AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File
Carlos Beltran will be front and center for New York Yankees fans this season as an announcer with YES Network, but that doesn’t mean he has to address his role in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in the eyes of slugger Aaron Judge.
“In my opinion, I don’t think he needs to say anything to us,” Judge said of Beltran, who was a player on the 2017 Astros, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). “I’ve got a lot of respect for Beltran, he helped me a lot during his time here as a player. Learned a lot of good lessons. He spent a lot of quality time just kind of talking to me about the game, the mental side of the game, his approaches, how to be a good teammate.”
While many fans and players across the league were surely upset that Houston won a championship during the 2017 campaign when it was found to be cheating, the Yankees have a direct connection since they were the team the Astros defeated in the 2017 American League Championship Series.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman called Houston’s actions “illegal and horrific” during an interview with Andy McCullough of The Athletic.
“The only thing that stopped (us) was something that was so illegal and horrific. So I get offended when I start hearing we haven’t been to the World Series since ’09. Because I’m like, ‘Well, I think we actually did it the right way.’ Pulled it down, brought it back up. Drafted well, traded well, developed well, signed well. The only thing that derailed us was a cheating circumstance that threw us off.”
Beltran, who retired after that 2017 campaign, recently addressed the scandal during an interview with YES Network (h/t ESPN).
“Looking back now, yes, we did cross the line,” he said. “We all did what we did. Looking back, we were wrong.”
Beltran played for the Kansas City Royals, Astros, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Yankees and Texas Rangers from 1998 through 2017 and was a nine-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glover and two-time Silver Slugger.
He was set to manage the New York Mets for the 2020 campaign but was let go because of his role in the Astros scandal.
Major League Baseball fined the Astros $5 million, revoked their first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 and suspended general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for one year as a result of the scandal. The Astros then fired Luhnow and Hinch, who is now the manager of the Detroit Tigers.