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#21 PDX Twin

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:30 AM

 

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.

It's great to get out of the cellar ... as long as you bring something with you.


#22 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:44 AM

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.
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#23 bighat

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 01:10 PM

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.


#24 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 01:44 PM

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


#25 Captain18s

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 03:07 PM

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

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#26 BrianTrottier

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Posted 17 January 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.

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#27 Thrylos

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:05 PM

Tangential, but I would have loved it, if the STaints got the same treatment back then when they stole a Superbowl from the Vikings.

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#28 Nine of twelve

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 05:32 PM

 

 I can't see how someone can argue that this is worse for the game than steroids were.

 

I caught a bit of an interview with a player or former player, don't know who, on the SirusXM MLB channel the other day. He stated that the advantage gained by knowing which pitch was coming during half the games of a season is far greater than the advantage gained by using PED's.


#29 Rosterman

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 06:04 PM

I worked in football tracking, graphing plays throughout the first half of the game, then trying to predict some moves in the second half. Keeping a file to look at again if you play that team.

 

In baseball, some people have always tried to steal signs. I thought it got pretty difficult when a team had decided to use up to five "tells" in a game to reflect what the sign structure wa for that inning. A sign that the sign following will tell you when the next sign is comng (first, second or third). You always had the guy in centerfield with the hat or glasses. Always the coach on the top of the dugout steps. Looking for that one-up easy that might make a game easier. Now you have after-the-game video of every pitch and every swing and people who have a job charting the whole mess and figuring out odds of throw and swing. That it was reduced to banging on a trashcan lid is beyond my comprehension. But, yes...it has to be addressed. 

 

People will push for advantage, especially when money and fame and glory is involved, or so it seems. Like someone said, we reward people who have served out suspensions, giving them a second (and maybe even third) chance to continue to score a payday. The question always is, does the organization get to suffer when a play goes under suspension, yes. We saw it with the Twins at the tail end of 2019. Should a team suffer that they don't have their act together monitoring their players? I would say yes. With so many people eligible and wanting, one mistake might be enoygh to be a career ender. You learn by punishent, or suppose we are told, and having to make changes to your life and fighting the stigma for the rest of your life.

 

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#30 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 06:11 PM

 

I caught a bit of an interview with a player or former player, don't know who, on the SirusXM MLB channel the other day. He stated that the advantage gained by knowing which pitch was coming during half the games of a season is far greater than the advantage gained by using PED's.

I totally believe that, as Barry Bonds didn't PED his way into plate discipline. He had that from day one, which is what made a roided-up Bonds so damned devastating as a player.

 

Now imagine what Barry Bonds would have looked like as a more nimble, more athletic, slightly weaker player who knows what pitch is coming. He already had great discipline, god only knows what he would have been like had he known what the pitcher was going to throw every time.

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#31 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 06:22 PM

Yeah it's not comparable.
Knowing what pitch is coming is multiple times more of an advantage than PED's, it's not even close, IMO.
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#32 Sconnie

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 06:41 PM

Yeah it's not comparable.
Knowing what pitch is coming is multiple times more of an advantage than PED's, it's not even close, IMO.

per play, sure.... increased endurance can improve performance via improved ability to practice over longer periods more frequently.

I’m with you though, cheating increases WPA immensely

#33 DannySD

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 06:46 PM

MLB could (mostly) prevent it by announcing anyone caught doing it in the future will be banned for life. 

 

Juventus was stripped of two titles and relegated, along with their GM being banned for life. MLB can't relegate the Astros to AAA obviously, but they could give them a huge fine and prevent them from going to the postseason for a couple years, which would effectively force them to trade and rebuild. 

 


#34 cmoss84

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 08:07 PM

I totally believe that, as Barry Bonds didn't PED his way into plate discipline. He had that from day one, which is what made a roided-up Bonds so damned devastating as a player.

Now imagine what Barry Bonds would have looked like as a more nimble, more athletic, slightly weaker player who knows what pitch is coming. He already had great discipline, god only knows what he would have been like had he known what the pitcher was going to throw every time.

On the flipside...and a silver lining moment for myself...I took a second to reflect on how good Maddux, Pedro, Mussina etc. were. They were facing roided up batters who knew the pitch that was coming.
I played college ball and pitched ("pitched"). Those hitters were frightening. Cannot imagine the best hitter beefcakes knowing your every move. I'd pee on the mound.
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#35 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 09:26 PM

 

MLB could (mostly) prevent it by announcing anyone caught doing it in the future will be banned for life. 

 

Juventus was stripped of two titles and relegated, along with their GM being banned for life. MLB can't relegate the Astros to AAA obviously, but they could give them a huge fine and prevent them from going to the postseason for a couple years, which would effectively force them to trade and rebuild. 

Professional sports do not, and should not, operate like the jackassery that is the NCAA (literally the worst sports organization in the world, even surpassing FIFA and the NFL).

 

Lifetime bans aren't necessary and set a bar so high that any nuance is lost should later, more ambiguous, situations arise.

 

One year is fine as a first offense because, in the case of Lunhow and Hinch, it's going to end up being a lot more than that. Just like everyone who follows. If you get caught cheating, lose a year, and are fired, you're not going to hop right back into the same position you left. It's going to be a long, slow crawl back through the ranks, if you ever make it back at all.

 

And that's enough, isn't it? The point is to stop this behavior and if MLB can lop someone off at the knees for half of their career with a simple one year suspension, what more is needed?

 

If managers and GMs realize that if their team is caught cheating (even if they don't condone it, a la Hinch), they'll basically lose their career for a decade or more. What more do you need to do to stop that kind of behavior? Managers and GMs are now on notice that they're basically ****ed if they let this kind of thing happen under their watch, which is plenty enough to keep them in line because people in baseball love baseball and will do whatever it takes to stay there.

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#36 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 09:43 PM

Professional sports do not, and should not, operate like the jackassery that is the NCAA (literally the worst sports organization in the world, even surpassing FIFA and the NFL).

Lifetime bans aren't necessary and set a bar so high that any nuance is lost should later, more ambiguous, situations arise.

One year is fine as a first offense because, in the case of Lunhow and Hinch, it's going to end up being a lot more than that. Just like everyone who follows. If you get caught cheating, lose a year, and are fired, you're not going to hop right back into the same position you left. It's going to be a long, slow crawl back through the ranks, if you ever make it back at all.

And that's enough, isn't it? The point is to stop this behavior and if MLB can lop someone off at the knees for half of their career with a simple one year suspension, what more is needed?

If managers and GMs realize that if their team is caught cheating (even if they don't condone it, a la Hinch), they'll basically lose their career for a decade or more. What more do you need to do to stop that kind of behavior? Managers and GMs are now on notice that they're basically ****ed if they let this kind of thing happen under their watch, which is plenty enough to keep them in line because people in baseball love baseball and will do whatever it takes to stay there.

You are way more optimistic than I am that these two won't just slide right back in somewhere after a year.

And, none of this speaks to any punishment for the players. I personally don't understand why the players are getting off scot free.
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#37 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 09:55 PM

 

You are way more optimistic than I am that these two won't just slide right back in somewhere after a year.

And, none of this speaks to any punishment for the players. I personally don't understand why the players are getting off scot free.

I really dislike that the players are getting off with no punishment but acknowledge why it happened.

 

Thankfully, Manfred got out in front of this a few years ago by saying "teams and their management will be punished for the infractions of their players" or something of that ilk. At least he thought all of this out a bit because punishing players opens up a giant can of worms with the MLBPA.

 

Sure, Lunhow and Hinch will get back into baseball, but it won't be at the positions they previously held and it will be reluctantly. Ultimately, they may return to the positions they previously held but that will take years and each will have to start over at a much lower level, which is a pretty massive penalty.

 

Say you're senior management in a company. If you know that if you cheat and someone catches you, you will be unemployed for a year, then spend the next 5+ years slowly working your way back to seniority, all the while having the taint of what you did hanging over you, would you do it?

 

My guess is that the answer to the question is "hard no", especially given just how little advantage that cheating gave you in the first place.

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#38 DannySD

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 10:12 AM

I'd be willing to bet the Pete Rose lifetime ban has prevented a whole bunch of managers from betting on baseball. I see your point because obviously things come up later and I think Rose should be forgiven at this point, but: effective. 

 

Professional sports do not, and should not, operate like the jackassery that is the NCAA (literally the worst sports organization in the world, even surpassing FIFA and the NFL).

 

Lifetime bans aren't necessary and set a bar so high that any nuance is lost should later, more ambiguous, situations arise.

 


#39 BrianTrottier

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 10:26 AM

 

I caught a bit of an interview with a player or former player, don't know who, on the SirusXM MLB channel the other day. He stated that the advantage gained by knowing which pitch was coming during half the games of a season is far greater than the advantage gained by using PED's.

That's interesting. Do you recall which player it was? That type of statement strikes me as possibly coming from the same place as "I played the game, so take your spin rates and launch angles and shove it." Does he really know that's the case, based only on his lived experience? Does he understand the effects different types of PEDs have on the human body? Without that understanding isn't he just prognosticating like the rest of us? Maybe he does, and I'm certainly no expert.

 

In any case, I was just doing some looking on baseball reference for 2017 home/road splits for Altuve, Bregman, andMarwin (he put up 4+ wins that year and is on our team now, so why not?), plus Houston as a whole, and here are some home/road splits from 2017 listed in order of GP/AB/BA/OBP/SLG/OPS. It's not like this is a systematic analysis, but I think it's helpful to frame the problem.

 

Altuve home: 78 gp / 296 ab /.311 ba /.371 obp /.463 slg / .834 ops

Altuve away: 75/294/.381/.449/.633/1.081

Altuve's numbers were quite a bit better on the road that year than at home.

 

Bregman home: 76/266/.278/.343/.444/.787

Bregman away: 79/290/.290/.360/.503/.863

Bregman's numbers were also better on the road than at home.

 

Marwin home: 70/234/.282/.339/.543/.881

Marwin away: 64/221/.326/.416/.516/.932

Marwin also performed better on the road that season.

 

Collectively, the 2017 Astros as a team produced the following splits:

 

home: .279 avg/ .340 obp/ .472 slg/ .812 ops

away: .284 avg/ .351 obp/.483 slg/ .834 ops

Numbers weren't dramatically different, but their road performance had a slight edge over this home games.

 

I'm sure there were plenty of key moments where the cheating resulted in a favorable outcome for Houston than if it wasn't deployed, so don't take this as me saying that it had no impact. All I'm saying is that maybe it isn't so clear that this type of cheating is magnitudes more advantageous than PEDs. It's really hard to say what the exact impact of either was on terms of actual outcomes. We don't have counterfactuals to observe, so we have to rely on our own wits when thinking about what would've happened had the sign stealing (or PED use) not occurred.

 

But I feel pretty comfortable saying that Brady Anderson would not have hit 50 home runs (24% of his career total) in 1996 if he was not juicing. I don't feel comfortable saying that the Astros wouldn't be WS champs in 2017 if they had not stolen signs. It's probably less likely that they would have been, but who knows?

 

But the argument in the original article is that this scandal is the most impactful on the game in history. I think that it's too early to say that this has had a larger impact on the game than PEDs, though. Maybe this scandal will lead to a lot of fans turning away, which we know that the PED scandal did. We know guys like Ken Caminiti have died from their PED use. We know records were broken, and congressional hearings were held. People still get busted for PEDs, and the issue reaches into all levels of professional baseball. Can the same be said for using video feeds to steal signs (that's an honest question)? Finally, I am adamant that the codified racism of early MLB is the largest scandal in the history of the game. Neither PED use nor using technology for sign stealing touches that, IMO.

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#40 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 11:25 AM

That's interesting. Do you recall which player it was? That type of statement strikes me as possibly coming from the same place as "I played the game, so take your spin rates and launch angles and shove it." Does he really know that's the case, based only on his lived experience? Does he understand the effects different types of PEDs have on the human body? Without that understanding isn't he just prognosticating like the rest of us? Maybe he does, and I'm certainly no expert.

In any case, I was just doing some looking on baseball reference for 2017 home/road splits for Altuve, Bregman, and Marwin (he put up 4+ wins that year and is on our team now, so why not?), plus Houston as a whole, and here are some home/road splits from 2017 listed in order of GP/AB/BA/OBP/SLG/OPS. It's not like this is a systematic analysis, but I think it's helpful to frame the problem.

Altuve home: 78 gp / 296 ab /.311 ba /.371 obp /.463 slg / .834 ops
Altuve away: 75/294/.381/.449/.633/1.081
Altuve's numbers were quite a bit better on the road that year than at home.

Bregman home: 76/266/.278/.343/.444/.787
Bregman away: 79/290/.290/.360/.503/.863
Bregman's numbers were also better on the road than at home.

Marwin home: 70/234/.282/.339/.543/.881
Marwin away: 64/221/.326/.416/.516/.932
Marwin also performed better on the road that season.

Collectively, the 2017 Astros as a team produced the following splits:

home: .279 avg/ .340 obp/ .472 slg/ .812 ops
away: .284 avg/ .351 obp/.483 slg/ .834 ops
Numbers weren't dramatically different, but their road performance had a slight edge over this home games.

I'm sure there were plenty of key moments where the cheating resulted in a favorable outcome for Houston than if it wasn't deployed, so don't take this as me saying that it had no impact. All I'm saying is that maybe it isn't so clear that this type of cheating is magnitudes more advantageous than PEDs. It's really hard to say what the exact impact of either was on terms of actual outcomes. We don't have counterfactuals to observe, so we have to rely on our own wits when thinking about what would've happened had the sign stealing (or PED use) not occurred.

But I feel pretty comfortable saying that Brady Anderson would not have hit 50 home runs (24% of his career total) in 1996 if he was not juicing. I don't feel comfortable saying that the Astros wouldn't be WS champs in 2017 if they had not stolen signs. It's probably less likely that they would have been, but who knows?

But the argument in the original article is that this scandal is the most impactful on the game in history. I think that it's too early to say that this has had a larger impact on the game than PEDs, though. Maybe this scandal will lead to a lot of fans turning away, which we know that the PED scandal did. We know guys like Ken Caminiti have died from their PED use. We know records were broken, and congressional hearings were held. People still get busted for PEDs, and the issue reaches into all levels of professional baseball. Can the same be said for using video feeds to steal signs (that's an honest question)? Finally, I am adamant that the codified racism of early MLB is the largest scandal in the history of the game. Neither PED use nor using technology for sign stealing touches that, IMO.


What were their home/ road splits in the 2017 postseason?
I don't see why they'd bother doing it in the regular season.