Houston Astros caught cheating in 2017: Manager and GM......FIRED! Dusty Baker HIRED!

spider705

Light skin, non ADOS Lebron hater!
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We could NEVER be the Cowgirls. We are the STANDARD in this shit.
In fact YALL are more like the Eagles: Finally won ONE (and cheated to get it) and THINK that yall are relevant. :lol:
Congrats on your 1st and ONLY title being tainted FOREVER. :lol:
I think I was a teenager when the Yankees last won a title... geez I'm getting old :smh:
 

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Tony Kemp says he refused to take part in Astros' sign stealing
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Feb 14, 2020
MESA, Ariz. -- Called up in September 2017 by Houston, Tony Kemp immediately was asked by teammates whether he wanted to be a part of the Astros' sign-stealing scheme. He says his answer was a firm no and that he didn't feel further pressure to take part.
"That stood," the second baseman said Friday after arriving in Oakland's spring training camp and reuniting with former Astros teammate Mike Fiers, who went public in November about Houston's sign stealing that rocked the baseball offseason. "Once I got there in September, the system was already in place, and I just tried to keep my head down and play hard and not really concern myself with it."
Kemp said what Houston did was wrong and, when asked whether the 2017 World Series title is tainted, noted: "That's a good question. Everyone's going to have their own speculations about it, everyone's going to have their own opinions about it. I'm not sure."
Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired last month, on the same day commissioner Rob Manfred suspended them over the sign-stealing scheme. Former Astros bench coach Alex Cora was dismissed as Boston Red Sox manager, and ex-Astros player Carlos Beltran lost his job as New York Mets manager.
Kemp said he appreciates the apologies by Astros players, which he considered sincere, and said "you definitely feel for them."
"I'm not going to say that things that were going on over there were necessarily right. Those things were wrong," said Kemp, who was acquired by the A's from the Chicago Cubs last month. "I think that they're feeling remorse now. You see those guys and how they feel and how they're acting and you can definitely tell that there was some wrongdoing there."
Kemp planned to speak to his new teammates individually rather than make a statement in front of the group.
"If I was more involved, then I think a statement would be the right thing to do, but we're all grown men and I think if you have questions you can come up and ask me and I'll be straightforward with you," Kemp said. "I think that if teammates have questions and want to come up to me, I'll be more than welcome to answer the questions."
A's manager Bob Melvin met with Kemp on Friday and agreed with the infielder's approach to getting to know his new teammates, many of whom he faced in the minor leagues. Melvin said the reception might be different had Kemp been a regular player for the Astros in recent years, saying, "I think this thing gets closed pretty quickly as far as his time over there in Houston."
"He's got a real clear conscience about what happened," Melvin said. "Most of our guys know him. I think in the position that he's in, I don't need to call a meeting and have him talk to everybody. The guys know they can go up to him and talk to him in groups. Everything I heard was all good, move forward with him. We're happy to have him."
Fiers, a 15-game winner last season who pitched his second career no-hitter, has declined to speak in detail about the Astros situation or his role as whistleblower. He said he approached Kemp on Friday.
"I've always respected Tony. He's always been a good guy," Fiers said. "Always got along with him. Good dude to have on the field and as a teammate."
Kemp said he chose not to participate in the sign-stealing system because "I was comfortable with the way I was swinging the bat at the time in Triple-A."
"Once I got called up, I just felt like I was going to trust my abilities up there," he said. "I just didn't want any distractions."
He also didn't have a guess as to how many players were stealing signs because he hadn't been there long.

"In '17, that was my choice," he said. "I had four or five months in the big leagues under my belt at that time, and I just felt like at the time that I didn't want to use it. I'm not going to sit here and say bad things about the people who did, but it is what it is. We move forward, and now we're in the same division, so now it's going to be fun. It's going to be a healthy competition. I think everyone's looking forward to it."
Oakland won 97 games each of the past two seasons to finish second in the American League West behind Houston. Kemp, who will get regular work at second base this spring, realizes the matchups with the Astros will now have new meaning and might be difficult for Fiers at times.
"I think that leaving Houston and going to a different team, I think you have to at least say, 'Hey, they do some things, you might have to switch your signs up or you might need to do something,'" Kemp said. "For Fiers, it's a tough situation to be in because you have teammates in Houston but you also have new teammates. It's a sticky situation."
 

spider705

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Tony Kemp says he refused to take part in Astros' sign stealing
play




An error occurred during video playback, possibly due to network connectivity or being in a backgrounded browser tab. Please try again.
Feb 14, 2020
MESA, Ariz. -- Called up in September 2017 by Houston, Tony Kemp immediately was asked by teammates whether he wanted to be a part of the Astros' sign-stealing scheme. He says his answer was a firm no and that he didn't feel further pressure to take part.
"That stood," the second baseman said Friday after arriving in Oakland's spring training camp and reuniting with former Astros teammate Mike Fiers, who went public in November about Houston's sign stealing that rocked the baseball offseason. "Once I got there in September, the system was already in place, and I just tried to keep my head down and play hard and not really concern myself with it."
Kemp said what Houston did was wrong and, when asked whether the 2017 World Series title is tainted, noted: "That's a good question. Everyone's going to have their own speculations about it, everyone's going to have their own opinions about it. I'm not sure."
Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired last month, on the same day commissioner Rob Manfred suspended them over the sign-stealing scheme. Former Astros bench coach Alex Cora was dismissed as Boston Red Sox manager, and ex-Astros player Carlos Beltran lost his job as New York Mets manager.
Kemp said he appreciates the apologies by Astros players, which he considered sincere, and said "you definitely feel for them."
"I'm not going to say that things that were going on over there were necessarily right. Those things were wrong," said Kemp, who was acquired by the A's from the Chicago Cubs last month. "I think that they're feeling remorse now. You see those guys and how they feel and how they're acting and you can definitely tell that there was some wrongdoing there."
Kemp planned to speak to his new teammates individually rather than make a statement in front of the group.
"If I was more involved, then I think a statement would be the right thing to do, but we're all grown men and I think if you have questions you can come up and ask me and I'll be straightforward with you," Kemp said. "I think that if teammates have questions and want to come up to me, I'll be more than welcome to answer the questions."
A's manager Bob Melvin met with Kemp on Friday and agreed with the infielder's approach to getting to know his new teammates, many of whom he faced in the minor leagues. Melvin said the reception might be different had Kemp been a regular player for the Astros in recent years, saying, "I think this thing gets closed pretty quickly as far as his time over there in Houston."
"He's got a real clear conscience about what happened," Melvin said. "Most of our guys know him. I think in the position that he's in, I don't need to call a meeting and have him talk to everybody. The guys know they can go up to him and talk to him in groups. Everything I heard was all good, move forward with him. We're happy to have him."
Fiers, a 15-game winner last season who pitched his second career no-hitter, has declined to speak in detail about the Astros situation or his role as whistleblower. He said he approached Kemp on Friday.
"I've always respected Tony. He's always been a good guy," Fiers said. "Always got along with him. Good dude to have on the field and as a teammate."
Kemp said he chose not to participate in the sign-stealing system because "I was comfortable with the way I was swinging the bat at the time in Triple-A."
"Once I got called up, I just felt like I was going to trust my abilities up there," he said. "I just didn't want any distractions."
He also didn't have a guess as to how many players were stealing signs because he hadn't been there long.

"In '17, that was my choice," he said. "I had four or five months in the big leagues under my belt at that time, and I just felt like at the time that I didn't want to use it. I'm not going to sit here and say bad things about the people who did, but it is what it is. We move forward, and now we're in the same division, so now it's going to be fun. It's going to be a healthy competition. I think everyone's looking forward to it."
Oakland won 97 games each of the past two seasons to finish second in the American League West behind Houston. Kemp, who will get regular work at second base this spring, realizes the matchups with the Astros will now have new meaning and might be difficult for Fiers at times.
"I think that leaving Houston and going to a different team, I think you have to at least say, 'Hey, they do some things, you might have to switch your signs up or you might need to do something,'" Kemp said. "For Fiers, it's a tough situation to be in because you have teammates in Houston but you also have new teammates. It's a sticky situation."
Boooyyyyyyyy they are determined to make the Astros the scapegoat for this shit :smh:
 

playahaitian

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Boooyyyyyyyy they are determined to make the Astros the scapegoat for this shit :smh:
like I said and I gonna repeat it one LAST TIME

yall handling it wrong and need to take your medicine and move on

HOWEVER

I am about SICK of damn near EVERY BALL PLAYER tearing their shirt lamenting and wailing like it was the worst thing in the history of mankind...

CHILL.

They hating the Astros more than cancer.

THAT being said?

Ya'll opened the door for all this sh*t not with the cheating but the attitude.
 

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Fay Vincent: It's not gamesmanship, it's cheating
  • By Fay Vincent
  • Nov 20, 2019
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For several days, we have been reading about the Houston Astros, during their championship 2017 season, using a video feed from a center-field camera at Minute Maid Park as a means of stealing the opposing catcher’s signs to the pitcher.
According to the story broken by The Athletic, which appeared to be strongly supported by online sleuths looking at game videos, when the catcher would waggle his fingers to indicate a change-up, for instance, someone in the Astros dugout would signal by banging on a trash can to alert the batter to what was coming. Hitting any pitch gets easier when you know it is coming.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says the league is investigating.

I do not know the full story of the Astros’ alleged sign-stealing or what the defense to the allegations might be. Thus, I begin with that disclaimer. But one thing I do know is that sometimes the lessons of baseball mean drawing solid distinctions.
There are people in and out of baseball who indulgently chuckle over any fresh news of cheating. After all, the sport has a long history of skulduggery. At what point, though, does trying to steal an advantage become cheating? And should we care?
For one thing, cheating casts a shadow over one of the most famous moments in all of sports. In the 1951 National League playoff game between the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, according to a 2001 Wall Street Journal article in which several Giants players finally came clean, the Giants used a telescope perched in their center-field clubhouse at the Polo Grounds to steal the opposing catcher’s signals.
Someone in the Giants’ clubhouse, often a coach, would press a buzzer connected to the team’s outfield bullpen, which was easily visible to batters facing the pitcher. One buzz for a fastball, two for an off-speed pitch. A player in the bullpen then passed the signal to Giants batters by, say, tossing a ball in the air for a breaking pitch, or remaining still, meaning a fastball was coming.
In the bottom of the ninth of the Giants-Dodgers playoff game, backup catcher Sal Yvars was the bullpen signalman. He told The Journal in 2001 he had indicated to hitter Bobby Thomson that Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca (who later became a dear friend of mine) would be throwing a fastball when Thomson hit the game-winning home run that became known as “the shot heard ‘round the world.”

When confronted by Journal reporter Joshua Harris Prager in 2001, Thomson waffled about whether he knew what was coming. Yvars and many of his former Giants teammates were not so shy. They had been stealing signs for the last 10 weeks of the season, when the Giants made a miraculous pennant run. The Giants won the pennant, but cheated to do so.
A certain amount of gamesmanship has been part of baseball from its earliest days, of course. If a team can decipher the other manager’s hand motions and figure out what’s going to happen, fine. But when physical steps are taken — whether it’s a team using a telescope or video camera in center field, or a pitcher using Vaseline (Gaylord Perry) or an emery board (Joe Niekro) to alter the surface of the ball — the sport descends into cheating.
When A. Bartlett Giamatti was the National League president — before he became MLB commissioner in 1988 — he confronted the issue of what the punishment should be for scuffing a baseball. Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kevin Gross, in 1987, was caught with sandpaper attached to his glove, presumably for roughing up the ball, which can dramatically alter the way pitches move. Giamatti seized the case to make a serious point.
Gross received a 10-day suspension, which he appealed. Giamatti’s denial of the appeal took the form of an essay worthy of the former Yale president. He explained why baseball must not tolerate common kinds of cheating, such as spitballs or corked bats or scuffed balls. There was nothing amusing about them to Giamatti.
“Cheating has always been considered destructive of the essence of a contest designed to declare a winner,” he wrote. “Cheating corrodes the integrity of any game.”
I’ll restrict myself here to discussing on-field cheating. The use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs — chemical cheating — is its own special category. The Giants’ telescope and Gross’ sandpaper were instruments intended to assist the player other than the game equipment and the athlete’s skills and talent. If the Astros used video for sign-stealing just as the Giants used a telescope, justice should be meted out.
Is there any doubt that Houston would have continued to use its alleged advantage after winning the 2017 World Series? If the Washington Nationals overcame that hurdle to beat the Astros in the World Series last month, somewhere Bart Giamatti is smiling.
 

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Player discipline possible for future sign-stealing offenses

2 HOURS AGO IN SPORTS

Houston Astros' Jose Altuve speaks at a podium as teammate Alex Bregman, seated right, looks on during a news conference before the start of the first official spring training baseball practice for the team Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) PHOTO:




Major league players could be punished for future sign-stealing violations in the wake of the Houston Astros’ scandal that only resulted in discipline for managers, coaches and executives. Commissioner Rob Manfred and union head Tony Clark both said Tuesday that MLB and the players’ association are discussing potential rule changes regarding sign stealing and technology. Clark says the sides have exchanged written proposals and “we have made it clear to MLB that no issue is off the table, including player discipline.”
 

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A Union Divided: Astros Cheating Scandal Rocks MLB Players Association
The Astros sign-stealing scheme has pitted MLB players against each other and created an unsettling environment.
MICHAEL MCCANNUPDATED:FEB 19, 2020ORIGINAL:FEB 18, 2020
As each day passes, the electronic sign-stealing scandal in Major League Baseball proves more irritating to those impacted by it. This is especially true for players, who are all members of the same union, the Major League Baseball Players Association. They have become increasingly willing to publicly condemn fellow union members who played for the Astros in 2017 and who engaged in a form of cheating that has elicited widespread disgust.
Astros players engineered a plot that mixed modern technology with crude sounds. Players and team officials covertly used a camera in the center field area of Houston’s Minute Maid Park. The camera recorded opposing teams’ catcher signals to the pitcher. It then transmitted images over to the Astros’ replay room. The images revealed predictive patterns as to the intended pitch type. The patterns were then shared with those in the Astros dugout and conveyed to batters through coded bangs on a trash can. The plot was so effective that the Astros won the 2017 World Series.
Revisiting the curious logic of Rob Manfred’s decision to not punish guilty players
Despite Astros players’ guilt in what MLB has termed a mostly “player-driven” scheme, commissioner Rob Manfred declined to punish any of the guilty players. Manfred instead gave them immunity in exchange for their cooperation and willingness to share information.
This was surprising on at least four levels.
First, the players were already obligated under the collective bargaining agreement to “provide reasonable cooperation with an investigation, including but not limited to producing documents and information.” It’s true that players could have refused to cooperate and that, as a private entity, MLB had no power to subpoena or compel disclosure. However, Manfred could have punished players for failing to satisfy their contractual obligation to cooperate. In other words, it wasn’t as if Manfred lacked leverage.

Second, while Astros players could have challenged suspensions by filing grievances, MLB generally doesn’t worry about the risk of grievances to such a degree that it declines to punish rule-breaking players. MLB might have prevailed in any grievances. The league would have needed to show the punishments were reasonable, reasoned and in accordance with past practices. Under the CBA, Manfred could have punished players for refusing to cooperate in a league investigation. Alternatively, if MLB obtained sufficient evidence to show that cheating had occurred, the CBA would have permitted Manfred to punish players for “conduct detrimental or prejudicial to baseball.” Furthermore, the uniform player contract compels players to “conform to high standards of personal conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship.” There’s no shortage of language that could be construed to cover cheating. Also, while players might have argued there was insufficient notice that electronic sign-stealing during the 2017 season would trigger player punishments, MLB could counter by stressing 1) the “conduct detrimental” language in the CBA authorizes such punishments; 2) by fining the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees for their electronic sign stealing in 2017, MLB made clear such practices were unauthorized.
It’s also worth playing out the grievance scenario. Assume that MLB played hardball (no pun intended) and either didn’t gain enough implicating evidence from the players or the “absence of notice” defense noted above persuaded the arbitrators. Then assume that MLB loses the grievances. The league would have still made a good faith effort to hold players accountable, something that the public and fans—who knew from journalists’ investigative reporting that cheating had likely occurred—probably would have admired. In that scenario MLB might have also more seriously considered alternative punishments, such as stripping the Astros of the 2017 World Series.


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Third, MLB offered what might be regarded as an excessive reward to the players for admitting to wrongdoing. The players were assured if that if they revealed what happened, they’d avoid punishment altogether. This was an important inflection point in MLB’s investigation and likely an unnecessary step. The players essentially pleaded guilty and walked away scot-free. A guilty plea normally means a reduced punishment, not no punishment.
Fourth, in law, prosecutors normally grant immunity to lower-level members of a conspiracy with the expectation that they’ll implicate those higher up on the food chain. Here, the players’ painted themselves as the main culprits. Yet, counterintuitively, they escaped any and all repercussions.
Only two former Astros officials—general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch—received MLB punishments. Former bench coach Alex Cora will be punished upon the completion of MLB's investigation into the Red Sox. Houston was also fined and stripped of draft picks.
The lack of player punishments has ignited player protests
The absence of player accountability has sparked heated remarks by rule-abiding MLB players. They believe that cheating players ought to have been held responsible by Manfred and that they got away with crimes of the sport.

For instance, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout says that he has “lost respect” for Astros batters. The best player in baseball, Trout can’t hold in high regard any fellow sluggers who know which pitches are coming. They are playing a different, and far easier, game.
Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has also weighed in with a critical voice. He is one of several players to publicly suggest that Astros players were wearing electronic buzzers on their jerseys in 2017. Chapman stresses how “disappointed” he was by the Astros’ misbehavior. He also laments how “a lot of people have suffered” because of the cheating.
More explosively, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger has lambasted Manfred—MLB’s chief management officer—for doing something that arguably advanced the interests of Bellinger’s union. By granting Astros players immunity as an inducement to reveal their wrongdoing, Manfred effectively excused the players of committing the underlying wrongs. From one lens, this was a “win” for the MLBPA. Unions normally try to minimize opportunities for management to severely punish employees. Here, the employees weren’t punished at all.
Yet Bellinger can’t believe that Manfred would offer his fellow union members such a break. Bellinger stresses that “these guys were cheating for three years.” He further denounces Astros second baseman José Altuve, saying he “stole” the 2017 American League MVP award from Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge. Bellinger likewise insists that Altuve and his teammates—who defeated in the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series—“stole the ring” from Bellinger and his teammates.

As player-on-player tensions escalate, Astros manager Dusty Baker has publicly pleaded for league protection from so-called “premeditated retaliation.” This feared retaliation refers to opposing teams’ pitchers throwing beanballs and even head-hunting Astros batters. In response, Manfred has stressed that such dangerous moves would lead to severe sanctions. If only Manfred had punished the guilty players, perhaps the desire of rule-abiding players to exact revenge would be muted.
A union divided
As spring training begins, players are rebuking each other in national media interviews and using social media and other public forums to discredit and ridicule one another’s achievements. They are also lashing out against the commissioner for being too lenient on fellow players. Meanwhile, the commissioner has issued a protective order so that vengeance-seeking players don’t try to imperil the health of other players.
This is a very strange state of affairs for the MLBPA.
Historically, the MLBPA has been the most influential and unified players’ union in American sports. This is, after all, the same MLBPA that has gone on strike five times over the last five decades, including a 232-day strike between 1994 and 1995. And it’s the same MLBPA that fought hard for the right to free agency, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972 and in subsequent arbitration hearings. It also stood together in solidarity when players were accused of using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in the 1990s and 2000s.


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This is, at its core, a union that deeply values loyalty and communicating via a shared voice.
That legacy could be wilting under the bright lights of a sign-stealing scandal that delegitimizes the 2017 and 2018 seasons. And the timing couldn’t worse for MLBPA. It needs to negotiate a new CBA with MLB before the current one expires Dec. 1, 2021. The negotiations will take place over the next year. Under the leadership of executive director Tony Clark, the MLBPA must have a united front or it will be disadvantaged at the bargaining table.
Unpacking the current role of the MLBPA in the controversy and relevant labor law principles
There are two related questions that the MLBPA must answer: (1) what, if anything, should it do regarding the scandal?; and (2) what is in the best interests of the union’s membership: protecting players who cheated or vindicating those who suffered because of the cheating?
There aren’t obvious answers to these questions. As a union, the MLBPA must adhere to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA imposes a duty of fair representation on a union to act fairly and impartially with respect to all of its members. If an employee believes that his or her union has violated this duty, the employee can file an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB, which is a federal agency that enforces labor law, would then investigate such a charge. That dynamic could surface here if an MLB player credibly believed that the MLBPA was not treating him fairly relative to other players.

As detailed by Indiana University Mauer School of Law professor Deborah Widiss, unions are also required to maximize benefits for the collective membership. This pursuit can mean that certain members are disadvantaged by a collective gain. For instance, if the MLBPA agreed to add the designated hitter to National League games, players as a whole might gain financially. Fans, in that scenario, could become more interested in watching National League games that feature more offense. That, in turn, could lead to higher attendance and superior TV ratings. Also, a DH in the National League would create new jobs for players who are skilled batters but who are defensively challenged. However, certain players—particularly pitchers who are relatively good at batting—might lose out if the National League adopts the DH.
Unions also tend to pursue certain types of strategies in their relationship with management. One common strategy is to limit opportunities for employers to fine, suspend or fire employees. To the extent an employer intends to punish an employee, a union typically demands that there be procedural checks. A common check is for an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators to review a significant punishment. Alternatively, management might be required to punish in accordance with the concept of “progressive discipline.” Progressive discipline captures the idea that an employee ought to receive a lighter punishment for a first offense and only more onerous punishments for subsequent offenses.


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As a related consideration, it might have undermined MLBPA’s bargaining leverage with MLB if Clark—the head of the union—had encouraged Manfred—the head of management—to punish MLBPA members. While some players would have been glad to see the cheaters held accountable, those punishments would have set new precedent for player punishments. Manfred could have used that precedent going forward.
In addition, if the MLBPA felt that Manfred lacked the authority to punish players suspected of cheating—as I note above, I believe Manfred had this authority provided there was sufficient evidence—it would have arguably permitted Manfred to punish its members beyond the scope of the CBA. In his capacity as head of the union, Clark is charged with ensuring that Manfred only uses powers contained in the CBA. A CBA reflects labor and management negotiating and trading off terms. Unions tend to do better if management must offer improved workplace benefits in exchange for obtaining new powers. Unions tend to do worse if management unilaterally obtains powers without giving up anything in return.
Figuring out MLBPA’s next moves
It appears the MLBPA’s current strategy is to collaborate with MLB on crafting rules that would restrict the in-game use of video. The logic of those restrictions would be to reduce opportunities for players to electronically cheat. There would be downsides. Batters who regularly review video of their at-bats would be disadvantaged. Such review isn’t cheating, either. Just the opposite, in fact, it reflects learning, effort and preparation. Talks of curtailing opportunities for in-game video review have drawn player criticisms. Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez, for instance, describes the idea as “a little ridiculous.”

Some have wondered if the MLBPA could punish the players who cheated. Such a move would be extremely unusual and possibly impossible in this situation. As noted above, unions have an interest in safeguarding employees from punishments, not expanding the ways in which employees can be punished. In addition, any such authority would difficult to adopt. The authority could not contradict or vary a relevant term contained in the CBA. If it did, a punished player could file an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB. Implementing such authority might also be difficult. MLBPA regulations governing player agents compel arbitration for player-player agent disputes. Perhaps such a system could be used for player-player disputes over cheating. However, as noted above, it would hard to execute. To the extent unions “punish” members, it’s usually related to not paying dues or showing up for work while the union is on strike. To punish for a workplace matter seems unlikely.
There is one silver lining for Clark and the MLBPA. The current villain of the sign-stealing controversy is the main person on the opposite side of the negotiation table. Rob Manfred’s public comments about his handling of the punishments—or the lack of punishments—have only added fuel to the fire. He recently mocked a journalist for his investigative reporting on the scandal (in other words, for doing his job). He also strangely devalued the World Series trophy, the Commissioner’s Trophy, as merely a “piece of metal.” (Manfred apologized for this remark at a press conference on Thursday.)

But Clark and the MLBPA should beware: the longer the controversy plays out, the more that blame will be spread. And if players remain angry over what happened in 2017, the MLBPA may be headed for long and acrimonious meetings as a difficult CBA negotiation nears.

 

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MLBPA: We fully cooperated with league on Astros’ probe
By Ted Holmlund
February 19, 2020 | 12:38am


The Major League Baseball Players Association said in a statement late Tuesday that they fully cooperated with the league regarding the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing investigation after commissioner Rob Manfred said MLB and the union had reached an agreement for player immunity to avoid a stalemate.
“Any suggestion that the Association failed to cooperate with the Commissioner’s investigation, obstructed the investigation, or otherwise took positions which led to a stalemate … is completely untrue,” executive director Tony Clark said in the statement. “We acted to protect the rights of our members, as is our obligation under the law.”
Earlier, commissioner Rob Manfred revealed to reporters in Scottsdale, Ariz., the process that the league used in handling the investigation. Manfred said he originally told the Players Association that the league wouldn’t rule out disciplining players, but said he got pushback from the union.
“The union indicated to us that would be a problem,” Manfred told reporters Tuesday. “We went back and suggested to them we would give them an initial list of people — players — that we would grant immunity to, preserving our ability to discipline other players. And the union came back and said that players would cooperate only if there was blanket immunity. Because we were at a bit of a stalemate, we knew we needed player witnesses, we agreed to that immunity agreement.”

Manfred also said the league wouldn’t have gotten as far in their investigation if they did not reach the agreement with the union.
“Let me be clear — we would not have gotten where we got in terms of understanding the facts, learning the facts, disclosing the facts, if we hadn’t reached that agreement,” he said. “So, I’m not being critical of anyone. But the fact of the matter is the union wanted an immunity agreement to protect their members. And that’s how we got there.”
This is an issue that potentially could divide members of the union as many players and stars such as Mike Trout and Aaron Judge have ripped the Astros for cheating.
“This is a pivotal time for our game, and these are critically important issues,” according to the union’s statement. “How the parties handle the next several weeks will significantly affect what our game looks like for the next several decades. The opportunity is now to forge a new path forward.”
Earlier, the commissioner also was forced to apologize for calling the World Series trophy a “piece of metal.”
“In an effort to make a rhetorical point I referred to the World Series trophy in a disrespectful way. … It was a mistake to say what I said,” Manfred said.
 

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Stephen A. Smith calls up Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo to annihilate him on Astros
By Ted Holmlund
February 19, 2020 | 4:25am



MORE ON:
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Stephen A. Smith apparently thinks Chris “Mad Dog” Russo is going too easy on the Astros when it comes to the sign-stealing scandal.
“This is the Mad Dog Russo I’m listening to,” ESPN’s Smith ranted to Russo on Mad Dog Radio on Tuesday. “’Cause it ain’t the Mad Dog Russo I’ve known for years. I mean, all of this stuff about going back to 2009 with A-Rod and Robinson Cano or this team wasn’t going to win.
“What happened to the Mad Dog Russo that I know and love? That I’ve known and loved for years. That I worked on the same channel with, that was all about principle. What happened to that guy?”
Smith — who worked for SiriusXM and had a show on Mad Dog Radio a few years ago — said he thought Russo was getting too caught up in whether the Yankees or the Dodgers had the best case as the most aggrieved team and that the old Mad Dog would be laser-focused on calling out the Astros for their cheating.
“I’m not hearing that guy right now,” Smith said. “I’m not hearing the Mad Dog Russo, that guy. … It doesn’t matter if they would have won or would not have won. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Dodgers or the Yankees or who would have won.
“The fact of the matter is the rules of the games were circumvented. These guys had a systemic policy. Cheating, cheating the game of baseball. Because of that, they’re not champions, they’re frauds. They don’t deserve their trophy.”
This came on the same day commissioner Rob Manfred had to apologize for saying the World Series trophy was “a piece of metal” after catching heat from the Dodgers’ Justin Turner for the careless remark. And the same day Yankees star Aaron Judge said he was “sick to his stomach” when he heard the Astros had cheated.
Smith also said he thought Russo was getting too caught up in talking about how the Stanley Cup is the only piece of championship hardware that matters, instead of zeroing in on the fact the Astros cheated the game.
Enlarge ImageStephen A. Smith and Chris “Mad Dog” RussoGetty Images (2)
“Mad Dog Russo talking about the only cup that matters is the Stanley Cup or the only trophy that matters is the Stanley Cup,” Smith said. “The Mad Dog Russo that I know, the Mad Dog Russo that I know and love ain’t about all that. It’s about the fact they cheated. Period. Where is that Mad Dog Russo at? I haven’t been hearing him the last hour I’ve been listening.”
Russo seemed more amused than upset when Smith concluded the first part of his rant.
“You are something!” Russo said. “How are you doing? Things good? Haven’t spoken to you in a while. How you feel?”
“I’m feeling great,” Smith said. “I just want to know where my boy Mad Dog Russo is at? Where is he? I haven’t heard him in the last hour.”
“That’s fair. That’s fair,” Russo said. “So you think no matter what happened in that World Series, who cares? Bottom line, the Astros cheated and they should be punished forever and their championship should be vacated. That’s how you feel?”
Smith didn’t mince words in his response.
“Based on the sheer principle of what you did to win, you SHOULD NOT be recognized as a champion,” he said. “Major League Baseball, Rob Manfred, you’ve granted them immunity, fine. Let them keep their money. You don’t want to suspend them for the season, or anything like that, fine.
“But what you can do, without dishonoring your agreement with them, you could take that championship trophy from the Houston Astros facility and you could demand that all the rings, the championship rings, be returned, and you can make sure you can announce as Major League Baseball 2017 there is no champion.”
 

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Giancarlo Stanton full of Astros hate, baseball fears: ‘More incentive’ to cheat again
By George A. King III
February 19, 2020 | 9:19am | Updated




TAMPA — Eventually the darts loaded with criticism fired from players toward baseball’s commissioner Rob Manfred over the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal will subside.
However, the barrage continued Wednesday when, a day after Aaron Judge strongly criticized Manfred for not punishing the players involved, Giancarlo Stanton did the same.
“I don’t think the punishments were harsh enough player-wise,” Stanton said before the second full-squad workout was held at Steinbrenner Field. “At the end of the day, it gives more incentive to (cheat).”
Stanton wasn’t with the Yankees in 2017 when the Astros beat them in Game 7 of the ALCS and followed that by copping a World Series title by beating the Dodgers.
Still, he had a problem with the way the Astros players reacted when the results of MLB’s investigation were announced.
“I think they did a very poor job of bringing their side to it. They didn’t have a problem being in front of the cameras and enjoying all the lights when they were doing it in ’17,” Stanton said. “Now they have to explain themselves and point fingers and own up to it.”
Like Judge, Stanton said the Astros should be stripped of their 2017 World Series title.
“They did their investigation and it was clear cut that they cheated that year, which means it should be taken away,” Stanton said. “If you cheat in another way (failing a drug test), you can’t even be in the playoffs.”
When asked to comment on Astros owner Jim Crane saying he didn’t know how much of an advantage the sign-stealing operation provided his club, Stanton said, “He should.”
Then Stanton followed with, “If I knew what was coming in ’17, I probably would have hit 80 home runs.” Stanton hit 59 homers, drove in 132 runs and posted an OPS of 1.007 in 2017 and was named the NL MVP with the Marlins.
SEE ALSO
Aaron Judge can't put Astros cheating behind him: 'Bad taste in your mouth'
Prior to answering questions about the Astros, Stanton talked about his offseason that was dominated by rehabbing a right quad injury that led to him appearing in just 18 regular-season games.
“I had two days off after the season,” said Stanton, who went on the IL for a second time in late June with a sprained right knee and returned on Sept. 18. He was also on the shelf in early April with a strained left biceps. He returned on June 18 and landed back on the IL eight days later. “I had a full offseason. I did everything I needed to do.”
What Stanton needs to do for the Yankees this coming season is stay off the IL and at least deliver the 34 homers and 100 RBIs he did in 2018, his first season with the club.
“No limitations, just be smart with the workload,” said Stanton, who explained that DH or left field was fine for him. “Whatever works best for the team.”
 

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How Yankees fan became internet legend for trolling Astros: ‘Gasps’ and smiles
By Justin TerranovaFebruary 19, 2020 | 10:49am | Updated
High school student calls Astors 'cheaters' during spring training
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MORE ON:
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How Astros' cheating ended up costing Tim Tebow
A winter vacation has turned a New York high school student into a minor internet celebrity.

Twitter user @Captainderk talked to The Post on Wednesday morning after his trolling of the Astros at their spring training facility in West Palm Beach went viral this week. The student, who wished to remain anonymous, posted videos of himself banging a trash can and shouting “Cheater” at Jose Altuve on Monday as the Astros franchise is embroiled in a sign-stealing scandal that has turned them into baseball villains.

“I’m a big baseball fan, so I wanted to watch some practices,” the lifelong Yankees fan said. “When I called Altuve a cheater, there was some gasps, but no one said anything. When I banged the trash can, [Carlos] Correa saw and smiled. One Astros fan said ‘Good one’ right after I did it.”

The student said he was on vacation with his family in the West Palm Beach area and the Astros facility is “only a short drive away.” Altuve has become one of the faces of the scandal, as some have speculated that he was also cheating in 2019 with the use of buzzers. The 2017 MVP was seen shouting at teammates not to rip his shirt off after he hit the pennant-winning home run in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Yankees.

Altuve has denied those accusations.

SEE ALSO

The first hint of garbage-can hell awaiting Astros this season
Players around the sport — from Mike Trout to Aaron Judge — have spent the opening days of spring training letting loose on the Astros’ sins, which included a poorly received apology last week. @Captainderk said he has received a mixed reaction to the videos, which have been viewed more than 2 million times online. He has been written about on several notable sites, including Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports.

It has provided a small taste of what the Astros can expect when they travel to opposing ballparks this season.

“Some Astros fans thought it was funny, and others are really upset over it,” he said. “Overall I’d say the reaction from the internet has been positive, but Astros fans are extremely defensive of their team … I didn’t think it would blow up this much. My notifications were ridiculous for two days like they’ve never been before.”
 

dugington

Rising Star
Registered
I think I was a teenager when the Yankees last won a title... geez I'm getting old :smh:
You was a teenager in 2009? Damn, that would explain all these lengths you going through to defend this. :lol:

Besides, we would've won another title in 2017 if..............well, everyone in the world knows except you.
 

spider705

Light skin, non ADOS Lebron hater!
BGOL Investor
like I said and I gonna repeat it one LAST TIME

yall handling it wrong and need to take your medicine and move on

HOWEVER

I am about SICK of damn near EVERY BALL PLAYER tearing their shirt lamenting and wailing like it was the worst thing in the history of mankind...

CHILL.

They hating the Astros more than cancer.

THAT being said?

Ya'll opened the door for all this sh*t not with the cheating but the attitude.
I wanna believe it was attitude alone, but most articles are pointed directly at the Astros and the cheating itself... attitude didn't really come into play until pitchers and catchers started reporting to camp... even crazier, this shit was called absurd, nothing, not a big deal when the sox and yanks were caught doing it

I'll just say it... the Astros fucked up the legacy teams and their prospects of championships... you stop the Yankees or Dodgers from winning... big cities, storied franchises, major markets with die hard fans...
 

spider705

Light skin, non ADOS Lebron hater!
BGOL Investor
You was a teenager in 2009? Damn, that would explain all these lengths you going through to defend this. :lol:

Besides, we would've won another title in 2017 if..............well, everyone in the world knows except you.
4 runs in 3 games won't cut it
Throwing hanging off speed pitches won't cut it
Having the biggest payroll won't cut it

Just accept y'all lost and stop with the conjecture about "what would have happened if..."

If my auntie had nuts she'd be my uncle
 

spider705

Light skin, non ADOS Lebron hater!
BGOL Investor
Fixed for accuracy
Bro as a Yankees fan, you really shouldn't throw rocks... lol

I can drop links that show plenty of cheating where y'all got caught and nothing happened...

Oh yeah, y'all so livid with the Astros, yet signed our pitcher... buying that ring, huh?
 

dugington

Rising Star
Registered
Bro as a Yankees fan, you really shouldn't throw rocks... lol

I can drop links that show plenty of cheating where y'all got caught and nothing happened...

Oh yeah, y'all so livid with the Astros, yet signed our pitcher... buying that ring, huh?
If/when they do a full investigation that proves we cheated without a doubt, I will just own it. See how easy that is? Of course you don't.
Cognitive dissonance is strong within you.
Stop playin "what about" and own this shit fam.
As far as Cole, he was with Pittsburgh right before yall. We were pursuing him then, but ended up going with J.A. Happ.
Not sure the two years he played in HOU makes him "yours". But hey, I know you need to hold on to anything/everything you can to feel you belong among the greats of the game.
Right now, your whole squad name is Shoeless Joe. :lol:

 

LordSinister

Grand Galactic Inquisitor/Last King of Ockland
Super Moderator
There's a difference between buying a girl drinks to get her to loosen up and Pill Cosby.

One is something everyone has done at a bar or party and part of the game, the other one is rape.

Stealing signs from 2nd base or a pitcher tipping pitches is way different from a buzzer.

Long time Dodger fan since my pops left me at home as a baby while he saw Koufax pitch a perfect game. I don't mind the occasional pine tar, vaseline in the hat, or sandpaper, but this shit is weak as fuck. I say nobody won the series that year.
 

playahaitian

Rising Star
Certified Pussy Poster
Yo BOSTON fans MAD PISSED at Astros!

WHY?

They saying Astros acting like assholes is making this story SO BIG?

and NOW watch the commissioner go for the kill shot on the Sox

AND

watch the union not say sh*t

Good lawd Astros batters gonna need some football helmets.
 

playahaitian

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The Astros Cheating Scandal Has Only Gotten Nuttier
By Will Leitch
The Astros celebrating their now tainted 2017 championship. Photo: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images
“Baseball is burning,” wrote ESPN’s Jeff Passan over the weekend, and the estimable reporter certainly reflected the general sentiment around the sport. The Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal has, impossibly, entered its fourth month and shows no hints of abating, with Astros players being accosted (and apologizing terribly) at spring training, opponents rubbing their hands together in anticipation of throwing baseballs at Astros’ heads (including the mascot’s), and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred looking for all the world like he just woke up strapped to the side of a missile headed directly for the sun. Ordinarily, this is the time of year when baseball writers start rhapsodizing about the crack of the bat and the smell of freshly cut grass. Instead, they’re patting down José Altuve for buzzers. We live in amazing times.
Since the scandal first hit, it can feel as if every day brings some new revelation. We know so much more about where this whole thing is headed, and what it means for the sport itself, than we did when The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich broke the story in November. In many ways, the scandal has exposed fault lines in the sport and among the people in charge of it … but it also, oddly, may lead to a way forward.
What we now know:
1. Baseball fans have decided cheating is no longer acceptable in any form. (Or at least they better have.) So you know how when you go to a baseball game and there’s a runner on second base and the pitcher keeps stepping off the mound and eventually calling his catcher to the mound, slowing the game to a crawl? Well, what’s happening there is that the runner is trying to steal signs, and the pitcher and catcher are trying to stop him. This happens nearly every time a runner is on second. Someone is trying to cheat. Baseball players have been trying to evade the rules — and explicitly trying to steal signs — as long as there has been baseball. Initially, I saw this as a reason to pooh-pooh the Astros story; I thought fans were embracing faux outrage to appear shocked that there could possibly be gambling in this establishment. But people (and, specifically, players, though we’ll get to them in a second) really do seem to be very mad! And the length and breadth of the scandal does point to a moment of zero tolerance for any outside-the-rulebook corner cutting, which would be new for baseball. Manfred has said there will be rule changes around video technology, but one can’t help but wonder if there will be widespread revulsion now toward that runner at second base trying to sneak a peek at the catcher’s fingers. If intellectual consistency exists on this, there’d better be.

2. There is literally nothing any Astro can say that will make this better. One of the more remarkable aspects of the quotes from this past first week of spring training is just how much the knives are out for the Astros. Some of their apologies have been horrible (Astros owner Jim Crane displayed the perpetually tone-deaf cadence of the billionaire we’ve all come to know and love), some of them have felt forced and insincere (Altuve’s, namely), and some of them been heartfelt and honest, even to a fault (Astros shortstop Carlos Correa has been forceful, probably too forceful, in saying sorry, trying to put the scandal in context and telling the reigning NL MVP to “shut the fuck up”). But there is nothing any of them could say, short of saying it while committing hara-kiri in front of all those reporters, that would do any of them any good. No apology is enough, no remorse can run too deep, no self-flagellation is ever sufficient. Part of this is because the Astros have a long reputation for a certain efficient soullessness and disregard for public relations; everyone’s enjoying dunking on them because it has been a long time coming. (People also tend to put their suspicions and dislike of analytics and sabermetrics on the shoulders of the Astros these days, too.) But the bloodlust for Astros scalps has been relentless and ever-cascading: People want their heads on pikes, and that’s all there is to it. The Astros have been lambasted for not being willing to give up their 2017 title, for resisting any idea that their success was solely due to sign stealing, for not throwing themselves on the mercy of the court. But even if they had done all those things, it has become increasingly clear that we would all still want more. Nothing less than lashing them in the public square will suffice.
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3. There is very little evidence that the Astros won a World Series because of cheating. This is what Crane was trying to say in his press conference. He stumbled and claimed the Astros had gotten no advantage from their scheme, which isn’t true, but the idea that the Astros would have lost the World Series (or not made it to one at all) because of their sign stealing is not supported by the evidence in any possible way. Knowing what’s coming on the next pitch is an advantage, but, as The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh pointed out, just how much of an advantage is likely unknowable — and certainly not as dramatic as the discourse keeps making it out to be. (To hear it today, you would think Alex Bregman needed to steal signs in order to learn which end of the bat is up.) No statistic or study makes any sort of case that the Astros won only because of their rule breaking. But …
4. None of that matters, because people will believe what they want to believe. The Astros cheated. They also won the 2017 World Series. It is reasonable that people would conflate those two entirely separate facts into one linear narrative, but the human instinct to do so does not make that narrative true. Pointing out this fact, though, makes zero difference (and will just get me yelled at anyway). There is very much a parallel here with the PED scandal. Writer Joe Sheehan has rather definitively proved there was no connection between PED usage and a spike in home runs (or even in run scoring), but I suspect you still believe there was a connection anyway and surely always will. The world has decided the 2017 Astros were champions because they cheated, and persuading it otherwise will be a fool’s errand until the end of time.
5. Rob Manfred is having his Roger Goodell moment. For a while, Manfred’s wonkiness and willingness to experiment with rule changes — to float wild ideas without ever implementing them — had a certain let’s-try-it-out-in-the-lab quality; what’s happening in the Atlantic League, in which independent teams are testing potential MLB changes just to see what happens, is the sort of shake-up baseball could use every once in a while. But if Manfred ever had a honeymoon, it is long over. The negative response to his initial punishment of the Astros (which focused on management rather than on players, likely out of a desire to avoid a fight with the players’ union two years before the collective bargaining agreement expires) was overwhelming, but it just got worse during his press conference over the weekend, in which his defense of failing to prevent the scandal was widely seen as inadequate and even potentially nefarious. It did not help that his attitude toward one of the journalists who had broken several stories on the scandal beat seemed downright Trumpian. Even players went after him on Twitter. (Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner laid into him Monday as well.) On a certain level, Manfred can do only so much here if he isn’t willing to take away the Astros’ championship trophy, which seems to be the prevailing desire of the storm-the-castle crowd. (Jeff Passan on Tuesday noted just how impractical that idea, specifically the idea of suspending players, really is at this point.) Manfred just has to sit and take it. But his usual tricks — including floating a crazy playoffs idea to try to distract from this story — clearly are not working, and public confidence in him is at an all-time low. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell survived his lowest moment by putting his head down and focusing on his primary job: making money for the 32 owners who keep him in power. That’s probably Manfred’s best strategy at this point: a new, cynical turn in the job of commissioner, a position once entrusted to Yale presidents and statesmen. (And virulent racists, for what it’s worth.) Expect Barstool to be selling Manfred Clown T-shirts within the month.
6. We’re about to have a big discussion about beanballs. One key point Manfred made in his press conference was that it would be unacceptable for opposing teams to target Astros players with pitches throughout the season. Good luck with that, Rob. Just how often Astros hitters will be plunked is such a major issue that new Astros manager Dusty Baker is raising alarms about it. Perhaps most disturbing is that most fans seem to be as bloodthirsty as the opposing teams: They want to see Astros hit, and hit hard. As pitch velocity has increased over the years, the odds of a tragic incident involving a defenseless player standing only 60 feet six inches away from the mound have shot up dramatically. The dangerous meathead culture of throwing round objects at someone who has displeased you has plagued baseball for a century. Recent moves have helped legislate it more out of the sport; it’s not gone entirely but is less obvious and prevalent. But now every team is expected to throw at the Astros regularly. What happens when someone gets seriously hurt? Because someone will.
7. Players are speaking up and speaking out in a way they never have before. Baseball has a famously conformist culture. Why do you think so many players’ hair looks so ridiculous by the end of the season? You’re not supposed to showboat, you’re not supposed to call out other players, you’re not supposed to be different. But this scandal has brought out the personalities of many players who are still angry at the Astros — in an exciting way. Reigning MVP Cody Bellinger has been particularly vocal and eloquent on the scandal, Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer nearly blew a blood vessel talking about it, and even Mike Trout, the greatest player of this generation, has weighed in.
Maria Torres

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Mike Trout, who said he lost some respect for the Astros: “Me up to the plate knowing what’s coming? That would be fun.”

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This is good! Baseball players should show their personalities and speak out more. Their anger has been fuel for this story in an intoxicating way. There have been far fewer “this was supposed to stay within the clubhouse” stories than you might have expected. It’s raging free among the players. We’re finally learning how angry these guys are. And they are angry.
8. The Astros aren’t the only team in the mix here, but that may not matter either. The Red Sox and Mets have already fired their managers, both of whom were involved with the scheme, and the Red Sox are currently under investigation themselves. (Another reason not to vacate titles: The Red Sox would have to give up their 2018 championship too.) At this point, though, the Astros are the convenient first villain and the face of the scandal, and it’s a legitimate question whether we’ll really just burn the game down if it turns out that sign stealing is as widespread and varied as many believe it to be. (Do fans really want to know just how widespread?) It’s much easier to just yell at the Astros, whom everyone dislikes anyway.
9. This is a scandal with no logical end. Every day seems to put more kindling on the fire. Now that spring training is here, every player on every team is being asked about the cheating, and all it takes is one particularly angry interview to get everybody talking again. Then the actual games will begin, and every pitch of every Astros game will be scrutinized. And the Astros, remember, are favored to win the AL West this year, which means that every game they’re in the pennant chase (a.k.a. every game of the season) will remind everyone of everything all over again. This is exactly the type of story that just keeps reinvigorating itself. Manfred thought he was extinguishing it with his initial report; he was very, very wrong.
10. This remains a fun baseball scandal. These days, it’s sometimes lonely to be a die-hard baseball fan. The sport just doesn’t have the crossover quality it once did; before this scandal, I don’t remember the last time anyone had mentioned anything about baseball on, say, First Take. Now? Now all my non-baseball-fan friends want to know what I think about this whole mess. I don’t remember the last time they wanted to know what I thought about anything baseball related (maybe the Cubs winning the World Series?). The nice thing about this story, the thing that initially drew me to it, is that it feels like an NBA scandal. It’s driven by social media, it can be investigated and pored over by fans, it has players fighting with one another, and it turns us all into our own little detective agencies. Yet it still revolves around the game itself. It’s not about labor issues or PEDs or high ticket prices or domestic violence and player conduct. It’s about baseball: how it’s played, how it’s officiated, how it’s legislated, how it’s valued. People are talking about baseball, discussing baseball, choosing villains, taking up sides. It’s an endless story no one can get enough of. Baseball is burning, sure. But you can make a good case that it is burning bright, not dark. This old game still can fire us up after all this time. It’s good to be reminded.
 

spider705

Light skin, non ADOS Lebron hater!
BGOL Investor
Seems like you'd have a better record at home since that's where the cheating was done... wrong is wrong but this is intersting...

 

playahaitian

Rising Star
Certified Pussy Poster
Josh Reddick

this man GETS it.

my favorite Astro (who also did NOT participate in any of the shenanigans


Josh Reddick Says Astros Are 'Going to Go Out There and Win and Shut Everybody Up'
ELIZABETH SWINTON18 HOURS AGO
Houston outfielder Josh Reddick has a response for those calling out the Astros following their sign-stealing scandal.
Criticism toward Houston's players has come from players across MLB, stating that the Astros should be stripped of their title. Reddick says Houston has to stay away from the noise.
“At some point, you have to move on and not give a s---,” Reddick said, according to The Washington Post's Sam Fortier. “We're going to go out there and win and shut everybody up.”
Reddick insists that the Astros have "too many good players" to not succeed this season. He expects fans to be surprised with how well they are going to perform.
“People are going to look back and say, ‘They’re not using anything, so they obviously suck without it,’" Reddick said. "But that’s not the case."
Players such as Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger have been vocal with their distaste in Houston and the punishment the team received, stating that the Astros stole the 2017 title from the Dodgers. Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. says they have been vocal because the Dodgers will not have to face the Astros during the regular season.
“Those guys aren’t going to have to face us, which is maybe why they feel like they can speak like that,” McCullers continued. “But we’re moving on. That’s not what people may want to hear, but we stood here as men and we addressed [the scandal]. … We’re just looking forward to playing baseball again.”
Astros manager Dusty Baker added that he would not address other teams' remarks.

“I ain't commenting on everybody's comments," Baker said. "So, go ahead. You want to beat on us? Go ahead.”
If given the chance to face the Dodgers in the World Series, though, Houston would not turn down the task.
“If we get to the World Series, we'll play any team,” McCullers said.
 
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playahaitian

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Little Leagues from California to Pennsylvania ban 'Astros' nickname after cheating scandal
Chris Bumbaca








The Houston Astros won't have their 2017 World Series title taken away. Their name, on the other hand, won't be sticking around in some Little Leagues across the country.
Little League decision-makers from California to Pennsylvania have started a movement banning the "Astros" name from their youth teams as a result of the organization's electronic sign-stealing scandal. That, coupled with the team's perceived lack of contrition, has drawn ire from MLB players and the general public alike.
Over the weekend, a pair of Little Leagues in California — Long Beach and East Fullerton — both outlawed the use of the "Astros" nickname among their teams.
"Parents are disgusted," Long Beach Little League president Steve Klaus told the Orange County Register. "They are disgusted with the Astros and their lack of ownership and accountability. We know there's more to this scandal. What's coming tomorrow? With the Astros, you've got premeditated cheating."


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Bob Bertoni, who leads the District 16/31 Little League in Pennsylvania, told the Associated Press his league of about 4,000 players will not include the Astros this year.
“I think about our Little League pledge, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind: part of the pledge is, ‘I will play fair and strive to win,’” Bertoni said. “Our kids emulate and idolize major league players. I don’t think we as an organization should be idolizing teams that have decided not to play by the rules.”

In a statement, Little League International said volunteers operating local programs have the authority to name the teams.
"This unfortunate situation has taught Little Leaguers an important lesson about playing by the rules," the organization said. "We value our relationship with Major League Baseball and its efforts to expand opportunities for youth baseball and softball, and the best thing that Little League International can do for MLB and the entire baseball community is to teach children how to play the sport by the rules and with a high level of sportsmanship."
Contributing: Associated Press
 
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