Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka Feels 'Cheated' Out Of World Series By 2017 Astros

The Pitcher Is Angry About This Offseason's Big Revelations

Alex Greenberg
February 10, 2020 - 2:21 pm

The punishments have been handed down, but the aftermath of the Astros’ cheating scandal is still unfolding.

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It has been a crazy offseason for Houston, as the team fired both its manager and its general manager after they were each suspended for a year after Major League Baseball’s investigation into allegations of sign-stealing. No players who partook in the system were punished.

Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees can feel particularly aggrieved by the cheating that took place, as they lost to the Astros in the ALCS in 2017, when the sign-stealing system was being utilized. Tanaka was asked Monday if he feels like he was cheated out of a championship.

“It’s difficult to say, because you never know what would have happened,” Tanaka said through a translator. “Yeah, I do feel that way.”

Tanaka was speaking from the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa, Florida. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report for spring training on Wednesday, but Tanaka and a few others have arrived a couple days early.

A lot has happened since 2017, including a second defeat for the Yankees at the hands of the Astros in the ALCS. There have been some accusations levied that the 2019 Astros’ team used a buzzer to steal signs, but that hasn’t been proven.

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It’s not surprising that the 2017 ALCS still stings for Tanaka and some other players who took part in that series. The Yankees were a game away from the World Series after winning Game 5 in the Bronx, but they let that lead slip by losing the next two games back in Texas. It was a very close series, and one team likely had an unfair advantage.

Feelings like these could provide extra motivation for the 2020 Yankees to finally get their championship. Meanwhile, the Astros might be in for a season full of distractions off the diamond.