Yankees fans should not be pleased by weak Astros punishment
MLB finally handed down the Astros’ punishment for their sign-stealing scandal. Despite penalties, Houston still gets to keep its 2017 World Series title, which should not sit well with the Yankees or their fans.
The Yankees may be the 2020 World Series favorites at 4/1 odds, but it’s very possible they could have already won illusive title No. 28, had it not been for the 2017 Astros’ “player-driven” sign-stealing system.
Used not only to beat the Yanks in Game 7 of the ALCS but also seven more contests versus the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball fans that hail from anywhere other than the greater-Houston area should be livid with the weak punishment handed down by Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Prior to being fired by Astros owner Jim Crane, because as he states, “we [the organization] need to move forward with a clean slate,” manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow were each suspended for one full season.
Major League Baseball concluded that Crane had zero knowledge about the shady goings-on of his club, thereby avoiding any punishment, himself.
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I find that hard to believe, but that’s just me, an angry Yankees fan that feels cheated out the opportunity to represent the American League in the 2017 World Series rightfully. But I digress.
Perhaps Crane is merely ignorant, acknowledging that the Astros broke the rules while accepting punishment but believes that it doesn’t taint the championship.
Actually, Mr. Crane, it completely ruins the 2017 season and disregards every achievement of any Astros player, coach or front office person from that year. Jose Altuve should be immediately stripped of the ’17 AL MVP and handed to then-rookie, Aaron Judge!
If this was indeed “player-driven,” how are no players going to suffer any consequences for their illegal actions? Contradiction alert!
While Hinch was suspended and then fired because, although he disapproved of the scheme, even going so far as to damage playback monitors of the center field camera feed, he did nothing to cease its operation.
Will Hinch or Luhnow ever get another job in baseball? Well, if they do, it should be the same day that Pete Rose and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson are enshrined in Cooperstown. Otherwise, why stop handing out lifetime bans now?
Besides losing their manager and GM, the Astros were fined a meaningless $5 million and the loss of first and second-round picks in 2021 and 2022. As it stands, MILB.com ranked the ‘Stros farm system at No. 5 to begin last season, so “hurting their minor league system” won’t have much of an effect.
While no one ever expected Houston to get the death penalty, similar to what SMU football received in the 1980s, mostly because this is professional sports, stiffer penalties needed to be handed down. Like what you ask?
- Similar to a transfer ban in soccer, the organization should not be allowed to sign or trade for players for a specific period.
- A more substantial loss of revenue, whether it be through a decrease in home games or a way-higher fine. Astro players split $30.4 million in postseason pool money in ’17. Take it all back!
- Players that took part in the scheme should have been suspended. Set a precedent — if you knowingly create an unfair advantage you will be exiled for 60, 90 or 162 games. Not one player that cheated is being held accountable. How will that discourage this from happening again?
- A postseason ban for a set number of seasons. I’d say at least three years because the Astros haven’t missed the playoffs since the cheating began.
Now we wait to find out the severity of Alex Cora’s punishment, since he was the Astros’ bench coach in 2017, before becoming Boston’s manager in 2018 and immediately winning the World Series.
Accusations of the Red Sox using a similar video replay room to steal signs have been brought to the forefront. So is Cora the mastermind or just an unoriginal cheater?
It just so happens the Red Sox beat the Yankees 3-1 in the ’18 ALDS. So yeah, the Yankees and their fans have all the right in the world to be mad.