Sometime during the 2017 season – his first in Houston – Carlos Beltran told his teammates that, compared to others, they were lagging behind the new video playback mechanism to decipher characters between the catcher and the launcher. In an article earlier this month, The Athletic reported that Beltran told his new club that they were "behind the times".
The warning from Beltran was an important trigger for the development of a system by Astros, which informed the players at least in 2017 in real time about the upcoming pitch.
In this championship season, the Astros mainly used a camera installed in the middle of the field, which was fed to a monitor near the shelter. As soon as the signs were decrypted, a garbage can was hit to alert a batsman of the type of field that would come. The Astros did this hundreds of times and it ultimately resulted in a number of MLB penalties, including one-year suspensions for the now-released GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch.
It also sparked speculation that if Beltran knew the Astros was lagging behind, was a previous employer way ahead? He had spent most of the 2014-16 season with the Yankees.
Mark Teixeira, a prominent Yankee from 2009-16, insisted on a phone call to The Post: "I don't think one of my Yankee teammates has ever broken the rules by giving signs to batsmen in real time. We did seen. "
In the most complete public statement to date, Teixeira described what the Yankees were doing and what Beltran meant by "behind the times". He said his Yankees used modern technology for "old school" benefits.
For years, players had used TV shows of games to try to determine the order and indicators that should be used when placing a runner in second place. This runner could then forward the information to a batsman.
In 2014, MLB expanded the repetition rules to challenge managers. Each team was equipped with multiple monitors and viewing angles of all television cameras used for the game. Each team has nominated an employee to review the games and inform the managers if they should challenge.
The unintended consequence, however, was that everything that happened on the field was shown in more detail, including a camera that was aimed at the catcher and thus at his shields.
Teixeira said some Yankees – namely Beltran, Alex Rodriguez and Chris Young – and some trainers used the new equipment as the next logical step over a television program that had a single picture and was therefore not always trained to catch the characters.
If a Yankee thought they had deciphered the sequence or indicator, Teixeira said, that player would share it with his teammates. When someone reached the second base, they were told to see if the opposition had the same signs. In this case the base runner could alert the batsman with his own signal.
Teixeira claimed that the system was not very successful. In fact, he said he ignored it because “I personally thought it was BS because they would bring it to me when they were decrypted [from second base]My bat was over or the jug and the catcher changed the signs. You were more wrong than right. … I would argue anecdotically with teammates: “You are not good at it. You try to signal, then you get mad at me because I'm not good at it either. We are not so good at it. "
“How to be good at it is decoded in real time and hit on trash cans. That is far beyond the line. "
So if Teixeira describes that all Yankees did everything, did they violate MLB regulations?
In a statement to The Post, MLB said: “After the 2017 season, we learned that a number of clubs believed that video monitors in the clubhouse and video room were used to decrypt characters so that they could later be passed on to a runner on the second base could not violate the MLB rules as long as the information was not electronically transmitted to the shelter. As a result, we have clarified the future rules to explicitly prohibit such behavior. "
Teixeira insisted that the decoded information was not transmitted electronically from 2014 to 2016, but verbally.
MLB considered what the Yankees and other clubs were doing to be technically at least against the spirit of the rule, but the league admits that the rule was not written clearly enough to distinguish that the playback monitors did not use the clubhouse like a television monitor should be – and the players had been trying to decrypt regular television for years, which wasn't illegal.
The league compared these teams to the new replay monitors at a speed of 65 mph in a 60 mile zone compared to the over 100 mph of the 2017 Astros.
MLB considered what the Astros did to be much more outrageous for several reasons. First, it was done in real time to warn the thugs of what would come, even if there were no runners on the base. Second, an algorithm has been developed to decipher the characters that can be passed on to the runners to alert the hits. In addition, electronic communications were used in a variety of ways and continued beyond September 15, 2017, the commissioner's edict that MLB sees as a line in the sand about stealing signs.
On September 15, 2017, the commissioner's office punished the Red Sox for misusing an Apple Watch and the Yankees for misusing a dugout phone to call the replay room and find out if a pitch was a hit – an injury, because of contact with the repeat officer. At this point, MLB also tightened the rules for the transfer of signs using electronics and did so again in a memo during the spring training in 2018, in which it was expressly pointed out that no clubhouse or video room equipment may be used to decrypt signs.
MLB previously had the rule that "electronic devices or devices must under no circumstances be used to steal signs or to transmit other information in order to give a club a competitive advantage."
MLB found that many teams interpreted this as meaning that there was no cell phone or computer to transmit sign information to the shelter, and MLB found that these teams did not consider themselves to be scammers or knowingly breaking the rules.
In fact, MLB believed the rule had enough gaps so the commissioner didn't hit the Red Sox hard for the Apple Watch incident (they were fined as little as $ 200,000), although this was real-time electronics because Texts sent by the playback monitors were sent to the shelters over the clock.
Teixeira explained what the Yankees did from 2014 to 2016, didn't dare to get close to the Apple Watch program, or what the Astros 2017 expanded with Beltran on board.
"I felt that certain people like Chris Young, Alex and Carlos tried to gain an advantage," said Teixeira. "I was a guy who played every day, so I was in the dugout and not hanging in the video room. I heard Chris Young, Alex and Carlos talk about signs more than others.
"But they never were." Teix, we have signs that we can pass it on to you while you are on deck or on the plate. "I was old school. They got the signs, and when you got to the second base they said:" Check if these are these, then you can pass them on to the thugs. "… We are talking about the old way To pass on signs. "We think this is the pattern. If you pick up the same pattern on the second base, pass it on to the batsman. "
Teixeira insisted: “This is what each team has been doing in the past few years with video rooms near the dugout and [it is] not against the rules. "
Teixeira said he believed that the indication that the Astros were alerted before 2017 that they were "behind the times" was based on other teams, such as the Yankees, that were using the new video system to decipher characters and information for to provide potential runners who reached the second base.
Brian Cashman, GM of Yankees, told The Post, "Knowing that there are no violations related to these issues and that MLB is reviewing them on multiple occasions, I don't think it is worth commenting on." The post attempted to receive comments from Beltran, Rodriguez, and Young, but none responded to the requests.
“When we had monitors in a video room, there was a little bit of it [watching during the game] go on, 'said Teixeira. "Honestly, I haven't seen anyone get it to real-time level, run to the field and say," Mark, it's an X sign. “Most of the catchers and jugs were smart enough when they had a tendency to show. they would change them.
“The Astros has taken this to a completely different level. They used a real-time algorithm to decode and pop bins. None of us thought of that. That is the next level.
“We would have a couple of coaches and players watching before the game [at video] and if, for example, Josh Beckett were on the hill, they would say it looks like it will be the second character once you are on the base, or the third character or whatever.
“If there were any other gimmicks, I would have no knowledge. Either I was left in the dark or it didn't happen. "
So was it possible that Teixeira was in the dark and was doing something more shameful without knowing it?
"As far as I know, if anything happened on the Yankees, it wasn't," Teixeira said. "If it went on, it would be hidden from me. I don't think any of my Yankee teammates did anything. I was connected to the coaching staff and the players. It would be comparable to a man on the Astros who played there for a long time, like George Springer, who had no idea. That would be hard to believe. How would it cheat outside and the managers and players knew it, but a veteran had no idea? I should have been very naive and completely in the dark if the scam had taken place and I hadn't known it at all. "