by Henry Miller | Sports Editor
Over the past two months, we have been exposed to the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal. The Astros were found to have used cameras during home games to steal the opposing team’s signs and find out what pitches were coming before they were thrown. Personnel in the Astros dugout would bang on a trash can lid to signal the batter that an offspeed pitch was coming. This information was relayed to the dugout from a computer station just inside the Astros locker room.
The Astros were touted as the poster franchise for rebounding from losing seasons using the farm system and analytics to return to a winning culture. During the time of this scandal, the Astros won a World Series, made it to a second and nearly won, as well as touting the highest rated offense over those three years. A massive blow to a once-respected franchise.
In terms of league penalties, they have fired their head coach and general manager as well as paying a fine of $5 million. On social media, however, they are being murdered. Every big name MLB star has had only bad things to say about the Astros. And rightly so, with so little action from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, the Astros should be absolutely tortured for the next decade.
Little league teams have already started banning the use of the Astros team logo for their athletes.
“Our mission statement has the words ‘character’ and ‘integrity,” Long Beach Little League president Steve Klaus told the Orange County Register. “It’s hard to develop integrity and character when you see [cheating] at the top level.”
Just this past weekend the popular English football club Manchester City was banned from the coveted Premier League for two years following discovery that they submitted improper financial information to the UEFA Club Financial Control Body. Why on earth are the Astros seemingly getting off scot-free for cheating and winning while Manchester City is facing a serious ban for something that gave them less of comparative advantage? Where is the integrity of the oldest sports league in America? What kind of a standard are we setting when the players aren’t held accountable and teams face a financial punishment which they will make up for in less than a month? Hopefully, these teams will be held accountable.