In Rocky IV, there is a training montage with both Rocky and his opponent, Ivan Drago. Now, Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren, is a massive human being. For one split-second, there is a shot of a large needle with some sort of substance getting injected in Drago’s arm, likely to be a steroid or whatnot. Although it is never spoken about, one can infer that’s how this Russian, killer of my favorite character, Apollo Creed, was able to become so…HUGE.
What does this have to do with a modern-day baseball team? Well, cheating certainly takes away from any type of accomplishment. The idea that Drago used ‘Roids made him a phony and a fraud, taking away from his massive physic and boxing ability. It’s simply the same with the Astros, albeit a different sport and era.
Obviously, there are certain incentives for cheating in baseball. It makes the stats of players on the team better, which leads to more money in the next contract etc. Then, there’s simply the fact of winning, which the Astros did in 2017 by capturing the first World Series in franchise history. At the time that appeared to be a great story. Now, it’s a bit of a buzz-kill.
What I don’t understand about people who cheat is what’s the fun in obtaining the outcome if it was garnered because of cheating? The Astros had this unique and dynamic scandal to steal signs, relay the message to the batter and know what pitch was coming before it was even thrown.
Cheating would be noble if it were stealing some type of sign from Hitler in Nazi, Germany in order to save Jewish People from getting killed. However, this is simply a game of baseball.
That’s where I find my biggest disconnect with what the Astros did. Why would one even want to do this?
Part of the spirit of competition is that it is a level and fair playing field for both teams. Thus, the truely better teams would be the ones that won the games. Not the guy recording signs from center field and not the trash can banger, either.
In 2017, the Los Angeles Dodgers were unable to pull their “Rocky Balboa Might” and beat the cheater. The Astros won in seven games and became the champs.
Honestly, I have to wonder how the team felt even after winning it all? They knew they cheated, even if the public did not at the time. Baseball is a game that spans many years and carries a lot of integrity with it. Players and coaches from generations of the past would be ashamed of Houston and what the team did.
If the Indians did the same thing, I would be so ashamed and embarrassed as a fan of this team I loved being cheaters.
Now, let’s shift gears and talk about what happens moving forward. Firstly, I’d be scared to step in the batter’s box as a member of the Houston Astros. This upcoming season, opposing pitchers are going to be throwing at the hitters and I simply cannot blame them. I expect there to be many altercations, brawls and big issues involving the Astros. Other teams and their players have spoken out at how disgusted they are at the Astros. This is going to lead to the chaos here in 2020.
The team did “attempt” to apologize…
The Astros failed their press conference today. Yikes: pic.twitter.com/DfH6CiHEJq
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) February 13, 2020
“Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were both suspended for one year. MLB’s ruling also forces the Astros to forfeit their first and second-round draft picks in the 2020 and 2021 MLB drafts, according to an announcement from the league on Monday. Shortly after the release of the report, the Astros fired Luhnow and Hinch, the team announced.”
In summation, I’d rather lose and not cheat instead of winning as a cheater. Not trying to sound like a noble hero here, but simply that I would have to live with myself and what I did in order to have obtained the victory. It’s not something I think I would like to carry with me day in and out…