‘Yankee Letter’ revealed, documents sign-stealing techniques and MLB punishment

The 2017 “Yankee letter” that documents their sign-stealing techniques and Major League Baseball punishment has been revealed.

SNY was the first to get the letter. ESPN also obtained the letter but did not post its contents online. The Yankees had been fighting for years to keep the contents of that letter sealed.

The letter from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, as documented on SNY’s website and addressed to New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, reads:

Dear Brian:

On August 23, 2017, the New York Yankees filed a formal complaint and requested that the Commissioner’s Office “conduct a full and complete investigation into the illegal use of electronic equipment, in-game, by the Red Sox of Boston to steal signs”. and gaining an illegal advantage in the game. As a result of the Yankees’ complaint, I directed the Investigation Department to interview a number of Red Sox and Yankees employees in connection with this matter. Based on the information we have received, I have concluded that the Red Sox violated the 1-2 field rule.A using electronic equipment for the purpose of stealing signs or conveying information intended to give a Club an advantage. I will address this on-field rule violation directly with the Red Sox.

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During our investigation into the misconduct of the Red Sox, [Redacted] informed the Investigation Department that the Yankees used a scheme similar to that of the Red Sox to decode signals from opposing clubs and relay them to the batter when a runner was on second base. [Redacted] – who first noticed the Red Sox using a smartwatch to relay information to their players – admitted to the Investigations Department that during the 2015 season and the first half of the 2016 season, [Redacted]provided information about the opposing club’s signs to players and members of the coaching staff in the replay room at Yankee Stadium, who then physically relayed the information to the Yankees dugout. [Redacted] also admitted that during this same period, in some stadiums on the road where the video room was not near the dugout, used the telephone line in the replay room to provide real-time information orally on opposing club signs to Yankee coaches on the bench.

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[….]

The Yankees’ use of the dugout phone to relay information about an opposing club’s signs during the 2015 season and part of the 2016 season, is a material violation of the replay review rule. By using the telephone in the Video Review Room to instantly transmit information regarding the dugout signs of players in rule violation, the Yankees were able to provide real-time information to their players regarding the sign sequence of a opposing club – the same goal of the Red The Sox scheme that was the subject of the Yankees’ complaint.

Based on the above, the Yankees are hereby fined $100,000. Please send a check for this amount, payable to Major League Baseball Charities, to my attention. The money will be used for Hurricane Irma relief.


In short, the report found that the Yankees used a dugout phone to relay information about opposing teams’ signs during the 2015 season and part of the 2016 season. The Red Sox also broke the rules.

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Although many fans across baseball spoke about the 2017 Houston Astros cheating scandal, many Yankees fans in particular expressed their disgust at the Astros’ wrongdoing.

Now, it looks like the Yankees have their own misdeeds that have come to light.

The Yankees released the following statement on Tuesday:

“The content and details of Commissioner Manfred’s letter to Brian Cashman have been widely reported since 2017. As the facts of the letter again show, the Yankees were not penalized for sign theft but were penalized for misusing the phone in the proofreading room (which was only to be used for discussions regarding proofreading challenges). At that time, sign stealing was being used as a competitive tool by many Major League Baseball teams, and only became illegal after the commissioner specifically delineated the rules on September 15, 2017.

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“The Yankees have also been cleared by Major League Baseball regarding claims that the team used YES Network resources in an attempt to gain an illegal advantage during games. These allegations were deemed unfounded.

“The Yankees vigorously opposed the production of this letter, not only for the legal principle involved, but to prevent the improper equating of events that occurred before the commissioner’s sign-stealing rules were established with those that occurred after What needs to be clarified is this: The fine listed in Major League Baseball’s letter was imposed before the release of new MLB rules and standards.

“Since Major League Baseball clarified its regulations regarding the use of video room equipment on Sept. 15, 2017, the Yankees have had no violations or violations.”

Major League Baseball released the following statement on Tuesday:

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“As previously made public in 2017, the New York Yankees were fined for improper use of the dugout phone because the replay review rule prohibited the use of the replay phone to transmit any information other than to dispute a play. The Yankees did not violate MLB rules at the time governing sign theft.

“At that time, the use of the replay room to decode signs was not expressly prohibited by MLB rules until the information was communicated electronically to the dugout. Because the rules regarding the he use of replay had evolved, with many clubs moving their video equipment closer to the pitch, giving staff the potential ability to quickly relay signs on the pitch.

“MLB clarified the rules regarding the use of electronic equipment on September 15, 2017. MLB took further action on March 27, 2018 by drawing a clear line and explicitly telling all 30 clubs that all club equipment- house or video room could not be used. to decode the signs and that fury violations of stealing electronic signs would result in serious penalties, including possible loss of draft picks.

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Despite what Major League Baseball said in its statement on Tuesday, it may be important to note that Manfred said in the 2017 letter:By using the telephone in the Video Review Room to instantly transmit information regarding the dugout signs of players in rule violation, the Yankees were able to provide real-time information to their players regarding the sign sequence of a opposing club. » and that they were fined for this violation of the regulations.

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