By Sonny Tapia
The punishment for the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in the 2017 World Series Championship was harsh but not harsh enough.
The sign-stealing scandal was an investigation into the Astros’ organization for relaying stolen signs to hitters during the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The organization was fined $5 million, which is the maximum that can be given to a team, along with the loss of its first and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.
Major League Baseball also suspended Astros’ general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for one year. They were both fired from the organization shortly after.
The organization will lose four high draft picks which will hurt the team more than people understand. Astros’ owner Jim Crane claimed to know nothing of the actions being questioned.
He feels that the cheating scandal does not damage the reputation of the World Series win.
“Well, I think absolutely not. We’ve had a very good team for a number of years before 2017 and 2018. We have a very good team this year and I think we’ll have a great season.
“We have a lot of great players still and I don’t think it taints it at all,” Crane said in a press conference held after the announcement of the scandal.
This damages the win for sure because it was not earned. Many players across the league were asked how they felt about the accusations.
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge felt that it was not earned and you cannot be proud of it as a team.
The repercussions held against the Astros’ organization were not harsh enough at all especially since the title will not be stripped from the Astros.
Even though this happened in 2017 it bled into another organization’s win in the World Series. Alex Cora was the bench coach of the 2017 Astros team and was then traded and hired by the Boston Red Sox as manager in 2018.
The Red Sox went on to beat the Dodgers in the World Series the following year after the Astros. So far Cora has not been punished at all by the league.
Cora, Luhnow and Hinch should all be punished much harsher. They should have been suspended for three years and not allowed to operate in the major level of baseball again.
They all have gotten off with little to no damage. This is upsetting when it comes to Dodgers’ fans because they could have been cheated out of back to back championships without a hitch.
Commissioner Rob Manfred believed in the tradition of keeping what happened unchanged. “There is a long tradition in baseball of not trying to change what happened,” Manfred said in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
The upper offices of Major League Baseball hae come to the decision to let the Astros and Red Sox keep their titles no matter what further evidence arises.
This is wrong because if it becomes more apparent and truthful that the organizations cheated in their wins then they should lose the championship no matter what.
The long tradition of not changing what happened is not useful because there is an even bigger tradition of keeping games fair and legal.
Even with the minimal physical punishments given to the team, the idea of emotional and mental stress continues to harm the organization.
The Houston Astros are no longer considered a credible team because of this. The reputation of the organization has gone down the tubes.
Thinking of the long history of the Astros, from players like Nolan Ryan and Craig Biggio, it is hard to picture them cheating the way the 2017 team did.
The Astros organization should be forced to display a formal apology to all fans in attendance at every game for the next three years and maybe long after that.
Fans come to a baseball stadium to watch one of America’s greatest pastimes be played fairly and with dignity.
With the accusations of immense cheating being riddled throughout the league, it is hard to see it a different and more positive way.
The $5 million fine is not enough to cover the awful display of baseball performed by a champion.The league rules on fines for this type of issue should be rethought.
The World Series Champion title should only belong to those who fought for over 162 regular season games without cheating the system.