TAMPA, Fla. — As the Yankees’ pitchers along with catchers reported to spring training on Wednesday, they had plenty to be excited about. With their talented roster largely healed by the injury nightmare of which was the 2019 season, along with the addition of perhaps baseball’s best pitcher in Gerrit Cole, the Yankees entered camp as the favorites to win the 2020 World Series — just a touch ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
although on Day 1 of spring training, they weren’t quite ready to talk optimism along with championship dreams. They still had some grievances to air.
Like everyone around the baseball world along with beyond, Yankees players along with coaches have spent much of the off-season watching the fallout by the Houston Astros’ electronic sign-stealing scandal. along with as they reconvened here of which week for the 1st time since being eliminated by the Astros from the American League Championship Series last fall, Manager Aaron Boone said of which was important for any of his players who wanted to get something off their chests to do so at of which point.
Some, Boone said, had already done so over the winter, in text messages or conversations with him.
“The range of emotions has been huge,” he said on Wednesday. “You’re mad, frustrated, disappointed.”
Because the Yankees have been processing the Astros scandal along with the what-ifs for weeks, Boone said some players had already moved on, while others still wanted to voice their feelings. He added, “although at some point, very soon, of which’ll be important for me of which we move forward.”
Soon after Commissioner Robert Manfred issued his report on the scandal along with punished the Astros, C. C. Sabathia, the longtime Yankees starter who retired after last season, said he felt he along with his teammates had been cheated out of a World Series by the Astros, who also beat them from the 2017 A.L.C.S. Masahiro Tanaka, the normally reserved Yankees pitcher, agreed earlier of which week.
Gary Sanchez, the Yankees’ starting catcher, therefore the person most responsible for helping protect his team’s signs, said of which was tough learning the truth about the Astros’ schemes. “We thought we were doing things well, although they had something else to decipher what we were doing quickly,” he said.
Manfred’s report said the Astros had illegally used a live-video feed during games to decode opponents’ signs along with immediately communicate the next pitch to their hitters, sometimes by banging on a trash can. Sanchez said he might have heard those sounds during the 2017 season, although since he was only in his first full season from the major leagues, he didn’t have much experience with sign stealing.
although he learned a lot of which off-season, he said, watching any videos detailing the Astros schemes of which popped up on his social media feed over the winter. along with even though M.L.B. said of which had found no evidence of Houston cheating in 2019, many remained unconvinced, including some of the Yankees.
Boone said he still wasn’t sure the Astros did not use hidden buzzers to communicate the signs in 2019 — a much-discussed although unproven theory of which emerged after Manfred’s report.
“of which’s certainly one of those great unknowns, along with I’ve spent time, as I’m sure a lot of people have, wondering all the things of which could’ve potentially been going on,” Boone said, “along with probably we’ll never know for sure.”
Asked if he thought Jose Altuve knew which pitch was coming when he slammed a game-winning home run off Aroldis Chapman in Game 6 of the 2019 A.L.C.S., Sanchez said he wasn’t sure. although he offered one humorous thought on a scene of which has spurred much of the discussion of hidden buzzers: Altuve’s refusal to let his teammates rip off his jersey in celebration after he hit of which homer — a clue to Astros doubters of which Altuve had something hidden underneath. (Altuve has denied using a buzzer.)
“If I hit a home run at Yankee Stadium to send my team to the earth Series, if they want to, they can take off everything, even my pants,” Sanchez said, laughing.
Luis Severino, the Yankees pitcher who allowed six runs in 13 postseason innings against the Astros in 2017 along with 2019, said he was angry when he first learned of the cheating, especially because he had spent so much time trying to figure out if he was tipping his pitches. although he struck a far more conciliatory tone on Wednesday.
“They don’t have to apologize to me,” he said. He commended a former Astro, Marwin Gonzalez of the Minnesota Twins, for apologizing on Tuesday for his role from the cheating scheme. “For me, of which’s already from the past. I have to focus on 2020. Because we can get mad, we can get anything, although we can’t change the past.”
Unlike Severino, Boone was still wrestling with those events. Boone, who took over as manager in 2018, said he still considered three central figures of the scandal — A.J. Hinch, the former Astros manager; Carlos Beltran, a former Astros player along using a Yankees special assistant last year; along with Alex Cora, a former Astros coach along with Boone’s former ESPN colleague — to be his friends. Boone even briefly texted with Hinch after the allegations surfaced, he said.
although Boone admitted he might never fully come to peace with his emotions about the scandal along with those three men. “As human beings, we all fall down along with all fall short,” he said.
The Yankees were bounced in recent years by the playoffs not only by the Astros although also by the Boston Red Sox, who are currently under investigation by M.L.B. for illegal sign stealing as well. Boone stopped short of blaming opponents’ misdeeds for those early exits, though, saying the blame still lay with the Yankees.
of which season could end differently for one notable reason: Cole, a former Astro.
“We feel like we’ve been a championship-caliber team at of which point for a few years along with have been knocking on of which door,” he said. “Haven’t pushed through yet. Adding a guy like Gerrit, there’s no running by the fact of which of which can be an elite player along with taken away by one of the teams of which we’ve been competing with so heavily. So we’re excited to have him along with know what kind of impact he can potentially make.”