Former Dodgers’ GM Fred Claire knows a thing or two about Championship teams. He built one in 1988, and that team fought every single game to win a World Series. Perhaps that is why the Astros cheating their way to a 2017 World Series pains him so badly.
Fred joined Dodgers Nation for a sit down this week via Zoom to discuss many things, including his latest book Extra Innings, detailing his 1988 team as well as his City of Hope championship team. The former GM talked about the Astros and what this will mean for the players long term.
In many ways, I feel sad, really sad for the Astros players. But at the same time, they have to take the responsibility for what they did as a team. Because it was totally irresponsible.
The most important thing you have in this game, as a player, as an executive, is credibility. And the Astros lost it…Those who were in a position of authority clearly form what I read, knew what was happening, allowed it to happen, and have paid and will continue to pay a huge price.
Fred used an example that related closely to his own team. During the 1988 NLCS against the Mets, Dodgers’ pitcher Jay Howell got tossed for having pine tar on his glove. Howell later said that it was for better grip on a cold night, but Mets fans cheered ‘Dodgers Cheat’ for the remainder of the series. Claire remembers that moment very clearly, and how much it hurt to think that his team could be viewed that way.
What the Astros did was miles apart from what Howell did during that NLCS game, but Claire could certainly tell you how Houston players must feel. This will go with them for the rest of their lives, and fans are not going to forget any time soon.