Sports fans are sports fans. They’re going to defend their team no matter what.
But supporters of the Houston Astros have arguably taken things too far by disregarding basic morals and making a mockery of what it once meant to accept responsibility for one’s actions.
Tuesday night served as a harsh reminder for the Astros and their fans that they won’t be getting off scot-free following their sign-stealing scandal that rocked Major League Baseball.
They faced their most hostile situation yet when they entered the Bronx to take on the New York Yankees. Though only 10,000 fans were present, they were loud, and they let Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman hear it all night.
Go on Twitter. You’ll see Astros fans trying to plead their case about why their team should no longer be subject to criticism, acting as if they’ve been trivialized and marginalized for generations.
That discourse really took off on Tuesday night because Yankees fans gave the Astros a taste of what life is like when you have to eventually face consequences. A global pandemic wasn’t going to save the Astros. Everyone would’ve waited a decade to make sure this team got its comeuppance.
Are they … your tears, sir? Because nobody on our side of the aisle is crying. They’re hurling insults and profanities your way while mocking your smug players for what they did. Just because MLB “conducted its investigation” doesn’t mean it’s over.
The Astros cheated the game in 2017 and sat atop the baseball world for it. They suffered no consequences. And don’t pretend like owner Jim Crane paying a $5 million fine was a “punishment.” General manager Jeff Luhnow losing his job wasn’t either. Managers AJ Hinch and Alex Cora getting banned for 60 games? Yeah … middle schoolers get in more trouble for starting food fights.
What about the players? Ah, yes, nothing. Guess who’s fault that is? MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. He let a team that blatantly disregarded the integrity of the game (AFTER the league made clear its rules about electronic devices late in the 2017 season) almost completely off the hook.
So for all you Astros fans who want to sit back, blindly back your team, and act as if there wasn’t a single transgression outside of whatever the league’s internal investigation found from only the 2017 season — when there were complaints from other teams in 2018 and 2019 about similar shady behavior — then we can’t help but laugh in your face.
Because you’re too narrow-minded to see that the league let this happen. This has nothing to do with Yankees fans (or any others) being babies. Sure, some might be, but that’s not the symbolic takeaway from all of this.
The power lies within the people. The governing body that had the authority to bring the gavel down on the offenders opted to do as little as possible. So what comes next? Unrest.
What the Astros did was wrong. How MLB responded was wrong. If you think the fans responding the manner in which they are is wrong, then perhaps three wrongs actually make a right.