BY BRANDON YOUNAN
During the 2017 season, the Astros won 101 games and the World Series by using technology to cheat. It is believed they continued to do so the next few seasons.
In an interview with The Athletic in November 2019, former Astros pitcher, Mike Fiers explained the team used a camera in the outfield to capture signs from opposing catchers and relayed them to hitters in various ways.
Since then, the Astros have been fined $5 million – the largest amount possible in the MLB constitution – forced to forfeit their first and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021, as well as handing down a one-year suspension to field manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. Those two were eventually fired.
The investigation also led to the firing of Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora and New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran for their roles in the cheating scandal with the Astros.
Many have called for the title to be stripped, and the Los Angeles City Council has voted to urge the league to give the title to the Dodgers. That simply won’t happen. No professional sports team in America has ever been stripped of a title and the MLB isn’t going to start now.
The punishment handed down was enough to strip the team of future assets, force the team to reset its team-building process by relieving the general manager of their duties and ensuring the team lost a well-respected member of the clubhouse in AJ Hinch.
Many have requested players be punished for the scandal, but that would only prevent those involved to cooperate with the MLB during this investigation and force the MLB Players Association to enter the picture.
At the end of the day, the Houston Astros’ reputation has been tarnished, players are known as cheaters and they no longer have ties to those who implemented the cheating.
For a scandal with such importance to the integrity of baseball, commissioner Rob Manfred was dealt a tough hand and he played it exceptionally well. He did all that he felt was necessary for continued integrity in the game of baseball, and if he believes that this specific punishment was enough to protect the league, then so should fans.
Nope, needs to be more
BY MITCH KAMINSKI
The Houston Astros should receive a harsher punishment for using technology to illegally steal signs. If a player obtains the knowledge of what is being thrown, it damages the integrity of the game.
Getting a hit in the major leagues is one of the hardest things to do in professional sports. Knowing what pitch is going to be thrown provides a massive advantage to the batter.
Relief pitcher Steve Cishek spoke at the Chicago White Sox annual fan convention, Soxfest, and said he would rather face a player on steroids than one who knows what he is throwing next.
Players grind it out in the minors to get a chance in the majors. By cheating, the Astros were potentially preventing players who play the game the right way from making it to the major leagues.
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Mike Clevenger described the situation well in an interview with Momentum stating he lived with his mother until he reached the big leagues. He believes the Astros could have shortened his career by knowing what he throwing.
Through cheating, the Astros are hypothetically taking millions of dollars and food off other players’ tables. If the commissioner wants to protect the sanctity of baseball, it’s not by fining a team a mere $5 million when the organization is worth billions. Something bigger should occur such as the loss of international signing bonus money.
Meanwhile, the Astros players are walking around with the same ring on their finger and the same contract. Aaron Judge got robbed of an MVP because Jose Altuve cheated. The Dodgers and Yankees got robbed of a fair chance to win the World Series because the Astros cheated.
The most frustrating part of the situation is that lineup is talented enough to do damage without resorting to cheating. But now the players involved should have to pay for their mistakes, not just the coaches and front office figures.