By Jake Brown / Staff Writer
If you glance at anything sports related on social media, the newspaper, television, etc., then you have seen something related to the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal. It is a controversial topic that has caused many problems and controversy regarding baseball.
To understand this, you need to understand where it all started. From 2017-2019, the Houston Astros used a sign-stealing operation, using a camera somewhere in the center field area of Minute Maid Park to zoom in on opposing catcher’s signals to their pitchers. Someone within the clubhouse would then have a monitor set up, watching each sign given. This is where everybody’s favorite trashcan meme comes from. The person behind the monitor would then bang the trash can as loud as possible so that the batter could be informed as to what each pitch was based on the number of hits on the can.
The system of stealing signs isn’t a new concept and usually isn’t frowned upon. However, with the Astros using technology that was outside the realm of the actual game itself, it is thought of in a completely different light. Games are even broadcast to the public a few seconds behind the actual live game because of the risk of cheating the exact way the Astros did, they just did it privately.
This affected baseball dramatically, as the Astros became a powerhouse. The team that was once thought to have the best farm system in a considerable amount of time destroyed the opposition. They won the 2017 World Series, reached the American League Championship Series in 2018, and again reached the 2019 World Series before losing to the Washington Nationals.
Naturally, people around baseball were angry about this sign stealing, as something seemed odd for quite some time, but the league essentially swept it under the rug. Until this winter.
A pitcher for the my favorite team, the Oakland Athletics, early in the off-season made it publicly known that the Astros were using technology to steal signs and essentially cheat their way to wins.
With this, teams and players around the league started a massive call out of the franchise and it’s players, leading to accusations of intentionally plunking batters. And they have done just that. I don’t personally see one problem with that, as I believe the game kind of polices itself. However, the commissioner of baseball, a loser named Rob Manfred, who knows nothing about baseball and is a joke, declared there would be punishment for intentionally plunking players (again, he’s a massive loser).
However, despite all of this negativity as it pertains to the Astros, people are paying more attention to baseball than the last 20 years. I’m not saying this was a great thing to have happened by any means, but it is something that I think is ending up productive for the game.
As much as we love to hate on the Astros, we should also be hating on Major League Baseball officials. Let’s face it, they suck. They make unnecessary changes to the game and piss fans off more and more to the point that no one wants to watch the game. Maybe the blame shouldn’t be as much on the Astros, but more on the jokes that call themselves league officials.