DETROIT — The Yankees have been eliminated in their attempt to keep sealed a letter from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to general manager Brian Cashman that allegedly provides details of a sign-stealing scheme.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied the Yankees’ April 1 appeal, when the organization and team president Randy Levine filed a motion for the court to overturn its March 21 ruling to make unseal the letter.
The letter could now be made public within the next two weeks.
The Yankees’ argument was based on a claim that he would damage the organization’s reputation in a since-dismissed lawsuit in which he was not involved.
“We are disappointed with the decision of the Court of Appeals, but we respect it,” team president Randy Levine said Thursday by telephone. “However, we believe this will lead to very poor results down the road.”
The Yankees had gone public with their argument that the organization is “not a party to this matter” and MLB mistakenly produced the letter in court.
The case was a $5 million lawsuit brought by fantasy baseball players who used DraftKings against MLB, Astros, and Red Sox over illegal sign-stealing scandals that occurred in 2017 and 2018. It was thrown out last month.
The letter is said to address a pair of sign-stealing transgressions committed by the Yankees, including the improper use of a dugout phone during a pre-2017 season, as well as reference to the fact that some Yankees players stationed themselves in the team’s replay room in an attempt to steal opponents’ signs, then relayed that information to runners at second base so they could try to tell the batter what was coming .
MLB previously released information about dugout phone use and absolved the Yankees of any punishment for those actions, saying in a statement “we have clarified the rules going forward to expressly prohibit such conduct.”
In the appeal, the Yankees noted that the letter stemmed from an MLB investigation into the team and “such an investigation has not been the subject of judicial review in this lawsuit.”
New York Post
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