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Former Dodgers GM Fred Claire Talks Astros Legacy, Recalls LA’s Cheating Accusation in ’88

Former GM Fred Claire talks about how Astros players will be remembered.



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. 

WATCH

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. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. If any of the Houston cheaters have any real remorse they are not letting on. By and large they are a bunch of unrepentant cheaters. That is to say players lacking in character who have not been sufficiently called to task. They are rejoicing in their methods because they got the result they wanted.

  2. All home teams should be able to have electronic stolen signs for a season against the Astros. See if it makes any difference. If it does, take away their World Series.

  3. It appears this Covid 19 Pandemic has not only disrupted the 2020 season but also deterred the talks about the Astros cheating scandal. IDK but 2020 has been a real downer so far.

  4. This season is toast. Let’s not kid ourselves. Can you imagine a 50 game season? Really? Come on now! And let’s say, hypothetically, the Dodgers were to win the World Series, would you really be excited about it? The whole season is tainted!

  5. Well! I think its bs they were teaching us how to steal signals in little league! BOSTON And countless others! Its just like all the recent drama! Im a houstonian and ill tell u know one more hurt then us!!! The adversity we faced in 17′ was real!! And covid just blew it up because drama queens need something to cry about!! If your a true MLB fan u know the deal!! Get over it already!! If it was a sure-fire win with the cheating then they’d b world series Champs again! And newsflash!!! They all do it!!!! Grow up

    • Do they really all cheat in that exact way? You seem to be one of those apologists who try to mix stealing signs from second base and using technology. You want to believe that every team has taken it to that level so you can legitimize it in your own head but you don’t actually know anything for a fact

  6. Just listened to the Fred Claire interview today. What a great guy. Love his passion. I appreciate his stories of the past and present. He just seems like a class act. Looking forward to reading Extra Innings.

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