Leave it to the Houston Astros to pull me out of my 2019 baseball season slumber. It’s been over a month since my last editorial. Over a month since I watched ANY baseball. Over a month since the Dodgers were defeated by a Nationals team that I felt was very beatable. With that loss, came a paralyzing bout with writer’s block. No headline inspired anything in me to get past that block, until now anyway.
Astros using cameras to steal signs, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/rncm6qzXxw
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) November 12, 2019
News broke yesterday of the Houston Astros using technology to steal and relay signs during their 2017 World Series winning postseason. A postseason that ended in the Dodgers falling one victory short of winning their first World Series in 29 years. I have no shame in saying, being that close and losing, caused me to shed a tear… or 20. The subsequent two seasons have ended in disappointment as well and perhaps this year stung even more than 2017 because this Dodgers team seemed even better than that team.
Following the Dodgers earlier-than-expected departure from the 2019 postseason, the Nationals went on to win the World Series against none other than the Houston Astros. Many Dodgers fans began rooting for the Nationals because of their disdain for the Astros. While I stopped watching all baseball after the Dodgers lost, I did not want the Nationals to win. I did not want them to do what the Dodgers could’ve and should’ve done.
Well, the Nationals won and stopped the Astros from being able to “#TakeItBack”. This to me, was the Dodgers job this season and so it frustrates me that they were removed from contention in the NLDS. Regardless, in light of the news of the 2017 Astros cheating scandal it is likely the Astros were STILL cheating and the Nationals were able to overcome that. Yes, I’m angry all over again, but really, I digress.
The Houston Astros have come out to state they are opening an investigation… of themselves.
Statement from #Astros: “Regarding the story posted by The Athletic earlier today, the Houston Astros organization has begun an investigation in cooperation with Major League Baseball. It would not be appropriate to comment further on this matter at this time.” https://t.co/0BrDa77VTC
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 12, 2019
Yeah, ok. Those findings will be accurate.
Major League Baseball has made the following statement:
“Beginning in the 2017 season, numerous Clubs expressed general concerns that other Clubs were stealing their signs. As a result of those concerns, and after receiving extensive input from the General Managers, we issued a revised policy on sign stealing prior to the 2019 season. We also put in place detailed protocols and procedures to provide comfort to Clubs that other Clubs were not using video during the game to decode and steal signs. After we review this new information, we will determine any necessary next steps.”
So what does this really mean? Nothing. Major League Baseball has a track record of not really doing anything to dissuade cheating. Sure Ryan Braun served a suspension, but he kept his 2011 MVP award, Barry Bonds still holds many asterisk-free records and the Houston Astros will certainly keep their 2017 World Series title.
Braun didn’t have to give MVP to Matt Kemp in 2011. Dodgers won’t get 2017 World Series title. Astros will gets slap on the wrist and they’ll be back at it next year.
— Jason McClure?? (@Jmcclure83) November 13, 2019
As a Dodgers fan, I don’t want a hand-me-down trophy or two years late parade. As a fan of the game, I do want the Astros title removed or at the very least be given an asterisk. Players that benefitted from the cheating should have any awards given for their 2017 performance revoked.
My point is, until MLB issues real punishments with long-term effects, teams and players will continue to push the envelope of cheating. Either make it all legal or apply REAL punishments on those caught. Look at Pete Rose’s lifetime ban from the Hall of Fame. Have you seen many others follow in his footsteps? No.