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Recent Blogs


Buzz on Baseball's Worst Scandal in Decades

In early November Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers shocked the baseball world by revealing that his former team had been cheating. The Houston Astros electronically stole signs during the 2017 season. Since that day, this scandal has grown to something Pete Rose and Joe Jackson would be afraid of involvement in. Unpacking it all brings forth a plethora of feelings.
Image courtesy of © Camille Fine-USA TODAY Sports
Looking at the totality of this situation, I simply can’t come to any conclusion other than this being the most impactful scandal in the history of Major League Baseball. The White Sox fixed a World Series game in 1919 for some additional funds. Pete Rose bet on his own team. Steroids ran rampant through the sport and everyone benefited. This though, this is different.

In an effort to stay organized, let’s break it down in to small pieces:

On sign stealing

I have zero problem with sign stealing in general. Looking in to see what the catcher is putting down and relaying that to hitters is a worthwhile practice. Changing up looks or going with different identifiers is something battery mates can do to combat this. When electronic devices are involved however, all the nuance is removed, and things are taken to an unfair level. Unequivocally, cheating.

On Mike Fiers
The Houston Astros cheated, plain and simple. Fiers was part of this and he blew it up by giving quotes to The Athletic, but he was still a beneficiary. Despite taking two years to come public with it, Trevor Bauer suggests Fiers (among others) had long been looking for baseball to take a greater stance. I still don't believe that absolves Fiers from wrongdoing or makes him a hero, but noting his claims were falling on deaf ears, he took charge. There's a substantial amount of courage in that, and my stance on his decision has done nearly a 180 in less than 24 hours.

On the fallout

We now have watched as three different managers and a general manager all lost their jobs. Two of them definitely feel a level of hurt that won’t soon go away. A.J. Hinch and Jeff Lunhow deserved what they got but are the farthest from the transgressions. Hinch needed to escalate the issues, and Lunhow trusted a manager that didn’t do enough. Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran acted as ringleaders of sorts. The former looks the worst in all of this, while the latter sacrificed a career of integrity for fleeting moments of poor decision-making. None of the punishments are unjustified, but it’s certainly unfortunate the rest of those who were on the field with Beltran are currently in the clear.

On that character clause

If there’s a day to examine the silliness of enshrinement into Cooperstown, it may be when things like this happen. More than any other sport, history matters in baseball. As Jayson Stark so perfectly put it, “These things happened. They. All. Happened. All of them!” It’s why stripping the Astros' World Series title is nonsensical, and it’s why Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rose, and Jackson all belong in The Hall. Each of these feats happened, no matter what black eye may be tied to them. The sport grows, evolves, and is better for its forward-thinking decisions, but retroactive decision-making isn’t how a museum works. We can't erase what the Astros did, but there's certainly something to be learned from it.

On what’s blowing up

We haven’t yet seen the end of this. Beltran “stepping down” as he did today was the next step in this ongoing saga. It appears someone with inside information is running rampant on the extent of what Houston was actually doing. Initially claiming to be a niece of Beltran, the account has now been suggested to be a burner for a player. The validity in the claims is backed by having nailed the Beltran hire, and subsequently his "firing." Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve have both been named directly, and being tied to electronic devices that line up with weird behavior following a World Series win is hardly a good look. An active player being suspended for this before all the investigating is done would not be a surprise. You can bet that the Astros will be public enemy number one in any opposing ballpark, and the production of those players will be highly scrutinized going forward.


*Since reported this is not Beltran's niece, but potentially someone with inside info.

On what's next

Do we really even have a clue at this point? Following the initial punishment of the Astros, Major League Baseball asked all clubs not to comment. That sort of recommendation from Rob Manfred leaves a can of worms spilling out with the lid nowhere in sight. Other teams have been implicated, more players have been named, and while it's the Astros who have currently taken the fall (as they should, and with Boston pending), the sport has a massive rain cloud hovering and the only question is when it dumps. The difficulty with investigation regarding this sort of thing is how far do you go? Where do you stop digging? I think we've now embarked into a territory where "We'll never know" is staunchly met by "It will never be enough."
On who wins and loses

We all do, for both. It must be that way, right? This offseason has created a brushfire that is burning brighter than the league has ever seen. Baseball has long desired to be better than the kid-brother of the NFL or NBA. We may not have gotten there in the most desirable way, but welcome to the most exciting offseason ever. On the flip side, we aren’t talking about the mega deals being signed, who is the World Series favorite, or how well positioned the Minnesota Twins may be in the AL Central. The game gets a bit cleaner when these things happen, but how long do we wonder if everything isn’t actually tainted?

We won't hear Justin Verlander chime in on this one. He's often been quick to police those around the game, but despite currently being employed by the Astros, he was also there and present for that ring in 2017. Other pitchers though, and in this instance one from the Twins, can come to a very logical perspective.



In closing, I think it’s hard to back away from this and see it as anything but a monumental moment in baseball’s lifecycle. This isn’t about sign-stealing, and it isn’t even about the Houston Astros. This is about competition, winning, and what we’ll do to achieve it, even more so when money is involved. The bombs will eventually cease to be dropped, but when will the smoke clear?

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54 Comments

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theBOMisthebomb
Jan 16 2020 09:18 PM
Man, I hope you are the prosecutor when I go on a crime spree. “These things happened. They. All. Happened. All of them!” It’s why stripping the Astros' World Series title is nonsensical, and it’s why Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rose, and Jackson all belong in The Hall." Why punish the guilty and strip away their ill-gotten gains? It's called justice and making things things right. The Astros are low down dirty cheaters and deserve no titles and no rewards. Why is it ok to cheat, get rewarded with a World Series championship, then get a slap on the wrist a few years later? It isn't. The Astros must not be allowed to keep their title. If they do it threatens the integrity of the game. What a joke. Yes, your Honor I robbed that bank. These things happened. Why don't you give me a slap on the wrist and let me keep my dirty money and freedom. That's basically what has happened so far with the Astros. If a student cheats on a test and gets caught do they get to keep their grade? No. They are given an F and punished. I will never recognize the Astros as 2017 champions. I don't understand the logic of not dropping the hammer on the Astros and stripping their title. Yes, it happened. So what. It's time for the Astros to make restitution. I am hopping mad and want heads to roll for real. Take the title away.
    • birdwatcher, Highabove, SarasotaBill and 11 others like this

This is the steroid crisis of the analytical era.Camera's on everything means there is no hiding and video of every second.First it was a breakthrough that let savvy teams exploit the advantage and now it has evolved, as things usually do, to also offer a new way to cheat.

 

It seems early on it was a kinda a caveman approach to utilizing the cheat.Dude in the hallway says off speed, bang on a trash can or whistle, effective but pretty traceable if noticed.If wearable tech is true that is the next evolution and I don't know how it could be proved or noticed. 

 

 

 

We have come to point with technology what will game evolve into because video taping and real time communication is going to make it impossible to to monitor. What is to pervent even single player from hiring people to communicating this information to him when he's at bat during a game. All it would take wifi transmitter to cell phone to one in the crowd to receive images off in field camera's and that person again communicating it to a player via cell phone again that would alert him to the pitch he's receiving. Because of this we have had slowing of the game to try to just pervent sign stealing. Is it that we need to add more technology so we get away from physical form of communication or is that we ban baseball from using any video replay which i find almost impossible in this day with current technology. I have to believe if the game is going to continue we need to come to some form ethical behavior that can't be crossed. The under lying problem is money now involved in the game and attitude win at all costs even when you know youre cheating. I believe this has been not limited to to Boston and Houston and i am willing to bet this has been done by number of other clubs over the years with some sort of cheating. Even clubs may have not know of cheating but it was done by individual players getting around the rules because amount of money involved for success may have paid off in great returns. Just like we had with drugs and steroids era the returns were way more than costs.

Baseball is going to need to sit down as industry work out how they can keep integrity of the game. This is just not management and owners but it also includes the players and the agents, and also the media in coming up with plan to restore the faith in the game or it will die as sport and business because of this drive to win at all costs. Yes we need to compete but it has to be done fairly and follow set of rules the players,ownership and fans all can agree upon. To do this i think that penalties have to be very strict and almost like death sentence for offending parties this includes players, managenent, and owners. Like if your caught cheating finds strips of both of accomplishments as welll as money you have made. For players there would be automatic life bans and fines that represent percentage of career earnings from the game. Management same again lifetime ban and significant fines to be paid. Ownership this should be special here with large fines and lifetime bans with ultimate punishment that they have to sell club for what they purchased the club for. All these measures seem high but if punishment is not set high there will be no policing by various clubs with this risks are so high that nobody would want to even think about cheating and each of these groups would be monitoring each other because of risk of punishment. These are my thoughts on this latest cheating scandal this is in my mind only way to clean this game up in the future.

    • jbissell likes this
Photo
Lasorda_This_Out
Jan 16 2020 10:51 PM

Let me toss this briquet into the inferno. Even prior to this scandal, I began to feel that something is amiss...something is....not healthy? about the visual optics of MLB telecasts. Probably since the mid 60's, the use of the center field TV camera angle employing an ginormous telephoto lens to frame the pitcher and batters box at the start of EVERY pitch is simply taken for granted and what we comfortably expect to see as we watch a game? OK...when introduced and full disclosure, I'm old enough to remember, that TV shot was AMAZING! Finally, we could actually SEE movement on the pitch and where it crossed the plate! Umpires...we SEE your missed call!

Now we have a chyron box that shows the STRIKE ZONE!. Bad call! 

All fine and good...up to a point.

Throughout the entire history of baseball, centerfield seats were the butt joke of suckers who were cheap and never forked over the $$ for infield seats. Nobody wanted to watch a MLB in centerfield..who does now unless you carry a portable Hubble Telescope?

VIP's and "beautiful" people sat directly behind home plate...the Ultimate ticket!

Or behind the dugouts....woo hoo, close to the action!

 

Cut to the chase...

Could MLB Media/ESPN/Regional Fox Sports Networks etc, experiment ( emphasis on experiment) with broadcasting select games using multiple cameras from many angles as seen by the fans in attendance of a game....no center field "live" shot unless it factors into a play significantly. Show the game as the FANS in attendance see?

From behind the plate...along the lines...from the 3rd deck?

I'm certain the reaction would be hugely negative but thats to be expected after 50+ years addicted to the same center field camera view?

 

Time for MLB to present this most glorious game from a new, fresh (jarring?) perspective? Bonus...no cameras always showing catcher signs....hmmmm????

 

Change is never easy or comfortable..but with the sad events of the last week, maybe the time is now to take a bold, new, 2020 look at how MLB is presented electronically?

 

 

 

    • jbissell, woolywoolhouse and Doctor Wu like this
Photo
SarasotaBill
Jan 17 2020 04:06 AM

 

Man, I hope you are the prosecutor when I go on a crime spree. “These things happened. They. All. Happened. All of them!” It’s why stripping the Astros' World Series title is nonsensical, and it’s why Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rose, and Jackson all belong in The Hall." Why punish the guilty and strip away their ill-gotten gains? It's called justice and making things things right. The Astros are low down dirty cheaters and deserve no titles and no rewards. Why is it ok to cheat, get rewarded with a World Series championship, then get a slap on the wrist a few years later? It isn't. The Astros must not be allowed to keep their title. If they do it threatens the integrity of the game. What a joke. Yes, your Honor I robbed that bank. These things happened. Why don't you give me a slap on the wrist and let me keep my dirty money and freedom. That's basically what has happened so far with the Astros. If a student cheats on a test and gets caught do they get to keep their grade? No. They are given an F and punished. I will never recognize the Astros as 2017 champions. I don't understand the logic of not dropping the hammer on the Astros and stripping their title. Yes, it happened. So what. It's time for the Astros to make restitution. I am hopping mad and want heads to roll for real. Take the title away.

 

The World Series should be vacated. Illegal acts should not be awarded. The only reason this wasn't done is because the commissioner reports to the owners. 

 

Fiers should be praised by every baseball fan. Fiers could have been anonymous but he was willing to take the heat. An ESPN baseball announcer thought Fiers was wrong in coming public. She is wrong. Cheating is wrong. Cora and other Astro cheaters unfairly stained everyone in that dugout. Obviously Hinch, Fiers, and probably others were repulsed by the cheaters but sport culture and peer pressure are hard to overcome (not justifying their no-action during the cheating time period).  

    • jbissell, bighat, DannySD and 1 other like this
Photo
Doctor Gast
Jan 17 2020 05:39 AM

There should be wide spread investigation w/ incentive for player to come forward & severe punishment for all who lie & cheat in this matter. Especially in PS.

    • SarasotaBill and Captain18s like this

Those titles should 100% be vacated. There is iron-clad proof that they cheated not only during the season, but during the World Series itself.

 

The 2017 World Series should read "Title vacated-cheating," and I am guessing the Red Sox did the same thing. 

 

The Astros should not be able to proudly display a giant World Series banner for all of eternity in their stadium. It's a joke. Stark's column was terrible and was roundly bashed in the comments as well. 

    • SarasotaBill, jbissell, bighat and 2 others like this

Until the penalty is greater than the reward, there really is no reason to stop trying to get away with whatever you can. Polanco signed a extension after his suspension, Nelson Cruz has went on to make 10's of millions of dollars, Pineda signed a 20 million dollar contract while on suspension.

Take away they teams championships and the teams still got the profits from the championship doesn't mean anything.

    • Danchat, Ted Schwerzler, cmoss84 and 2 others like this

 

 

Let me toss this briquet into the inferno. Even prior to this scandal, I began to feel that something is amiss...something is....not healthy? about the visual optics of MLB telecasts. Probably since the mid 60's, the use of the center field TV camera angle employing an ginormous telephoto lens to frame the pitcher and batters box at the start of EVERY pitch is simply taken for granted and what we comfortably expect to see as we watch a game? OK...when introduced and full disclosure, I'm old enough to remember, that TV shot was AMAZING! Finally, we could actually SEE movement on the pitch and where it crossed the plate! Umpires...we SEE your missed call!

Now we have a chyron box that shows the STRIKE ZONE!. Bad call! 

All fine and good...up to a point.

Throughout the entire history of baseball, centerfield seats were the butt joke of suckers who were cheap and never forked over the $$ for infield seats. Nobody wanted to watch a MLB in centerfield..who does now unless you carry a portable Hubble Telescope?

VIP's and "beautiful" people sat directly behind home plate...the Ultimate ticket!

Or behind the dugouts....woo hoo, close to the action!

 

Cut to the chase...

Could MLB Media/ESPN/Regional Fox Sports Networks etc, experiment ( emphasis on experiment) with broadcasting select games using multiple cameras from many angles as seen by the fans in attendance of a game....no center field "live" shot unless it factors into a play significantly. Show the game as the FANS in attendance see?

From behind the plate...along the lines...from the 3rd deck?

I'm certain the reaction would be hugely negative but thats to be expected after 50+ years addicted to the same center field camera view?

 

Time for MLB to present this most glorious game from a new, fresh (jarring?) perspective? Bonus...no cameras always showing catcher signs....hmmmm????

 

Change is never easy or comfortable..but with the sad events of the last week, maybe the time is now to take a bold, new, 2020 look at how MLB is presented electronically?

In a time were baseball is having a hard time keeping fans interested they are going to make the game even harder or less entertaining for the fans? That isn't happening.

They need to to penalize the teams with money and draft picks and change the penalty going forward to something that will actually deter the teams from cheating.

And lots of people want to give the players a break, they were the ones cheating, if you really want to hurt the astros and others, ban the players like they do for steroids.
 

    • jbissell and KFEY93 like this
Pete Rose bet on his team to win. Shoeless Joe played extremely well in the World Series in 1919. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were never suspended, and drug testing wasn’t even done until 2003. What the Astros and other teams did was clearly illegal, and should be treated similarly to steroid suspensions. I’m not saying for life: 3 of the best players on the Twins have got busted for drug use in the past, but have came back after a long suspension. The players need to be suspended for a bit. If the legends previously stated don’t make the Hall of Fame, I doubt Beltran and Altuve will have much of a shot in the future.
    • woolywoolhouse and cmoss84 like this

In yet another sign that Twitter is essentially a sewer, Scott Brosius's son tried to be a bomb thrower yesterday and stoke the flames by stating that Mike Trout was using steroids. He then deleted the Tweet or his account...I dont remember, but this cheating is a major mess that MLB needs to fix!

 

Anyone want to buy a 2011 Topps Update Jose Altuve RC for a dime? :-(

    • birdwatcher and Bomba2026 like this

Possible solutions going forward.1).Eliminate teams ability to review plays before issuing achallenge.The video feeds for this were an enabling feature for the cheating.2).Allow pitchers and catchers to communicate electronically.The example here is how NFL teams communicate to the QB from the sidelines.The advantage here is there would be no more signs to steal from the catcher.Disadvantage is the infielders would not know what was coming either.3).Longer term solution is to allow electronic communication to all players.Not sure how to prevent teams from eaves dropping on this communication.I think for football games, the NFL actually runs the electronic communications.4).Mandate a video delay from broadcaster of ~ 10 seconds.  

 

Under the current rules, what stops someone from sitting in CF with a binoculars and signalling the pitch with some object (hat, newspaper, etc).

    • Lasorda_This_Out likes this
Did that Fliers guy retire yet? I bet players hate him...anyway I don't think the Twins cheat because a Bomba is a Bomba and we never win the important games. I thought it was funny that Pete Rose said he at least did make his team cheat and just liked to bet $.
Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 17 2020 11:07 AM

 

I don't understand the logic of not dropping the hammer on the Astros and stripping their title. Yes, it happened. So what. It's time for the Astros to make restitution. I am hopping mad and want heads to roll for real. Take the title away.

I think if you somehow could make the players and team pay back their playoff shares, that's a concept I could get behind (that won't happen because of unions and the CBA). Taking away a piece of hardware though, and striking the win from the record books, is nothing but symbolic to me. Reggie Bush gave his Heisman back, and USC lost their wins and National Championship, but we all still know the results that took place. Vacating wins is a punishment only in the form of respect and honor. It holds weight, but it really doesn't impact anything.

    • SwainZag and Danchat like this
Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 17 2020 11:11 AM

 

Until the penalty is greater than the reward, there really is no reason to stop trying to get away with whatever you can. Polanco signed a extension after his suspension, Nelson Cruz has went on to make 10's of millions of dollars, Pineda signed a 20 million dollar contract while on suspension.

Take away they teams championships and the teams still got the profits from the championship doesn't mean anything.

This.

 

Chris Colabello and Nik Turley used PEDs because the extended MLB payday was better than they were ever going to get. Pineda did not use PEDs, but Polanco did and his talent is valuable enough that he's still coveted even after his suspension (though his deal does reflect lost wages).

 

I think the firing of managers and GM's will have those types on high alert for the rest of time. There won't be anymore blind eyes turned from them, because that's enough of a warning. For the players though, and believing that this isn't just a Houston thing, why would they stop? They'll just need to get better at not being caught.

    • cmoss84 and Tomj14 like this

 

We have come to point with technology what will game evolve into because video taping and real time communication is going to make it impossible to to monitor. What is to pervent even single player from hiring people to communicating this information to him when he's at bat during a game. All it would take wifi transmitter to cell phone to one in the crowd to receive images off in field camera's and that person again communicating it to a player via cell phone again that would alert him to the pitch he's receiving. Because of this we have had slowing of the game to try to just pervent sign stealing. Is it that we need to add more technology so we get away from physical form of communication or is that we ban baseball from using any video replay which i find almost impossible in this day with current technology. I have to believe if the game is going to continue we need to come to some form ethical behavior that can't be crossed. The under lying problem is money now involved in the game and attitude win at all costs even when you know youre cheating. I believe this has been not limited to to Boston and Houston and i am willing to bet this has been done by number of other clubs over the years with some sort of cheating. Even clubs may have not know of cheating but it was done by individual players getting around the rules because amount of money involved for success may have paid off in great returns. Just like we had with drugs and steroids era the returns were way more than costs.

Baseball is going to need to sit down as industry work out how they can keep integrity of the game. This is just not management and owners but it also includes the players and the agents, and also the media in coming up with plan to restore the faith in the game or it will die as sport and business because of this drive to win at all costs. Yes we need to compete but it has to be done fairly and follow set of rules the players,ownership and fans all can agree upon. To do this i think that penalties have to be very strict and almost like death sentence for offending parties this includes players, managenent, and owners. Like if your caught cheating finds strips of both of accomplishments as welll as money you have made. For players there would be automatic life bans and fines that represent percentage of career earnings from the game. Management same again lifetime ban and significant fines to be paid. Ownership this should be special here with large fines and lifetime bans with ultimate punishment that they have to sell club for what they purchased the club for. All these measures seem high but if punishment is not set high there will be no policing by various clubs with this risks are so high that nobody would want to even think about cheating and each of these groups would be monitoring each other because of risk of punishment. These are my thoughts on this latest cheating scandal this is in my mind only way to clean this game up in the future.

TL:DR

Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 17 2020 11:13 AM

 

If the legends previously stated don’t make the Hall of Fame, I doubt Beltran and Altuve will have much of a shot in the future.

As a strong supporter of Clemens and Bonds making The Hall, I think both Beltran and Altuve's cases will be clearer since the two former names should be inducted by then. The Hall of Fame is a Museum. Not including the best players to ever play the game because of what they did or didn't do isn't something writers should be weighing in on, and we're seeing that trend towards reality. Pete, Joe, Barry, Roger...all in!

Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 17 2020 11:14 AM

 

In yet another sign that Twitter is essentially a sewer, Scott Brosius's son tried to be a bomb thrower yesterday and stoke the flames by stating that Mike Trout was using steroids. He then deleted the Tweet or his account...I dont remember, but this cheating is a major mess that MLB needs to fix!

 

Anyone want to buy a 2011 Topps Update Jose Altuve RC for a dime? :-(

That was actually on Instagram, and he then came out today with a huge apology. There have been accusations previously lobbed at Trout, and I'd imagine it's because he's a big target.

 

I'll gladly take those updates as well!

Photo
Ted Schwerzler
Jan 17 2020 11:15 AM

 

4).Mandate a video delay from broadcaster of ~ 10 seconds.  

Can't remember where, or from whom I read it on Twitter yesterday, but a reporter did note that MLB has known about this sort of thing for a bit. They did institute a delay on some of the dugout communication once accusations of this sort of thing began coming up.

 

Possible solutions going forward.1).Eliminate teams ability to review plays before issuing achallenge.The video feeds for this were an enabling feature for the cheating.2).Allow pitchers and catchers to communicate electronically.The example here is how NFL teams communicate to the QB from the sidelines.The advantage here is there would be no more signs to steal from the catcher.Disadvantage is the infielders would not know what was coming either.3).Longer term solution is to allow electronic communication to all players.Not sure how to prevent teams from eaves dropping on this communication.I think for football games, the NFL actually runs the electronic communications.4).Mandate a video delay from broadcaster of ~ 10 seconds.  

 

Under the current rules, what stops someone from sitting in CF with a binoculars and signalling the pitch with some object (hat, newspaper, etc).

 

I like these solutions. The only one that would likely work for this season is #4. An alternative might be to blur out the catcher's signal as they do for "indecent" exposure on newscasts. That would keep Dick & Bert in the dark, which might actually be a good thing. :) Broadcasters of American football somehow manage to do the job without knowing what play is being called.

I think if you somehow could make the players and team pay back their playoff shares, that's a concept I could get behind (that won't happen because of unions and the CBA). Taking away a piece of hardware though, and striking the win from the record books, is nothing but symbolic to me. Reggie Bush gave his Heisman back, and USC lost their wins and National Championship, but we all still know the results that took place. Vacating wins is a punishment only in the form of respect and honor. It holds weight, but it really doesn't impact anything.


I don't agree.
I think pro athletes cherish their championship rings more than just about anything else they own. (The ones fortunate enough to have one.)

You start taking those back, I think you catch their attention, IMO.
    • birdwatcher likes this

One player using PEDs is completely different than an entire offense using video to determine pitch-selection. It's like robbing a 7-11 with a squirt gun vs. robbing the Federal Reserve with a tank. Anyone who's raving about PEDs to defend the Astros massive cheating conspiracy is completely off their rocker.

 

The team should be banned from competition for 2 years, but that won't happen because it'll violate something on the Players' Union side. But without a doubt, the 2017 title should be vacated, period. At least take their title and those banners, it's absolutely shameful and a disgrace to the sport of baseball.

Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Jan 17 2020 01:44 PM

wow... twitter blowing up with closeup shots of said buzzers... kind of funny actually. 

They cheated! Find the guilty parties and suspend them. Cheating also prohibits HOF consideration.

    • birdwatcher, DannySD and dex8425 like this
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BrianTrottier
Jan 17 2020 07:58 PM

I'll preface my comment by saying I'm glad MLB came down hard on the Astros.

ETA: I also believe this is very bad for the game, and has a much more negative impact than gambling.

 

Anyway, I can't see how this is more "impactful" than the steroids epidemic. That was/is magnitudes more widespread (from what we can tell given the available evidence), it's still ongoing, and it provided a benefit to juicers for all 162 games, not just the home games where they had a video feed in their own dugout. Some of the most historic seasons in baseball history have been written on steroid use. Using tech to steal signs still requires the players to execute, as does steroid use, but the physical/chemical makeup of the players themselves is not altered by the bang of a garbage can. Players have not died as a result of stealing signs, which cannot be said of PED use. I can't see how someone can argue that this is worse for the game than steroids were.

 

Also ETA: I don't see how you can argue that this is a more impactful scandal for the game than the racial segregation MLB was founded on. That excluded generations of would-be MLB greats, and exacerbated fissures in our society that we still have not overcome.

    • Melissa likes this

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