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USATSI

An appeals count has denied the New York Yankees' latest attempt to prevent the unsealing of a 2017 letter from commissioner Rob Manfred regarding sign-stealing, according to NJ.com's Brendan Kuty. The petition for an en banc review would have required approval from all 12 judges on the panel, and was considered unlikely to succeed.

Here are more details, from Kuty:

"Appellee-Cross-Appellant, New York Yankees Partnership, filed a petition for panel rehearing, or, in the alternative, for rehearing en banc," Thursday's filing read. "The panel that determined the appeal has considered the request for panel rehearing, and the active members of the Court have considered the request for rehearing en banc.

"It is hereby ordered that the petition is denied."

Yankees president Randy Levine responded to the decision in a phone call.

"We're disappointed in the Court of Appeals' decision, but we respect it," Levine said. "But I believe that it's going to lead to a lot of unfair results down the road."

The Yankees could now appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, though Kuty hears that is unlikely. The letter could be unsealed within the next week.

Manfred sent the letter to Yankees GM Brian Cashman after the team made a complaint to MLB regarding the Red Sox and their Apple Watch scandal in 2017. The letter detailed the league's investigation and findings, and is standard procedure.

In June 2020, SNY's Andy Martino reported the letter "does not allege that the Yankees participated in sign-stealing, because the league concluded that the team did not steal signs." The Yankees have claimed the letter would damage their reputation if it is unsealed, hence their various appeals.

The letter had become a matter of some significance in a class action lawsuit filed against the league, the Astros, and the Red Sox by DraftKings users. The plaintiffs previously stated that they believed Manfred's letter to the Yankees proved his "duplicity" on the matter of improper sign-stealing.