The coronavirus outbreak has forced New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone to think a little less about the Houston Astros’ scandal.
It was only a month ago when the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal was the biggest story in baseball. Their use of sign-stealing in both 2017 and 2018 led to the league fining them $5 million, stripping them of their first and second-round picks in both 2020 and 2021, and suspending manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one year each.
The situation was the main talk of the league, as the boos and insults toward the ballclub in spring training marked the beginning of a new era. But over the past few weeks, the overall discussion of the scandal and its implications have simmered. Many aren’t paying as much mind to it amid the coronavirus pandemic, including one of the main victims of the cheating.
“I was getting asked about that a lot and obviously it was a huge topic of conversation in the spring, but I also don’t get caught up in what’s it going to be for them or what their road ahead is going to be like,” New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone told Michael Kay on ESPN Radio, per Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media.
“Obviously there may be some difficulties there, but I do think when you have something like this [pandemic], it does probably put things more into perspective.”
It was statistically evident the Astros took part in the cheating against the Yanks during the 2017 ALCS. During that series, they were 4-0 at home while averaging 3.75 runs per game. But in the Bronx, Houston was 0-3 while averaging 1.67 runs per game.
Don’t forget, the sign-stealing only took place in their home ballpark (as far as we know).
The fate of the 2020 MLB season is still in question. Amid the outbreak, the league is looking at a potential start date in May. Some believe the campaign won’t be able to commence until June or July though.
Yankees fans were obviously planning to be as ruthless as ever when the Astros came to town. New York and Houston were to undergo a four-game series at Yankee Stadium from Sept. 21-24. But at this point, it’s unclear if that set of matchups will even occur.