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Dodgers and Astros: On Sadness, Anger, and Karma

Spoiler alert: I don’t like the Astros

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.

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.

Related: Josh Reddick Discusses Cheating Scandal… Awkwardly

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.

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.

NEXT: Teams and Players Reportedly Fear MLB if Speaking Out Against Astros Ruling

Written by Gail Johnson

Biggest Dodgers fan north of the border, living about 3,500 miles from my beloved Boys In Blue, in Moncton, NB, Canada. I think Dodger Stadium is the happiest place on Earth. I'll catch up on my sleep in the off-season.

12 Comments

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  1. MLB needs to take the big step and remove the WS title from the Astros and strike all hitting stats for that season. The Astros did not just cheat in a game, they cheated at the highest level. The World Series. Try in once, stand at the plate and try and hit a 95mph fast ball then try and hit a change up, the skill it takes to do so is what makes the players the pros they are today. To have an advantage as to which pitch is coming is in my opinion the equivalent of Home Run Derby. You know what is coming!!

  2. Great article! I’ve been a Dodger fan for 56 of my 65 years. And this has made me really upset. I have the unique perspective of having an Astro fan for a wife. And being from Houston, her side of the family is 95% Astros. Oddly enough, there is one diehard Dodger fan. They are very quiet these days. But that being said; I will share what I posted elsewhere on DN. The Dodgers are not going into 2020 with a “woe is me” attitude. They are going to stand MLB on it’s ear. They will come into this season with an attitude. A vengeance. They are angry, upset, like we the fans. I don’t want the 2017 Trophy. They can keep it. With their asterisk beside it. 2020 is going to be our year. Lets stand behind our “Boys in Blue”.

  3. You and me were on to something before anything was known Gail. I too didn’t like the Astros from our very first meeting in the World Series. Like you said the arrogance and over celebration coming out of the dugout and just disrespecting the opponent every time they did something, and surprisingly I was the only one seeing this in them other baseball fans were actually me the hater. It’s funny how it took a scandal for people to realize all the signs of bad character that were always right in front of them. People like you and me are just smarter and those types often get crucified before the rest wake up and realize who was right. As the series went on I found out more about their fans, like when they defended Gurriel and some even imitated his gesture. Grown adults mind you. Even to this day if it’s brought up they have a strange way of defending it like saying it was two years ago or can’t you forgive. It doesn’t surprise me to learn about the experience you had online with them.

  4. LA needs to stand up loud and proud and not take this laying down.

    ‘Karma’ is what losers mutter under their breath when they are afraid of taking action.

  5. Really, Bumgarner is a known racist. You have no credibility. He may have been a Giant, and he is a red ass, but he is or was a great pitcher and as far as I know no one has accused him of being a racist except you. By the way, he is good friends with Clayton Kershaw, so is he a racist too? The Dodgers are a great organization and they will bounce back from this cheating crap. In fact I’m willing too bet they will be world Champions in 2020!

  6. I am an Astros fan and I feel shamed and embarrassed. I want to win but not at the cost of my values and morals. I realize there are those among us that would attempt to defend this team; they either have self-identity problems or a underdeveloped construct of moral fortitude. Even if other teams cheat, it doesn’t make it right. There we were, demoing houses, cleaning up debris, volunteering at local shelters, etc. after Harvey and they disgrace us and the city. The players haven’t even apologized or explained themselves. All the Dodger fans I’ve met over the years have been good-natured baseball people. There are a bunch of homer/clown/a**hole Astros fans, but we’re not all like that. I’ve followed this team since ’86 but my fandom can only go so far. Cheating sucks.

  7. This situation goes deeper than a World Series. As a Yankee fan, the 2017 and 2019 ALCS don’t sit well either seeing the Astros celebrate a false win. So where do you start? Are the Dodgers the only ones who were affected by this scandal? So, do we replay the 2017 WS as Dodgers Yankees? Or maybe we also replay the 2019 WS as Nationals Yankees too!

    Strip the Astros of all titles, suspend the franchise for 81 games and ban the players for life! Black Sox scandal 100 years later.

  8. Troll Alert ! To all you pissed off bleedin’ blue Dodgers fans (or NYY, etc), most of us Astros fans are just as disgusted about these recent revelations as you are. Nearly my whole life I had been anticipating one whole lousy WS championship, and when we finally supposedly win one, it turns in to fool’s gold and has lost all its luster. All the time and money spent on ’17 WS souvenirs that can now go in to a figurative bon fire. And, I also wish I could get my money back for a handful of local games recently attended. The ruse is up on all of us, so preferably aim your venom specifically at Cora, Beltran, etc. And the next time you see someone brave enough to wear Astros orange and blue, offer a pat on the back instead of a taunt. Finally, we are all anxiously waiting on my team to publicly apologize. Meanwhile, if you can’t stop whining on MLB’s final decision on all this, you can move your whole team off to the Pacific League or somewhere. Boom…

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