baseball

MLB urged to strip Astros of 2017 World Series title over cheating scandal

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By EZRA SHAW

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What kind of signs, cut fastball low and outside, pitcher catcher signs?

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@quercetum - yes, those; the batter can't normally see what signs the catcher is putting down for the pitcher, but the Astros had people watching cameras focused on the catcher (and opposing dugout) and were reading the signs and instantly signalling to the batter by banging on metal garbage cans. The batter thus knew what kind of pitch was coming.

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News just out that Cora was fired by the Red Sox. Well deserved.

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The Astros should be stripped of all titles that season and removed from the books. That cheat Cora did it the next year when Boston won too. That title should also be vacated.

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From accounts, the scheme was player-driven, but with then Houston Astros bench coach Cora at the forefront.

After the 2017 Boston Red Sox - Apple Watch sign-stealing incident, the MLB commissioner sent a memo to all teams that he's not kidding around about the use of electronics and that the next punishment would be severe. That the Astros continued using it throughout 2017, including the World Series, and into 2018 illustrated how much disregard they showed to the commissioner.

One may ask, if it's player-driven, why then Astros manager Hinch and GM Luhnow took the brunt? They may only be in the periphery of this, but it's the NCAA-equivalent of "lack of institutional control" levied against universities even if they don't know what was going on but should have. But then why not the culpable players too?

MLB can easily punish their own employees, but the players have the MLB Players Association. The MLB can't blanket-punish everyone the same just because they're on the team roster since different players have different degrees of culpability. And the MLBPA would force the MLB to prove how much degree each player is culpable - which would drag on for years, if not impossible. That's why the MLB isn't punishing the players involved - it just isn't practical. The only thing they can probably do is to cast doubt on the legitimacy of their WS accomplishment, kinda like an asterisk.

For the same reason with ex-Astros player Beltran, even if he's now the new manager of the NY Mets. It's left up to the team execs to decide about their managers.

When Cora became the 2018 Red Sox manager, he brought such a scheme with him and doubled-down on a similar use of electronics. So that's twice for him and the Red Sox - that's why that punishment may be even more severe.

The other teams can't talk at least right now since the MLB told them all to keep zipped and now pour gas into the fire. But the most aggrieved may be the LA Dodgers - they lost the World Series back-to-back to the 2017 Astros and the 2018 Red Sox. (Yu Darvish pitched for the Dodgers, so who knows if he was really that bad in the WS.) The next may be the NY Yankees - they lost in the AL playoffs to the Astros in 2017 and to the Red Sox in 2018. And next may be the bit-players who pitched against the Astros and Red Sox, and then got sent down to the minors or cut because they got rocked in those games.

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