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MLB News: Astros Players Granted Immunity in Investigation of Cheating Scandal

What do you think, Dodgers Nation?

The Houston Astros have been embroiled in a well-documented cheating scandal for months now and it appears to be getting worse. At first, it was players — namely former Astros right-hander Mike Fiers — that were complaining about the Astros. Then the Twitter sensation Jomboy did some investigative work and uncovered trash can banging and more. Now, there are some hints about buzzing devices being worn by Astros players. It just keeps getting worse and worse the more the story progresses.

Now, it has been reported that Major League Baseball, at the direction of commissioner Rob Manfred, granted immunity to the players of the Houston Astros throughout the investigation.

According to a recent column from Bleacher Report, Joseph Zucker is reporting that Astros players were granted this immunity.

Rob Manfred recently released a nine-page statement regarding the situation and ruled out certain ways of cheating that the Astros have been accused of as well as explicitly stating what they did do.

Soon after, whispers surfaced that players and teams were worries that there would be worse ramifications if they spoke on the commissioner’s ruling. Still, players (active and retired) have slowly come out and spoken their piece on the fairness in the ruling, and the fairness on the playing field.

This situation is beyond hairy and it will likely continue to progress in worse fashion. We have gotten to the point where the league has intervened and provided statements and we have gone as far as the Los Angeles City Council stepping in.

This is one of the most extreme cases of athletic cheating outside of performance-enhancing drug use. This is different and it is beyond egregious.

NEXT: Manfred Responds to LA City Council Demands

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

29 Comments

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  1. can’t cheat in basketball or hockey. We’ve known for awhile that the NFL is a joke and now sadly the best game (baseball) has joined them because Manfred dropped the ball.

  2. It’s like arresting the mafia boss for murders while those known to have pulled the triggers go untouched.

    Pure corruption that could ruin the game if ALL those involved are not punished.
    It’s called personal responsibility.

    This is much worse than the steroids. Those on steroids didn’t know what pitch was coming.

  3. Dear MLB Executives,I write to you this day to express in writing the thoughts which have consumed my mind, and the mind of every baseball fan I know, since the first report of cheating during the 2017 MLB season. It was extremely disappointing to watch talented baseball players, managers and others in high ranking positions engage in dishonest behavior. Major League Baseball is as American as apple pie and it embodied much of what we hold as sources of pride in our culture. Baseball, especially within the Dodger organization, embodied values of honesty and good will. They portray the values we teach our children in a highly public way. This is very important to all families who take their children to see baseball games. It has been a sport where fairness and appropriate behavior is not only displayed but expected of its players. Lets start with some common sense: Figuring out a pitcher and the other teams tactics is not cheating. But when electronic equipment is used as surveillance to gain an undue advantage over another team this undue advantage ended the fairness we expected in the game. This activity is definitely cheating and no self respecting athlete should have taken part in it. All who did, violated the trust we baseball fans put on them as we paid for stadium tickets or cable networks to watch their games. We have been defrauded. We expected honest games and we paid to watch honest games but we did not get what we paid for. I cannot express in words the outrage and extreme disappointment that has plagued my mind since this scandal was aired to the public. I am so heartbroken at the way the dreams of our Dodgers, Yankees, and other players were destroyed. For the Dodgers, on more than one occasion, during the World Series they were made to feel a false sense of failure in front of their family and fans. The cheating caused this unnecessary trauma. It occurred and would have continued to occur had it not been exposed in a public way through a publication. Those who published the story are true heroes who demonstrated that they truly care about the sport. And I, as a fan, appreciate their sacrifices and effort to bring this issue to light. I, as a fan however, will not be appeased until I see the following actions taken to, in some minor way, remedy the situation.1. The Houston Astros should have their World Series Trophies withdrawn.2. All players of the Houston Astros should have their World Series rings withdrawn.3. All financial benefits paid to those athletes and team should be withdrawn in the form of fines to benefit a worthy cause.4. The Houston Astros franchise should be shut down as their leadership is incapable of honoring the standards set for all major league baseball teams. 5. All those caught cheating should be banned from Major League Baseball.6. The MLB Commissioner who sat on the cheating evidence for two years and did not act should be removed from his position. He did not remedy the situation until the public was informed and was then forced to act. I have no faith in this commissioner as he has proven to be incapable of fulfilling his job and duty.Until these demands are met my faith in the sport will not be restored. Those who heroically came forward to volunteer information regarding the cheating and did so before being forced to talk should be rewarded. Ken Rosenthal walked through fire to bring attention to this activity which was destroying the sport. I’m sure Mr Rosenthal made many enemies reporting what he knew. But he did it anyway to save our beloved sport of baseball for the coming generations. It is Mr Rosenthal’s actions and that of those heroes who came forward who restore my faith that we can fix this.Lets make something positive of all this. Use the withdrawn funds to start a program that teaches ethics to young athletes. Within the Hall of Fame in baseball place a corner display with the trophies and rings and call it “The Hall of Shame”. Let it be known that harsh punishment awaits those who dare defraud the sport. And let the program on ethics inspire all of us to strive for a better set of values where honesty and good sportsmanship is honored above all.Sincerely,A Baseball Fan

  4. This is hardly cheating in my opinion. It’s not like there is any real effort to prevent screens in the stadiums from showing exactly what was going on at home-plate. Don’t compare the Astros to villains simply because they had brains and wanted to push an envelope that had already been open for many, many years. Big-boy words like “egregious” should be left for truly despicable crimes.

  5. Need to get rid of Commissioner, think about all the people that paid to see the games and the hurt that their Team lost. They didn’t lose. Now no punishment, how can the the Commissioner not take a away the crown. They didn’t earn it fairly, so what’s the next time someone is caught. No punishment, someone will try it again. So its like the Game was fixed if they are not stripped of their Trophy and Crown. It should be awarded to the Dodgers on both occasions, Boston and Houston. So it seems as the Commissioner is saying its OK, you just got caught.

  6. If Manfred rationalized that he couldn’t hold the players accountable because ownership didn’t tell the players to stop cheating he’s the wrong guy for the job of MLB Commissioner. The Astros were up to their necks in the cheating that led to the Commissioner’s memo and the memo was not a secret.

    Manfred’s real problem is he doesn’t have the guts to ban Altuve, et. al. for at least a year, vacate all tainted titles and awards, and figure out how to asterisk all the stats that were corrupted by the cheating. Do your job Rob or step aside so someone else can clean up your mess and restore the integrity of the game.

    • Fred. The Cheating Astro’s will have to play 1/2 of their games in others ballparks. The greetings they receive will not be pretty, nor friendly. So don’t get so fresh with your trolling. The Asstros are the embarrassment to all of baseball. The Mockery will be fun for the fans.

  7. perhaps there is s way…not sure of the exact law but wouldn’t the parties involved in the cheating have committed felony fraud? get the DA involved or DOJ or whatever branch that handles such crimes to investigate and charge every player/management.

    The public was defrauded or victims of a con game or ?? If any other business had similar antics occur the public would be protected by the legal system. How would tjis be different? I understand there is the anti-trust protection for MLB, however, that shouldn’t protect the league employees from criminal charges….players in various sports have been arrested for physical acts soooo….?

  8. Nothing fans can do to express disgust with the cowardice of MLB, EXCEPT boycott games wherever the cheating Astros play.

  9. Granting immunity gave the MLB (Commissioner) the ability to directly corroborate evidence gathered during its “investigation” while simultaneously not being able to touch the players. That’s why we are hearing, “The MLB has made its decision….the MLB has made its decision….no further comment…” As pathetic as it is, its not surprising. But I am sure that Baseball fans attending upcoming Astros games will let these players know just what we, regardless of team affiliation, think of the Astros’ skewed abilities, undeniably fraudulent season “wins” and world series “championship.” Disgusting…..

  10. I understand the immunity part, but am still disgusted by it, especially when I watch players like that A-hole Altuve.

    • Manfred is pathetic and weak. He has done more damage to the credibility of MLB than the cheaters themselves did. Manfred has sanctioned and institutionalized cheating. He has proclaimed that it will not be penalized, and has therefore given his stamp of approval for all cheating by MLB players. And still no mention of how to prevent it in the future. Maybe he doesn’t want to prevent it. This immunity pronouncement surely promotes it. All MLB players will now be encouraged to cheat just play on a level field with the cheaters. This is how the steroid thing initially took off. Once you see that others are cheating the temptation to cheat increases exponentially just to compete with them. Manfred has ignited a spark that will turn into a wildfire. Kennesaw “Mountain” Landis is rolling in his grave. Is this all about Manfred being too gutless to take on the players union? Sometimes you have to man up and just do the right thing. Fans are ultimately the ones who pay the bills. I can’t speak for all of them. But my team just got hosed out of all least one championship title. And I’m not happy about it. The current position of Manfred leads me to believe that it is highly likely that it could happen again.

  11. This is pure bulls*** they should be held accountable for this your liberal reply to their actions makes me sick you should be voted out as commissioner what in the world are you thinking just because some player is on a different team doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be held accountable. now do your job and go after them.

  12. Well to be honest, because of all this, I would not be surprised if opposing pitchers do a little ‘brush back ‘ to Astro players when they are in batter’s box in the up and coming season.

    • Players need to verbally and physically abuse them all year and fans across baseball need to let them have it and scare the s**t out of them on the streets. Hopefully some hotel employees give them food poisoning too. The employees in Frisco do it to dodger players and they don’t even deserve it so I don’t see the issue for hotels across the US to do it to Astro players

  13. I don’t get it. If you willingly and knowingly participated in cheating it’s OK? If you admit no wrongdoing and show no remorse for it, and even lie to cover it up, that’s OK? It’s different for a whistleblower like Fliers, who comes forward and exposes cheating, without engaging in it himself. I definitely give him immunity. But for the rest, it’s a get out of jail free card that will reverberate throughout MLB. Manfred has spread a strong statement to MLB players..It’s OK to cheat. There will be no repercussions. Landis did it a little differently with the Black Sox. They were banned for life, even marginal guys like Joe Jackson who was never proven to have participated. Manfred is dead wrong, and incredibly weak. His inaction in punishing cheaters is more damaging than the cheating itself. He has institutionalized and sanctioned cheating.

  14. this is for the baseball world , the Astros & Red Sox should be stripped of their. world titles plain and simple , he did his investigation and found what they did was against what baseball stand for , that’s B’s that they can keep their titles for cheating , what dose that say about the commish and the owners , you all are fony , ppl should stop paying all that money to go to y’all’s games

  15. It’s too bad that we don’t have a commissioner named Kenesaw “Mountain” Landis. Only one word would be changed in that famous movie line, “HOUSTON, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM”!!!

  16. They are claiming they didn’t know it was cheating? Now they are guilty of being the dumbest players in any sport

  17. As a lifetime Dodger/Baseball Fan, I am appalled that the Commissioner would set up a deal with the Devils who cheated in the 2017 World Series. To leave the Astros as the 2017 American League Champions, the 2017 American League West Division Champions and the 2017 MLB World Champions is an insult to ALL MLB fans! Vacate those championships with the asterisk * that states Championships vacated because of cheating by the Houston Astros. That is a minimum to protect the integrity of our National Pastisme. Shame on this cowardly action by the Commish allowing the Astros’ Championships to stand as is. I have lost faith in the sanctity and honesty of the MLB!
    I;m sure many more feel the same. If the Red Sox are found guilty of such cheating in the 2018 Championships. they should also have their titles also vacated at the least. The Commissioner is a disgrace to the Owners who hire him to “protect” the integrity of the game. A Federal Investigfation in needed to protect the integrity of our National Pastime.

  18. A sad day for baseball
    Going up in sports all my life, you appreciate MLB,NBA,NFL,NHL.
    But things like this, consequences need to be swift and decisive. If baseball let’s this go without penalty the impact of the future of baseball will be tarnished. Speaking for myself, a huge fan of baseball. The biggest stain is that this was done to a team on a year where the most famous icon and ambassador for baseball was ending his career. Talking about Vin Scully. A perfect ending and great story for baseball and then this shameful act selfishness.
    A real slap in the face to the fans, who without them their will be no game without them .
    Shame

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