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2020 astros offseason

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16 minutes ago, Cornfusion said:

Dude, do you even do reality???  It's not a "notion".  It's a fact.  "Notions" don't carry a $5 million price tag and suspensions and losing draft choices.

 

15 minutes ago, David Dennison said:

That's called sweeping it under the rug and doing the bare minimum.

If MLB was serious they would punish players.

Yep.  This isn't a Subway franchise.  $5 million isn't much to an MLB team.  In fact, 5 million weighs in at a single year of Wade Miley's services.  And it might have been more meaningful if the fine actually affected the payroll so they couldn't hire another Wade Miley.  Instead, Crane can just raise the price of beer by $1 and make back 10 times that.

There's no purity in modern sports.  Its completely money driven.  The Astros are going to be the biggest road draw next season by far because of this.  Look what Deflategate did for the Patriots and they got caught doing that in the AFC championship game.  Let your hate consume you, Cornfusion.

Where does the fine even go?  Straight into Manfred's Cayman account?

Edited by FondrenRoad

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It costs roughly 7mil to sign 1st and 2nd rd picks for 2 years.  We get to "save" that money.  That covers the 5 mil fine obviously.  

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Tim Flannery speaks out on it. The horrendous formatting is his on Facebook, not mine. Noteworthy if only because it specifically states that using technology and cameras to steal and decipher signs has been going on for decades:

They are fining teams who try to steal signs ...hahahaha..got out just in time .

Ok...I feel a need to speak out, normal is changing, and today's norm is not the norm.
For 26 years I was in the big leagues , 10 as a player, 16 as a 3rd base coach , 20 if you count the other years learning the craft in the minor leagues , from Boise , to Wichita. The seriousness of the writer, the expertise from the front office man, the commissioner, to those who have never lived it. Here it is...I have 25 World Series games under my belt, 7 elimination games, and a 7th game of a World Series. 5 World Series ,3 World Championships I know it don't mean much to those in front of a computer, with the answers and all the rules. So I'm gonna make a long story short. I had a video camera on every 3rd base coach every single night, I spent hours logging tapes trying to steal your signs and finding a way to beat you. You as well did it, in New York I knew the Valentine Mets did it, I knew the Cubs did it, I knew the Dbacks, St. Louis did it, I caught them, that's when the fun begins , you fuck em up by changing signs, you tell the boys " if I put a hit and run on first pitch don't do anything, they will pitch out and now they don't have the signs, and you're in a hitters count" the list goes on and on.....if you aren't smart enough ( and believe me this isn't rocket science, it's being somewhat aware) it's your fault, now the game is turned into no breaking up double plays , don't slide hard at home, don't block the plate.if you are not creative enough to derail them, you've stopped thinking. As far as some of the greatest baseball writers who I love, read and listen to, and hang with. You are so off on the sign stuff. It's a high stakes poker game, big money especially as coaches . If you get caught , if your signs are stolen and you don't know in the moment they are close, they are on you...your not thinking, and now because of that the commissioner comes in not understanding, the writers write stealing signs is wrong. We had an advance scout that could watch your 3rd base coach for 3 days and be real close to getting his signs. He would send his report and I would watch you, or have a camera on you, if you haven't played , you don't understand how important this part of the game should be. You don't understand I would not only try and steal your hit and run sign, I would put our hit and run on that my guys knew, then in the same sequence put the other teams hit and run on so when they look at their cameras that we all used to steal the signs they would see and in their minds " shit they have the same sign for hit and run we have". It's propaganda war fare, its trying to beat you......so why you claim people aren't watching baseball because it takes to long, I say your taking the smarts out of it. ...I tried every night for 16 years to steal your signs either writing every thing you did down, or by looking at tapes because I had a camera on you, just like you had on me. Please leave the game alone, and every writer who wrote articles on this..be in church Sunday,because I know for a fact everyone of you looked at body language , vibe, and found a way to snake another writer to get the feature, get the win., leaving it with no creativity, no thinking, and the dumbing down of the greatest game ever......not that I know anything about it....Peace Tim Flannery.

Edited by Huckleberry

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Tim Flannery speaks out on it. The horrendous formatting is his on Facebook, not mine. Noteworthy if only because it specifically states that using technology and cameras to steal and decipher signs has been going on for decades:


They are fining teams who try to steal signs ...hahahaha..got out just in time .
Ok...I feel a need to speak out, normal is changing, and today's norm is not the norm.
For 26 years I was in the big leagues , 10 as a player, 16 as a 3rd base coach , 20 if you count the other years learning the craft in the minor leagues , from Boise , to Wichita. The seriousness of the writer, the expertise from the front office man, the commissioner, to those who have never lived it. Here it is...I have 25 World Series games under my belt, 7 elimination games, and a 7th game of a World Series. 5 World Series ,3 World Championships I know it don't mean much to those in front of a computer, with the answers and all the rules. So I'm gonna make a long story short. I had a video camera on every 3rd base coach every single night, I spent hours logging tapes trying to steal your signs and finding a way to beat you. You as well did it, in New York I knew the Valentine Mets did it, I knew the Cubs did it, I knew the Dbacks, St. Louis did it, I caught them, that's when the fun begins , you fuck em up by changing signs, you tell the boys " if I put a hit and run on first pitch don't do anything, they will pitch out and now they don't have the signs, and you're in a hitters count" the list goes on and on.....if you aren't smart enough ( and believe me this isn't rocket science, it's being somewhat aware) it's your fault, now the game is turned into no breaking up double plays , don't slide hard at home, don't block the plate.if you are not creative enough to derail them, you've stopped thinking. As far as some of the greatest baseball writers who I love, read and listen to, and hang with. You are so off on the sign stuff. It's a high stakes poker game, big money especially as coaches . If you get caught , if your signs are stolen and you don't know in the moment they are close, they are on you...your not thinking, and now because of that the commissioner comes in not understanding, the writers write stealing signs is wrong. We had an advance scout that could watch your 3rd base coach for 3 days and be real close to getting his signs. He would send his report and I would watch you, or have a camera on you, if you haven't played , you don't understand how important this part of the game should be. You don't understand I would not only try and steal your hit and run sign, I would put our hit and run on that my guys knew, then in the same sequence put the other teams hit and run on so when they look at their cameras that we all used to steal the signs they would see and in their minds " shit they have the same sign for hit and run we have". It's propaganda war fare, its trying to beat you......so why you claim people aren't watching baseball because it takes to long, I say your taking the smarts out of it. ...I tried every night for 16 years to steal your signs either writing every thing you did down, or by looking at tapes because I had a camera on you, just like you had on me. Please leave the game alone, and every writer who wrote articles on this..be in church Sunday,because I know for a fact everyone of you looked at body language , vibe, and found a way to snake another writer to get the feature, get the win., leaving it with no creativity, no thinking, and the dumbing down of the greatest game ever......not that I know anything about it....Peace Tim Flannery.

ALL OF THIS .

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28 minutes ago, David Dennison said:

I don't think there is anything wrong with stealing signs.

Oh good grief.  You're Surly's version of Skip Bayless.

You live to be contrarian, don't you?

 

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Stealing signs is not illegal in MLB.  There are different levels to this, which Flannery ignores. 

1.  Runner on 2nd, stealing the catcher's sign.  That's fine, no one has ever said it's against the rules.  Watch out for a fastball in the earhole, though.

2.  Filming the 3rd base coach at a previous series to try to steal his bunt/hit-and-run signs.  Yeah, whatever.  Might violate MLB rules because of filming, but you're taught to try to steal the coach's signs if you're sitting in the dugout.  However, this is basically what the Patriots were doing that got everyone pissy about them.  Whatever, not that big of a deal because does anyone in MLB ever bunt or H-and-R any more anyways?

3.  Guy in a video room during the game, trying to decode the catcher's sequencing so that the base-runner doesn't have to do it when he gets on base.  This is against MLB rules.  Houston was doing this, and I suspect a lot of other teams were too.  

4.  Guy in video room banging on a trash can to signal every pitch.   Obviously against MLB rule, and IMO, a whole different level of cheating.  Maybe Cora had the Sox doing something similar, but I'd be surprised if other teams took it this far.  

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Gotta disagree with you there. If using cameras to record a team's signs was illegal then what Flannery was talking about is just as bad as what the Astros did. Having things on video makes it incredibly easier to decipher signs. And he's saying that they put the 3rd base coach on film, who's to say that he or other teams didn't record other things they weren't supposed to record?

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1 minute ago, Huckleberry said:

Gotta disagree with you there. If using cameras to record a team's signs was illegal then what Flannery was talking about is just as bad as what the Astros did. Having things on video makes it incredibly easier to decipher signs. And he's saying that they put the 3rd base coach on film, who's to say that he or other teams didn't record other things they weren't supposed to record?

WHat Flannery was talking about is using video to advance scout.  That is dramatically different than using live video during a game.  

 

3 minutes ago, henrygandorf said:

to sum up: live cheating bad; research cheating ok. 

Should be the new MLB motto.

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26 minutes ago, Beau Vine said:

Oh good grief.  You're Surly's version of Skip Bayless.

You live to be contrarian, don't you?

 

No. I honestly don't think there's anything wrong with this kind of stuff in professional sports.

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49 minutes ago, FondrenRoad said:

 

 

There's no purity in modern sports.  Its completely money driven. 

Agree. Americans sport franchises are businesses, another easy investment for the 1%, often with access to tons of benefits from public tax money. It's not about competition.

Edited by pacman

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Here's an article from 1997:

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1997-06-01-sp-64458-story.html

Quote

Until Current Baseball Season, Stealing Signs Was Hidden Art

By MICHAEL KNISLEY
June 1, 1997
THE SPORTING NEWS
“Man, you are talking to the wrong person,” Tony Gwynn says. “I am absolutely the worst guy to talk to about stealing signs.”

The worst guy to talk to about stealing signs is the best hitter in baseball. The best hitter in baseball claims to be the last guy who would steal a sign. Which makes Gwynn, despite his protestations, a pretty good guy to give perspective on the issue.

“I hate it,” Gwynn says. “I don’t even want to know. I mean, guys are always talking on the bench about how a pitcher is holding his glove, or his arm angle, or whatever. When I hear that, I have to get up and walk away because I just don’t want to know.”

More later on why Gwynn doesn’t want to know what’s coming when he steps into the batter’s box. First, let’s see if we can figure out how much sign-stealing really goes on in baseball. Is Dusty Baker right? Do Felipe Alou’s Expos steal signs? Were Montreal’s baserunners filching the type and location of pitches from the Giants’ catchers in their May series and then communicating that information to the hitters? How many other teams do it? How often does it happen?

You have to ask as many as . . . oh, two people before you find much disagreement.

“I think it happens more than people realize,” says Scott Servais, the Cubs’ bulldog catcher. “That’s part of the game. It’s been a part of the game and it always will be part of the game. I don’t really have a problem with guys trying to do it. You know, they say if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”

“I don’t think it goes on as much as people think it does,” says Bruce Bochy, the Padres’ hard-nosed manager. “I think the art of stealing signs was more popular a few years ago. And it is an art. Sure, you try to do it. But I think paranoia plays as big a part in it as actually doing it. Maybe you pitch out when a team is running, or maybe a guy hits a decent pitch. Now the other team thinks you’ve got their signs. So it happens, but not quite as frequently as people think.”

No one disputes that it’s a part of the game, universally accepted as such. Until your signs are the ones being stolen. Then, all of a sudden, it’s an objectionable transgression that has no place in baseball.

“Oh, hell yes,” Servais says, moments after his suggestion that you aren’t trying if you aren’t cheating. The Cubs, his team, have been accused in years past of planting a mole in the scoreboard at Wrigley Field to pilfer a catcher’s signs. “If I see a team doing it against us, I’ll say something to them. I want them to know we’re aware of it. And if it continues, we’ll have to do something about it.”

The peculiar element in the San Francisco-Montreal escapade a few weeks ago isn’t that the Expos may have been stealing signs. Nor is it unusual the Giants took offense when they began to suspect it was happening. No, the surprising thing (other than Alou’s strange notion that race somehow is involved) is that the managers are playing out this little rhubarb in a war of personal words, away from the field. If one team is stealing signs from another, there are better ways to deal with it. Maybe change the signs. Maybe employ an even quicker, more direct manner of retaliation.

Mario Soto, a pretty fair pitcher for the Reds for a dozen years, had a wonderful changeup, but he also had a habit of telegraphing it. One day, Hal Lanier, the Cardinals’ third base coach, devised a verbal cue to pass along to his hitters when he saw the changeup coming. It worked, until the Reds figured out what was happening. Then the catcher called for a changeup, Soto went into his windup, Lanier gave the cue and Soto zinged high heat at the hitter’s head. The anti-changeup. After the pitch, he simply turned toward Lanier and wagged his finger at him.

That was the end of it. Not a word was spoken.

Once in San Diego a few years back, the Phillies’ Curt Schilling thought Gwynn was stealing signs from second base when Derek Bell, then a Padre, was at bat. Schilling’s response wasn’t directed at Gwynn, though. Instead, he threw at Bell. A year or two ago, the Astros’ Craig Biggio alleged that Gwynn’s teammates were tipping signs to him.

“Yeah, I’ve been accused of it,” Gwynn says. “And the truth is, I couldn’t even tell you what the catcher’s signs are. I mean, I get on second base, and a lot of times I’m looking in to see what the catcher is putting down. But I have no idea what any of it means. I know, I know. After 15 years in the major leagues, people are going to hear that and say, ‘Yeah, right, Tony. You can’t tell?’ But I couldn’t tell you. I honestly could not tell you.”

Gwynn has won seven National League batting championships, including the last three in a row. He has hit over .300 for 14 consecutive seasons. He began this year with a career batting average of .337, and he’s way above that so far in 1997. He is as close to a hitting machine as baseball has seen in decades, maybe since Ted Williams. He is able, according to Padres hitting coach Merv Rettenmund, to read pitches when he doesn’t know what’s coming better than other players can when they’ve been told what to expect.

He is a different animal. He doesn’t want to know.

“I’ve got to hit what I see,” Gwynn says. “That’s the only way I can describe it. Even when guys know what’s coming, that doesn’t mean the pitch is going to be a strike. There have been many times when you see something that lets you know what the pitch is; and then, even if it isn’t a strike, you end up swinging at it just because you think you know what it is.

“The discipline, for me, comes in seeing it out of the pitcher’s hand and reacting to what I see. I would much rather trust what my eyes tell me than something else--even if it’s a guy I don’t hit well, like (Denny) Neagle in Atlanta. I don’t hit Neagle worth a nickel. I’m like 2-for-21 against him or something. And the guys on the bench are talking like, ‘Oh, he does this and he does that. Watch for it.’ And I still don’t want to know. I’d rather trust my own judgment. I just trust what I see.”

When you have trusted your judgment for 15 years and hit .337 for that long, it’s hard to see the game through somebody else’s eyes. Gwynn won’t. So the worst guy to talk to about stealing signs walks away.

 

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13 minutes ago, Beau Vine said:

WHat Flannery was talking about is using video to advance scout.  That is dramatically different than using live video during a game.  

Yet still against the rules.  The cry from the rest of baseball seems to be, “yeah we all break the rules, but the Astros really, really broke the rules.”  If it’s the Wild West, why get pissed off when someone goes a little wilder?

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5 minutes ago, tx 3 putt said:

Group of dodgers are filing a lawsuit against the Astros. Per 740 

players or these guys? 

930687c0c7611e19174de16a2036-should-the-

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36 minutes ago, Guadaloopy said:

Yet still against the rules.  The cry from the rest of baseball seems to be, “yeah we all break the rules, but the Astros really, really broke the rules.”  If it’s the Wild West, why get pissed off when someone goes a little wilder?

We all speed, but if someone's going 130 mph, you hope that guy gets pulled over. 

Relative moralism is huge in this society, you know.

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16 minutes ago, Beau Vine said:

We all speed, but if someone's going 130 mph, you hope that guy gets pulled over. 

Relative moralism is huge in this society, you know.

Personally, the guy going 40 on the highway pisses me off more. 

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2 hours ago, FondrenRoad said:

There aren't going to be asterisks, do-overs, or even league apologies no matter what else is found.  Y'all have some short memories.  It isn't like the steroid era was so long ago.  Not a single asterisk even considered.

Do you think asterisks are some kind of official reprimand the MLB issues to teams or players? Like the possible punishment could've been 1 GM suspension, 1 manager suspension, 4 draft picks, $5 mil cash, and 1 asterisk?

The 2017 world series title absolutely has an asterisk at this point, just like the Bonds HR record has an asterisk, along with countless other records and stats from the PED era.

If it makes you feel any better, Boston probably gets one too.

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7 minutes ago, wild_turkey said:

Do you think asterisks are some kind of official reprimand the MLB issues to teams or players? Like the possible punishment could've been 1 GM suspension, 1 manager suspension, 4 draft picks, $5 mil cash, and 1 asterisk?

The 2017 world series title absolutely has an asterisk at this point, just like the Bonds HR record has an asterisk, along with countless other records and stats from the PED era.

If it makes you feel any better, Boston probably gets one too.

The Bonds HR record does not have an asterisk, nor do any of the PED era records or stats. Barry Bonds is going to be in the Hall of Fame along with his record.

Good grief.

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17 minutes ago, wild_turkey said:

Do you think asterisks are some kind of official reprimand the MLB issues to teams or players? Like the possible punishment could've been 1 GM suspension, 1 manager suspension, 4 draft picks, $5 mil cash, and 1 asterisk?

The 2017 world series title absolutely has an asterisk at this point, just like the Bonds HR record has an asterisk, along with countless other records and stats from the PED era.

If it makes you feel any better, Boston probably gets one too.

I feel just fine.  

Individual stats aren't comparable.  They are amassed in different seasons and different eras.  Babe Ruth wouldn't even make a AAA squad in 2020.

You either vacate the title or you don't.  I don't really give a shit what Rangers fans write about the 2017 World Series in their diaries.  You guys will go aggy up the Wikipedia page for a few years, but eventually you'll even give up on that. "Teach the controversy" about 2017 won't even be around by midseason this year.  Y'all seem pretty desperate, but the punishment has already been applied.  Sorry the league didn't find it bad enough to make your dreams come true. 

Edited by FondrenRoad

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57 minutes ago, Chuckie Finster said:


Feel like you left out the most important word in that sentence: “fans.”

Do they realize it would just be vacated? Dodgers aren’t going to retroactively win 2017 and 2018. No one would. Like USC’s titles. 

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24 minutes ago, David Dennison said:

Does Dodger Theory make us the 2018 AL champs?

You should definitely sue.

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — In a shocking joint statement before the General Assembly today, leaders of Germany, Japan, Italy and several other nations have moved to have the result of World War II declared void.

"In cracking the Enigma code, first the Poles, and then the French and the British were stealing our signs," German chancellor Angela Merkel told the body today. "This devious and deceptive practice prevented us from unleashing the full might of our forces on the Eastern Front. Today, we demand nothing less than the lebensraum our people are entitled to, and would have permanently conquered in what the English might call a 'fair fight.'"

"American deciphering of Imperial Japanese Navy codes prevented the destruction of the American Pacific Fleet and enabled the destruction of much of ours at Midway," added Japanese premier Shinzo Abe. "I liken it to baseball, which we too know much about. It closely resembles what the Houston Astros did to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series of 2017, especially our great hero Yu Darvish."

Abe went on to demand restored Japanese dominion over a reunified Korea, much of the People's Republic of China, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines, and many small Pacific islands and archipelagoes, some of them US-controlled.

"And need I even broach the topic of the so-called 'Navajo Code Talkers'?" the premier added. "Once more, I compare it to baseball. Such unexpected and unbeatable tactics as the use of a language nobody in our country can speak is, while technically not against the rules, a real 'kick in the pants,' like the infield shift."

"Yeah, what dey said," added whoever that guy is who is in control of Italy today. "Give us-a back-a Libya, Albania, and-a Ethiopia."

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5 hours ago, ChickenSandwich said:

Still waiting on MLB to strip the Yankees of all titles ARod had a hand in, for cheating. 

One.

4 hours ago, David Dennison said:

The Bonds HR record does not have an asterisk, nor do any of the PED era records or stats. Barry Bonds is going to be in the Hall of Fame along with his record.

Good grief.

Not so sure of that. Bonds has plateaued. Got 59.1 percent of votes this year. Needs 75 percent to get in. Only three more years on the ballot.

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27 minutes ago, tx 3 putt said:

cora is going to be on that Pete Rose mlb permaban list 

As a Sox (not black or white) who likes Cora I agree. Sucks, but do the crime you do the time.  

No Asterix, no rewriting history. It be what it be. Punish ALL involved, including players, and move on. This includes every trainer as well. If your name came up, you don't work for MLB. Ever. 

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7 hours ago, Beau Vine said:

We all speed, but if someone's going 130 mph, you hope that guy gets pulled over. 

Relative moralism is huge in this society, you know.

Going 130 isn't immoral.  I just hope they don't hurt anyone.

 

Yankees and Dodgers excluded, of course...

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Stark:

Quote

The text popped up on my phone Monday afternoon from a longtime baseball executive, not long after Rob Manfred had lowered his sledgehammer on the Houston Astros.

“Give the hardware back,” the exec said, emphatically, of a team he angrily believed “went over the line.”

By “hardware,” I’m guessing, he wasn’t referring to the Astros’ state-of-the-art lug wrench set. He was referring to their prized World Series trophy of 2017. Of course he was.

Maybe Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch will never be spotted again in Minute Maid Park. But that trophy? It isn’t going anywhere. And that wasn’t sitting well with many people in this sport.

So if baseball really wanted to put “some teeth” into its discipline, this exec said in another text, it should take back that trophy. It should strip the Astros of that title. It should rewrite history to make the most powerful statement it could make about what will happen to the next team that cheats.

But that wasn’t the only text. His wasn’t the only voice. Another prominent baseball man told me MLB should have pounded the Astros directly “in the win column” if it wanted to send a message. Translation: None of those games they won — let alone the titles they won — should be allowed to count.

Well, if I was hearing that sort of passion and outrage, I can only imagine what the commissioner of baseball has been hearing over the last two months as he played Supreme Court justice, weighing the price the Astros would have to pay for the most infamous baseball cheating scandal of the past 100 years. The chorus was loud. The chorus was clear.

Suspensions? Fines? Lost jobs? Lost draft picks? That’s all? That’s all the Houston Astros got — for this?

Yep. “That’s all.”

Strip away that World Series trophy? That was never going to happen. Never. And it’s not going to happen to the 2018 Red Sox, no matter what MLB uncovers in its investigation of that juggernaut. Now let me try to explain why, based in part on conversations this week, but also on years of covering this sport and talking through these issues with a long line of decision-makers.

It’s a slippery slope

Why don’t we start with this time-honored principle: Once something happens, it’s even tough for David Copperfield — let alone Rob Manfred — to make it un-happen.

Ask yourself this: If you were going to make a ruling that what the Astros did in 2017 shouldn’t count, then what exactly about it shouldn’t count?

Would just the results of that World Series not count? Or other series, too? Would the Dodgers then be called the winners of that World Series? Or would that be a World Series that nobody won?

What about the regular season? Would those games count? Would those Astros wins count? Or would they forfeit every one of those 101 games they won? If they did, would those victories then be assigned to the teams they played? Then what would you do about the standings?

OK, how about the stats compiled in those games? Would you start stripping them, too? Would you take away José Altuve’s batting title? How about those 204 hits he got? Would they disappear off his Baseball-Reference page, too? Would we then start changing the stats of the pitchers who gave up those hits?

And what would we do about the box scores? They tell the story of the history of this sport, one beautiful game at a time. Would we rule that everything in the Astros’ box scores was a lie? Should we even zap those box scores from the record books and the internet?

See the problem here? These things happened. They. All. Happened. All of them! We have witnesses. We have records. We have box scores. We have videos. So once you start messing with what happened, where do you stop? How slippery is that slope? Way too slippery to mess with.

And there’s something else here that’s complicated: the memories.

Remember what that World Series meant, in that time and place, to all those people in Houston who had just survived a powerful hurricane and found much-needed joy when that World Series parade rolled through their town. What would you tell those people? Could you please stop by our office so we can delete those memories from the hard drive in your brain — because we just decided that parade never happened?

Let’s just not go there. History unfolded. To step in and try to change it is way too complicated. Attach that asterisk to all of it in your head if you’d like. But that’s about it.

Where’s the precedent?

If you study Rob Manfred’s ruling in this case, everything about it was wrapped in some sort of precedent, based on a history of baseball crimes, punishments and scandals through the years. So where is the precedent for stripping a World Series trophy — or pretty much anything else — in all those years?

Let’s think about the PED era. Barry Bonds got to keep all seven of his MVP trophies. Roger Clemens gave back zero of his Cy Youngs. Manny Ramírez won a batting title, a home run title, an RBI title and a World Series MVP award. Even two PED suspensions didn’t cost him any of that.

The PED transgressions of the Bash Brothers didn’t cause the 1989 A’s to surrender their World Series trophy. Despite what we know about that era now, not one line in the record book has been changed. Not one homer has been un-hit. Not a single game won has been un-won.

But this goes well beyond PEDs. We have indisputable video evidence that Armando Galarraga should have thrown a perfect game back in 2010. We had it moments after one of baseball’s best umpires, Jim Joyce, missed the call at first base. We had Joyce himself apologizing that night for getting that call wrong and costing Galarraga his place in history.

But this sport didn’t rewrite the script of that game, right? It just meant Galarraga wound up with a slightly different place in history.

Heck, we even know now that the most famous home run in baseball history — Bobby Thomson, 1951 — was tainted by cheating. But that home run stands. Russ Hodges’ epic call of that home run is still just a click and a goosebump away. The Giants won the pennant. The Giants won the pennant. And the Giants have never stopped winning that pennant — because there was no precedent then to declare otherwise … and there still isn’t.

What about the other pro sports?

Remind me again how many wins, honors and trophies the Patriots have given back over in the NFL. Whatever happened in Deflategate, the Patriots still are the proud winners of Super Bowl XLIX. Tom Brady eventually paid a price and missed a few games, true. But nothing that happened in that season or postseason has been voided, obliterated or changed in any way.

And whatever happened in Spygate, the Patriots still made that trip to Super Bowl XLII. They didn’t win that game. But I’m pretty sure their AFC Championship trophy was never mailed back to New York.

Or how about the NBA? A referee, Tim Donaghy, admitted to fixing games and went to jail for his crime. But how many of those games he fixed had their results changed? Right. That would be none.

And why is that? Because all of this raises an issue that only a time machine can resolve. How do you know what would have happened if there had been no cheating … or no drug-taking … or no deflating … or no spying? We don’t know these things. We can’t know these things.

And also … how do we know for sure that the other team wasn’t doing something? It has been clear, in all of The Athletic’s reporting on this issue, that no one believes the Astros were the only team stealing signs via technology. They’re just the team that got caught. The Red Sox are now in this investigation pipeline. Who knows how many more teams could get swallowed up in this? How do we know the Astros weren’t playing against those very teams when they were banging on those trash cans?

So as we were saying … all these slopes are as precarious as slopes can possibly get.

What about amateur sports?

Obviously, the NCAA feels differently about this. Louisville lost its 2013 NCAA basketball title. Southern Cal lost its 2004 national football championship. Reggie Bush had to give back his Heisman Trophy.

And obviously, the International Olympic Committee has gone down a very different road. No need to recap all the failed drug tests and medals stripped. But there is no denying that the IOC has taken exactly the opposite stance on cheating of any kind — or at least cheating it was able to detect.

But once upon a time, I recall making that point to a baseball official as we discussed a similar issue. I brought up the NCAA.

“I’m not sure that’s a model you want to follow,” he said.

There are people in his sport — right now, this very week — who would disagree with that, though. If the Astros were to be consigned to a place in history alongside Louisville and USC, those people would be extremely cool with that.

But in baseball, history has a different place in the sporting cosmos. The making of history is an integral part of the fabric of baseball. But nowhere in that fabric has anyone ever dared to un-make history. And as we learned again this week, Rob Manfred was not going to be the first.

 

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Honestly, the 1951 NL pennant is absolutely the perfect analogy for this situation. People can reasonably disagree on what Flannery talked about with cameras on coaches to record things for later study, but the Giants were informing their batters in real time before the pitch what was coming.

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Sign stealing has been taking place since the introduction of tv cameras at games, it's been going on for YEARRSSSSS. Just because 1/2 teams got caught doesn't mean it hasn't been happening, it's why other mlb guys with ties are writing articles or sending out tweets about it all. I just had a 3 hour talk yesterday at a well know dallas select baseball facility where they have a ex longtime mlb pitcher working with them and he laughed and said the team he played for used video equipment in the early 90's for the exact same thing, he also said the use of a trash can is the all time dumbest thing he's ever heard of and was easily giving it away. 

 

Either way just like the above article no one will give a fuck but baby ranger fans that are pissed they can't catch a fly ball.

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8 hours ago, runthebone said:

ESPN has one article saying the Astros were hammered and a second one saying they got off easy

They got hammered for breaking league rules. They got off easy for cheating.

The takeaway: cheating is no worse than breaking a rule. It's like speeding. Everyone does it, just don't get caught.

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Honestly, the 1951 NL pennant is absolutely the perfect analogy for this situation. People can reasonably disagree on what Flannery talked about with cameras on coaches to record things for later study, but the Giants were informing their batters in real time before the pitch what was coming.
Honestly never knew that about the shot heard round the world.

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I had never heard about the 51 Giants sign stealing business.  Huh

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13 minutes ago, Mack Tripper said:

Yeah, they went 37-7 in their last 44 games to catch the Dodgers. 

That seems pretty good.

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The hilarious part to all of this, is MLB's decision to add instant replay was the conduit by which all teams have the technology to "cheat." The Astros went too far with the trash can banging, but there is no doubt every team in baseball is using the replay technology for an advantage.

Edited by HtownHorn

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