It’s a sad day for baseball.
The Houston Astros were just punished for stealing signs during their now-stained 2017 World Series. In a game that many would like to think is pure and authentic, these type of incidents do, sadly, happen.
Here are the reported penalties via CBS:
- One-year suspension for general manager Jeff Luhnow.
- One-year suspension for manager A.J. Hinch.
- The loss of first- and second-round draft picks in both 2020 and 2021.
- A $5 million fine.
- The placement of former Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman on baseball’s ineligible list.
***Update – The Astros FIRED both Hinch and Luhnow.
Additionally, the Boston Red Sox are also under-fire for using Apple Watches to steal signs in ’17 and cameras to do the same in ’18. Expect that organization, one that is a very esteemed club, to get the hammer from Major League Baseball, as well.
So what does this mean? Can we trust a game that fans have loved for well over 100 years? Yes, there was the steroid-era and other schemes before. However, this feels different…
I am simply thankful that it is not our Cleveland Indians involved. That year of 2017, the Indians actually had a 102-60 record compared to the Astros and their 101-61 mark. However, the Tribe lost to the Yankees. three games to two, in the AL Division Series.
Moving forward, what does it mean for the league? Is everything, each game’s result, once again going to have to be taken with a grain of salt because of the chance that some camera in center field is stealing signs? Baseball is America’s Pastime and one has to wonder what players of previous generations would think of all this cheating.
More from CBS: According to a report released last December, Astros personnel admitted to MLB that the club used a center-field video camera to relay pitching signs in real-time. MLB’s months-long investigation started shortly after The Athletic’s report and it covered the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons. Investigatorsrelated to the Astros sign-stealing scheme.
Thus, this investigation was certainly thorough and has no doubts about it.
Hopefully, this is a warning to the rest of the league (besides the Red Sox) to not cheat in the hopes of getting ahead. Major League Baseball is clearly capable of getting to the bottom of these types of situations and it shows.
Frankly, I feel bad for authentic Astros fans that cheered their team all the way to victory in ’17 and lived the past two years with this idea that their team won. As a Cleveland fan, I couldn’t imagine if the NBA came out with a report that LeBron James tested positive for steroids in 2016 or the team planted a camera in the Warriors locker room to get their plays.
It would hurt and tarnish everything that we, as fans, celebrated and continue to present-day. Ruining something that was so special to this city.
My hope is that the Astros and Red Sox are the last of the cheating and this is the league taking control of its teams.
*Just want to say the Cavs point is 100% hypothetical for this situation with the Astros. I don’t want people thinking I’m accusing my guys of cheating!