TAMPA — As a successful cheater himself, Gleyber Torres doesn’t see why the Astros ever would have stopped breaking the rules to defeat their opponents.
The difference is that Torres cheats at video games. The Astros did it on a larger field of play.
The Yankees’ shortstop, upon officially reporting to camp Monday, made clear his belief that the Astros illegally stole signs not only in 2017 and 2018, but in 2019, as well.
“If you cheat in 2017 and you won, why don’t you do that the next year and the next year too?” Torres said. “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.”
He can speak so knowledgeably of video-game chicanery, Torres explained with a laugh, because “When I face (Luis) Severino, I see the control.”
The 23-year-old Torres, who wasn’t part of the 2017 Yankees who were officially victimized by the Astros’ scheming (as per Rob Manfred’s report), added, “It’s not respectful of baseball when you cheat. We feel frustration …It’s really easy to compete when you know what is coming.”
Nevertheless, Torres said, “I don’t want to say they cheat(ed) and we didn’t go to the World Series (last year), because we lost. We missed too many opportunities when we played at home. When we played at Houston, too.”
That didn’t seem to mitigate Torres’ anger, though.
When asked if this scandal has impacted his relationship with Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, a fellow native of Venezuela, Torres said, “Many people in (my) family ask(ed) me the same question. I have a really good relationship with Altuve. In Venezuela, you heard his name with Miguel Cabrera. He’s one of the best players in baseball right now. For me, it’s hard to see that. But man, I don’t want to say something exactly to Altuve because of the relationship. We’re from the same country. But if he did all the stuff he did, it’s not fair.
Altuve said he head not heard about Torres’ comments when asked about them later on Monday.
Torres added, “Personally with Altuve, I know he’s a really good guy. Humble. I never heard something bad from Altuve. I still have a really good relationship with Altuve. But I don’t feel good.”