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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/16/20

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Correa takes Astros’ heel turn to new level; Baker asks league to prevent retaliation; Bettis brings experience to Yankees’ depth competition

League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Seven Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images | Brian McTaggart: No matter how badly baseball wants the sign-stealing scandal to go away, it continues to dominate the headlines. In an interview with Ken Rosenthal yesterday, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa mounted the most vociferous defense of his team. He lashed into Cody Bellinger and Mike Fiers, as well as suggested that Jose Altuve didn’t have his jersey ripped off in ALCS Game Six because of a bad chest tattoo. This is far from over, and Correa’s comments only exacerbated resentment against Houston.

ESPN | Jeff Passan: In related news. Astros manager Dusty Baker made a plea to Major League Baseball: protect Houston’s players from beanball and retaliation. “I’m just hoping that the league puts a stop to this before somebody gets hurt,” Baker explained. While the Commissioner’s Office handed down a weak punishment, Baker has a point. There are few things in baseball as stupid as pitchers intentionally hitting batters.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: In case you missed it, the Yankees brought Chad Bettis to spring training on a minor-league deal. The 30-year-old right-hander has experience as both a starter and a reliever. He makes sense as a depth signing in the wake of the James Paxton injury.