Since the news broke this past Monday, revealing the extent of the Astros treachery in 2017 and specifically in the playoffs, I’ve gone from sad over never knowing what might have been for our Dodgers, to angry as the sheer depth of the Astros scheming has come to light, exposing just how many players and fans have been affected by it.
And the fact that it’s the Astros – a team with whom no love is lost among Dodgers fans – is making the situation all the more appalling.
Privately to friends, I’ve made no bones about my feelings for the Astros and their fans since that fateful 2017 season. As any follower or reader of mine may have noticed, I choose not to regularly air grievances and negativity on social media – I figure there’s enough other business going on in the world to bring us down – but if anyone asked, I had no issue talking about how I thought most Houston players and many of their trash talking fans were largely a collection of arrogant, cocky, despicable individuals.
astros fans still logging on to defend their team pic.twitter.com/FoSXn2aaKw
— Sydney (@sydneypdaniel) January 16, 2020
Which is what makes this whole mess so rage-inducing, even among more normally calm fans like yours truly. Watch any video of that season, specifically the World Series (if you can handle it; I still can’t), or any post-game interview, or that ridiculous dugout posing, and you’ll see an overly confident group of grown men acting like children – the same men who would then turn around and berate publicly any opposing player who dared flip a bat or show emotion on the field while playing against them. Knowing now that most of these same players were at the same time deeply involved in a scheme to cheat the game is pretty hard to swallow.
As far as the Astros fanbase goes, many of them have developed a reputation as a special breed of hateful. Now, we all fan differently, but I’ve always believed that being a fan of a team should be fun, and banter with fans of other teams absolutely can be fun.
Specifically for Dodgers fans, “hating” the Giants is practically a requisite, but that’s mostly in fun and we still respect the players – except for known racist Madison Bumgarner. We each have other teams we are not fond of for various reasons; for example, I’ve disliked the Mets since the 80s for constantly beating up on my Expos, and I haven’t forgiven the fanbase for the way they treated Chase Utley in 2015.
Even before this week’s revelations, however, there had never been an organization I disliked the way I have grown to loathe the Astros. The behaviour of many of their fans on Twitter over the last few seasons, specifically towards women, has been, quite frankly, disgusting. Bantering with fans of other teams can and should be fun, but during the August 2017 series when the Cheatin’ Stros swept the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, a rivalry between fans of the two teams was born, and it was largely ugly – rife with misogynistic comments and straight out online bullying. It was discouraging to those of us who just like to have fun while watching games with other like-minded fans, and unabashedly love our team.
Like any fanbase on Twitter – Dodgers’ included – I recognize that it is mostly the loudest most negative fans who get the attention, and I’m sure there are many rational Astros fans who are very nice people, but some of the online abuse and comments made towards female fans that weekend and through the end of the postseason from this particular group…well, it was despicable. Twitter accounts were reported and suspended, fights ensued and eventually tapered off…but the bad blood lingered, and the cockiness continued until recently, when suddenly many of these keyboard warriors have gone as conspicuously silent as the normally verbose Justin Verlander.
Makes me wonder if these silent Astros fans already know what’s coming to them, just like their players did at the plate during the 2017 season.
— Clint Pasillas (FRG) (@realFRG) January 17, 2020
As baseball begins it’s long recovery from this scandal, I can’t help but wonder if karma will play itself out. When it comes to the good guys finally getting a chance to win, will what goes around finally come around?
Through life I’ve tried to follow a mantra of what will be, will be, and this quote: “Don’t waste time on revenge. The people who hurt you will eventually face their own karma.”
As Dodgers fans, we can only hope that this is true.