The Yankees Letter will no longer be a secret, a court has ruled.
Nearly two years after a federal judge ruled that a letter describing a 2017 Yankees investigation must be made public, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the Yankees’ and Major League Baseball’s requests to keep the letter private. hold.
The Yankees and MLB now have 14 days to decide whether to appeal the unsealed letter.
Plaintiffs in a lawsuit over the day-to-day fantasy implications of electronic sign stealing in baseball alleged that a 2017 press release punishing Commissioner Rob Manfred, the Red Sox and the Yankees, hid the full nature of what MLB discovered the Yankees had done. Now, with the letter’s imminent release, any discrepancies between what Manfred publicly claimed and his office’s private findings will come to light.
The Yankees claim that the damage from unsealing the Yankees Letter will be because its contents would be scrambled to falsely and falsely generate the confusing scenario that the Yankees somehow break the rules for stealing had violated MLB signs, when in fact the Yankees didn’t,” the court wrote. However, that argument weighs little. Disclosure of the document allows the public to independently assess MLB’s conclusion regarding the internal investigation (as worded to the Yankees), and the Yankees are fully capable of expressing their own views on the factual content. of the Yankees Letter. In summary, any alleged misrepresentation of the contents of the Yankees Letter may be remedied by the widespread availability of the factual contents of this court document to the public, and the corresponding ability of MLB and the Yankees to publicly to comment.”
Echoing what Judge Jed Rakoff said about the letter, the Second Circuit reaffirmed that “a significant portion” of the letter has already been released publicly.
“This letter related to the results of an internal investigation, which the plaintiffs argued contradicted a subsequent MLB press release on the same subject,” Chief Justice Debra Ann Livingston wrote. Complaint and the court’s discussion of the letter in explaining its decision to reject the plaintiffs’ amendment request in their reconsideration motion, and because MLB disclosed a substantial portion of the letter’s contents in its press release about the investigation , we conclude that the court did not abuse its discretion in unlocking the letter, subject to redacting the names of particular individuals.”
Manfred fined the Red Sox and Yankees in 2017 in what became known as the Apple Watch scandal. The stealing of electronic boards didn’t stop there: the Astros continued to cheat for the rest of 2017, and both the Astros and Red Sox steel boards continued to cheat electronically in 2018.
The Yankees, Major League Baseball and plaintiffs’ counsel did not immediately return requests for comment.
(Photo: Abbie Parr/Getty Images)