CC Sabathia says Astros and Red Sox might have cheated Yankees out of two World Series titles

The Astros have already been disciplined for their sign-stealing scheme throughout and beyond their championship season of 2017, and the Red Sox will likely soon be hammered by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred for their alleged sign-stealing during their championship season of 2018. 

One thing the 2017 Astros and 2018 Red Sox have in common -- besides Alex Cora, of course -- is that each team eliminated the Yankees during their respective playoff runs. The 2017 Astros bested the Yankees in seven games in the ALCS, and the following October the 2018 Red Sox bounced the Yanks in four games in the best-of-five ALDS. 

Retired lefty and possible future Hall of Famer CC Sabathia played for both those Yankee teams, and he had the following to say about the fact that the 2017 and 2018 Yankees were eliminated by the teams of note (via NorthJersey.com):  

"As everything's been coming out, and the more facts that we get, it's getting frustrating...to sit here and know that late in my career I could've had a title, maybe (in 2017) or maybe '18, but we got cheated out (by) a team kind of doing something that's not within the rules of the game."

And on whether the Astros should've been forced to vacate their 2017 World Series title: 

"Maybe, yeah. I mean, why not? Vacate it. I wouldn't be mad at that."

Sabathia rightly couches this in terms of "maybe." We know that the Astros' sign-stealing made a provable difference and that it continued throughout the 2017 playoffs. It's no great stretch to say that it may have cost the Yankees the ALCS, especially given that two of the four Houston wins in that series were by a single run. That said, a World Series match-up with the Dodgers would've awaited the Yankees, and there's of course no guarantee they would've prevailed. 

In 2018, the margin wasn't as tight against the Red Sox, as Boston won the ALDS 3-1. As well, the Yankees would've needed to fight through two more rounds to wind up with a title. So "maybe" is the proper word here, and it makes Sabathia's claims perfectly reasonable. As for the vacated title part, that didn't happen and was never going to happen. Call it a moot point. 

As long as we're on the topic of Sabathia and his beloved pinstripes, let it be known that, according to what sources tell MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, the Yankees will soon name Sabathia as a special adviser. Sabathia, now 39, spent 11 of his 19 big league seasons with the Yankees. With the Yanks he went 134-88 with an ERA of 3.81 and 1,700 strikeouts. In 2009, his first season with the Yankees, he was named ALCS MVP. Sabathia and the Yankees won the World Series that year. 

In matters related, he's still got the Yankees' back, even in retirement. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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