TAMPA — MLB’s investigation into the Astros’ cheating ways didn’t unearth evidence that the practice was in play last season.
Therefore the Astros were punished for their actions in 2017 and a part of the following year.
However, Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres isn’t buying the 2019 Astros didn’t continue to cheat last season when they copped four of six ALCS games against the Yankees and advanced to the World Series.
Asked Monday if he believed the Astros illegally stole opposing pitcher’s signs last year, Torres joined a growing fraternity of big league players who unloaded on Astros.
“If you cheat in 2017 and you won, why don’t you do that the next year and the next year too?” Torres said after reporting to Steinbrenner Field for spring training.”It’s for sure… If I play video games with you and we face the TV and I saw your control, and I saw what is coming and I win, and you tell me, ‘(Let’s) play again’? I do the same thing. And they did ’17 for sure, and they did ’18, and ’19.”
Torres is 23 and entering his third big league season after being an AL All-Star in the first two years. Some players in his position would keep quiet, but Torres has a strong opinion and showed no reluctance to let the baseball world know about it.
“First of all it shows no respect to baseball when you cheat. We feel frustration. Our team plays legal and others like Houston don’t play legal,” Torres said of an Astros club new Yankees teammate Gerrit Cole was a member of from 2018-19. “It is really easy to compete when you know what is coming. I don’t feel good. We compete and try to get to the World Series and they cheat. When they go hit they know everything that is coming. It is not real good. We prepared really well (and) we go to home plate to face (Justin) Verlander, (Gerrit) Cole and (Zack) Greinke, they pitched very well. They go to home plate and face our pitchers and they know everything that is coming.”
Jose Altuve signaling teammates to not tear his jersey off at home plate after winning Game 6 with a home run off Aroldis Chapman at Minute Maid Park led to speculation the second baseman was wearing a device under the shirt that allowed him to know what pitch was coming. If that was true, Torres, who looks up to Altuve, a fellow Venezuelan, would be hurt.
“I don’t want to say something exactly to Altuve because of the relationship and we come from the same country,” Torres said. “But if he do all the stuff he do it is not fair. I have a really good relationship with Altuve but inside I don’t feel good.”
“I am not surprised. First, my experience of it, my level of emotions that I have gone through personally and not even having a total grasp of it all and even reconciling it all in my head,” said Boone, who detected raw emotions of players when the news surfaced. “As the days unfold I am not surprised by it. Obviously, over the next couple of days as our position players are here now and you will get some of our guys on the record I think it is important for them to say whatever they need to say on the matter. If they want to talk about it or not I am respectful of that and encourage that.”
Yet, Boone predicts the hour is coming when the matter is deleted from the day-to-day thinking.
“There will be a time as a club when it will be time to stop talking about it and lock in on the important business we have in front of us in 2020,” Boone said.