Just because there are no fans in the stands doesn’t mean the Astros will be let off the hook.
If our new best friend Joe Kelly taught us anything, it’s that the Houston Astros won’t be facing the hapless Seattle Mariners for all of 2020. And the global pandemic won’t save them, either. Fear not, New York Yankees fans!
When we learned there’d be no fans in the stands for (likely) the entirety of the 60-game campaign, manny assumed the Astros would be getting away with murder. After all, they were supposed to be mercilessly booed and endlessly berated on their 81 road games after being exposed for their cheating scandal before COVID-19 derailed everything.
However, at the very least, Kelly and the Los Angeles Dodgers let the entire baseball world know that they’ll take the responsibility head on and we can expect other teams to follow suit.
We know the Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels won’t take kindly to the Astros’ past actions that likely directly affected those three teams’ success from 2017-2019 (or at least we can hope).
And with an expanded playoffs, forget about it. There will be 16 teams in this year’s edition of the postseason and you can bet every opponent the Astros face will be dying to eliminate the league’s new most hated club.
Don’t worry, baseball fans. You guys can play your role next year when we’re all hopefully allowed back at games. Let the players handle it in the interim. We can look at it as two very, very not fun years for the 2017 World Series champs.
It’s hard to forget how angry players were at the Astros’ response to the scandal. Guys like Aaron Judge, Trevor Bauer and Cody Bellinger directly called them out, creating a narrative of displeasure and disgust. They wanted to make it known that is not how the game is played and that’s certainly not the way you address the fallout.
If we had that many big-name players voicing their opinions, just imagine how many others are seething behind the scenes. The answer is a lot, and they’re not going to make it easy on the team that made it especially hard on their competition over the last few years.
Joe Kelly paid an eight-game price for his actions. Somehow, we don’t think that disastrous punishment will dissuade the rest of the league from finding new ways to follow in his footsteps.