Baseball world in shambles after Astros caught in a scandal

2018 MVP, Jose Altuve, is facing scrutiny from fans due to his possible involvement in the recent sign stealing scandal.

NBC Sports

2018 MVP, Jose Altuve, is facing scrutiny from fans due to his possible involvement in the recent sign stealing scandal.

Lucas Milgrim, Staff Writer

After months of accusations, investigations, and speculations, the Houston Astros have been found guilty of illegally using technology to steal the hand signs of opposing pitchers and relaying them to their batters.  

After the MLB’s investigation, the team was fined the maximum of one million dollars, lost their first and second round draft picks for the next two years, and both managers, AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Lunhow, were suspended for a year.  Hunch and Lunhow were quickly removed from their positions from the organization.  

The scandal has had a ripple effect on the rest of the league as well.  Alex Cora, former Boston Red Sox manager, contributed to the scandal as the Astros’ bench coach in 2017 and is also being investigated for “sign stealing” when the Sox won the World Series in 2018.  Cora was fired almost instantly after the initial punishment was released.  

Carlos Beltran’s short tenure as the Mets’ manager also ended when he became linked to the illegal stealing of signs that he took part in during his 2017 title run with the Astros.  Beltran had just been signed to his first managerial job and was fired before even managing one game, and was then replaced by Luis Rojas.  

With all of these punishments abruptly coming out, the Mets seem to have gotten the worst end, as they had no involvement in the scandal but were forced to fire the manager to preserve their team’s image.  

At the moment, it seems as though no players who were involved in this incident of cheating will be punished by the MLB, nor will the 2017 World Series title be stripped from the Astros.

However, the MLB has dealt with plenty of uproar for what some believe is a light punishment.  According to ESPN, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted that the Dodgers, who lost to the Astros in the 2017 World Series, should be given the title for that season.  The Astros illegal methods assisted them in securing their World Series win.  Almost all of their players’ batting averages, slugging percentages, and overall performance spiked during home games, which were the only games they were able to steal signs at.   

“It is difficult because virtually all of the Astros’ players had some involvement or knowledge of the scheme, and I am not in a position based on the investigative record to determine with any degree of certainty every player who should be held accountable, or their relative degree of culpability.” said commissioner Rob Manfred.  

Manfred claims that he doesn’t have viable evidence to correctly punish each and any player.  However, rumors have been circulating that the players aren’t being punished for other reasons.  According to some, Astros’ players who cooperated in the investigation and told Manfred details of their cheating were let off without punishment.  

“Knowing what we know, it’s highly likely that some of the players in the Astros organization were privy to the foul play that was going on, and the fact that none of them suffered repercussions is absurd,” said junior Isaac Goldstein.  

By not punishing the involved players, the league is painting a horrible picture for itself, and they are trying to prevent a worse result by not stripping the Astros’ of a title.  If they were to do so, a blank spot or asterisk on the list of World Series would have fans frowning upon the situatiom for the rest of baseball history.

To many, the reports of cheating were at first unbelievable, and now that they are confirmed, still seem nonsensical. 

“The Astros’ cheating made no sense to me, they already had such a talented team and their cheating took away a ring from the Dodgers and chances to get a ring from the teams they played in the ALCS and ALDS.” said freshman Owen Schindler.  

What the Astros and others teams have done in order to guarantee a World Series win will forever be seen as an incident that has changed the MLB forever.