TAMPA – No matter 2017. The Yankees are still not sure if they lost in a fair fight against the Astros last year.
Aaron Boone and Gary Sanchez were both unconvinced that Astros thugs had been out of gear during ALCS last season, while Luis Severino wondered to what extent Houston's fighters were almost certain of the pitches he was on.
All of this stems from the Major League Baseball report released last month that Astros found guilty of illegally stealing electronic devices towards a World Series title in 2017. MLB also stated that the Astros have found no evidence of device wear in the past season.
Jose Altuve's video – after he rounded the bases in Game 6 of the ALCS that sent the Astros to the World Series after his homer won against Aroldis Chapman – warned his teammates not to take the shirt off – sparked speculation that Altuve wore The buzzer signals that a slider is coming.
Boone was asked at his first official spring training press conference on Wednesday whether he was sure the Astros would not be using illegal equipment.
"No," said Boone. "This is surely one of those great unknowns. Sure, I've spent time – like many people do – thinking about all the things that could possibly have happened, and we'll probably never know exactly."
Sanchez went light-heartedly to make his feelings known.
"I can tell you that if I beat a Homer and bring my team to the World Series, they can tear my pants off," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "Everything. You can tear everything down. If I bring my team to the World Series and meet a walk-off homer, they can tear everything down."
Sanchez was behind the plate when Chapman threw his unfortunate slider and has been watching the notorious footage ever since.
"I saw a lot of videos," said Sanchez with a smile. "So many. So many. So many. I've seen them all. People send them to me all the time. I just have to say," Wow "."
Severino admitted that he was angry when he heard Houston cheated on in the ALCS in 2017.
"I was angry because I remember how often I looked in the mirror of my mechanic to see if I tipped over parking spaces," said Severino.
Boone, the former Astros manager A.J. Hinch said he contacted Hinch shortly after the report came out, but hasn't since. He is not sure when he will speak to him again.
"I just wasn't really ready to go there," said Boone.
The Yankees suspected the Astros was whistling in last year's playoffs, which Hinch called "ridiculous" at the time.
"The response was interesting," said Boone of Hinch's use of the term "ridiculous." I felt like we were doing it the way we wanted, and our focus was on playing. "
Boone also paused before saying if he respected Hinch, as well as Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran, both of whom were involved in the 2017 Houston scandal and have since lost executive positions.
"Look, these are still people I think are friends," said Boone. "I have problems, as I am sure that there are many people. I understood it and tried to fight my feelings in a way to get clarity." I don't think you ever got there completely. And that's fine. "
And he insisted that he wasn't worried about whether the Yankees might be cheated for a title, despite Boone's first two seasons ending as managers against teams that are currently suspected and the Red Sox are still being investigated by MLB become .
"I feel like we've lost," said Boone. "We didn't prevail. There's always the human nature of what was going on, but I don't eat that part of it."
More Yankees will add to the controversy, and that's fine with Boone. For now.
"Obviously, the past few weeks have been a lot and we have had a lot of time to process all of this and the range of emotions has been huge: crazy, frustrated, disappointed," said Boone. "I see it now as" It's time to move forward and move forward. "We have a great team in this room and we know that heaven is the limit for this team."