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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/16/20

Yankees appeal unsealing of incriminating letter; How the Yankees’ post-draft strategy has changed; A look back at the 1998 Yankees, an under-appreciated squad.

2019 Major League Baseball Winter Meetings Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

New York Post | Dan Martin: You may have heard about the presence of a magic letter that may or may not incriminate the 2015-2017 Yankees as cheaters (spoiler alert: it likely doesn’t). But, the Yankees are still trying their hardest to make sure that the letter doesn’t get opened on Friday. The Yankees say the letter would cause “significant repetitional injury” for no reason, as they say there’s no justification to open the letter. While I wouldn’t expect this appeal to be successful, I also wouldn’t expect Friday’s letter-opening to spill any dark secrets.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: The Yankees normally enjoy a significant advantage in post-draft spending on undrafted free agents, but the playing field has been leveled this time around. All teams will have the same funds to spend, which limits the Yankees’ financial muscle. This will lessen the quantity of undrafted free agents the team signs, but may improve the quality as they only focus on the cream of the crop.

ESPN | Sam Borden: “Long Gone Summer,” ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 documentary, aired last night and focused on the great home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998. The excitement of the 1998 season sure helped baseball overcome its lost popularity after the 1994 strike, but to focus on solely McGwire and Sosa (whose teams didn’t win a playoff series) is to overlook the 1998 Yankees, the winningest team in history. In this longform piece, several ex-Yankees talk about that special season, including Joe Torre’s take that the historic team is under-appreciated by non-Yankees fans.