Major League Baseball brought down the banhammer on the Houston Astros for their sign stealing cheating scandal. The punishment was not nearly severe enough. The Astros were fined 5 million dollars and stripped of their first and second round draft picks for the next two seasons. General Manager Jeff Luhnow and field manager A.J. Hinch were both suspended for one full season. Shortly after the news broke the Astros fired both men. Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora was also involved in the scandal. During the 2017 season he was a bench coach for the Astros. Before the commissioner’s office had a chance to discipline him, the Red Sox dismissed him from his position.
I feel like many of you that there needed to be a more strict punishment. Many are demanding that Houston’s 2017 World Series championship be vacated, or that the World Series trophy be taken away. The Los Angeles city council is demanding that the Dodgers be crowned World champions.
Here is the problem with that, the Dodgers can be named champions and the Astros can be denounced as World Series winners but they will never be able to give the Dodgers and their fans what we so desperately crave….our moment.
That moment. You know, when the last out is recorded and the players and fans embrace in celebration and jubilation. That moment when the commissioner awards the Dodgers the World Series trophy in a Champaign soaked clubhouse. The championship parade that would have been held in downtown Los Angeles days later. The Dodgers and their fans were robbed of those moments that they so richly deserved, and no disciplinary actions can give that back to us.
Sleazy and greedy MLB commissioner Rob Manfred clearly cares very little for the integrity of the game. He’s an executive brought in to maximize profits and perpetuate the analytics movement. The man is trying to eliminate the minor leagues. That should tell you where his priorities are. This is why I miss Bud Selig. He wasn’t perfect and yes players were on steroids during his reign. But at least you could tell he actually cared about the game. A far cry from the scummy Rob Manfred.
As for the latest baseball debacle, stripping Houston of draft picks just simply isn’t enough. Seeing the men responsible for the deplorable cheating get canned helps, and gives u a little comfort, but again it’s not enough. The Dodgers didn’t cheat. The Dodgers may be clueless and inept at times, but they are a group of honest men. They play straightforward honest baseball. They should be rewarded and not victimized.
Yet we routinely see teams that cheat reap the rewards. It’s sad, disgusting and unfair. However we live in an unfair world. The Astros were stealing signs. They used technology, namely video monitors to see what signs the catchers were putting down, then banged on a trash can to signal the hitters at the plate. They had cheating stations set up in the clubhouse. Their executives and coaches even emailed the entire team detailing their plans for cheating. It was an organizational scheme created for the sole purpose of gaining an unfair advantage over the Dodgers and other teams.
The Nationals knew it. That’s why they changed their sign sequences several times during the 2019 World Series. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were still doing it. What’s important here is not giving the Dodgers an empty crown. What’s important is to properly and continuously publicly shame the Astros (and Red Sox, who also appear to have cheated). The punishments were not nearly severe enough. The Dodgers deserve justice. Dodger fans deserve justice. The city of Los Angeles deserves justice. Nothing else will suffice.