relief, which was far less punishment than the Boston Red Sox or Astros received as part of their sign–stealing schemes. That was because it predated a Sept. 15, 2017, announcement by Commissioner Rob Manfred in which he stated that electronic sign-stealing would be subject to more severe punishment from that day forward.
Both the Red Sox and Astros continued their sign-stealing ways after the crackdown.
Fox News’ David Aaro contributed to this report.