By Taylor Viles– 1851 Staff
Back in January, Major League Baseball (MLB) sent the Houston Astros their punishments for their role in 2017’s sign-stealing scandal, which lead to their 2017 World Series win. The controversy came forth after former Astros pitcher, Mike Fiers, sat down with known sportswriters from “The Athletic” and spilled the beans.
The MLB’s report detailed how the Astros used a television monitor to watch the catcher’s pitch sign. Once the signs had been decoded, a player would bang on a trash can to let the batter know what the next pitch would be. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred decided to place the blame on the Astros executives and manager. But, it was really the players and bench coach Alex Cora who were the masterminds and operators of the scandal according to the report.
How did the team get away with a cheating scheme that was so obnoxious? Keep in mind, this happened in 2017, Fiers’ interview wasn’t until after the end of the 2019 season. That’s two more seasons the Astros weren’t being looked at as a team that committed grand larceny.
One example of their thievery was with former pitcher Mike Bolsinger. The starter turned reliever is suing the Astros for essentially ending his MLB career after be- ing demoted following a rocky appearance against the Astros.
In the past few years, there have been new occurrences in the sport and fans have begun to question, “is baseball worth it anymore?” With rule changes such as adding a replay review, the game has slowed down significantly and in turn, boring any casual fan who doesn’t want to sit and watch a four-hour baseball game.
This incident with the Astros is becoming a breaking point. However harsh the punishments were, a team as strongly built as the Astros won’t suffer as much as they should.
Baseball is getting ruined one move at a time. It’s not only the executives of the league either, but it’s also the players and the managers who are endorsing the eventual death of America’s Pastime. It’s still too early to see what the long term effects will be on this issue, but this is just the beginning.