Simple as that.
It’s not shocking, though, that a team from Texas, a state where the majority of citizens believe “cancel culture” is our nation’s biggest evil, is having trouble facing repercussions for their own actions.
“Why is this happening to me?!”they whine. “Is it because I did something bad? If so, kind of makes sense, but I hate it!”
Everything the Astros have done since their scandal has been right out of the playbook used by the most prominent law-defying Americans over the past several years. Deny when you can, cry victimhood when you can’t, and complain to people in positions of authority to protect you when the heat gets turned up just a little too much.
The fan-less 2020 season was easy for the Astros. Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa could read their fake apologies off tiny slips of paper, the beloved Dusty Baker could be used as a band-aid, and all would be well (and every playoff comeback would be easy) in their empty stadiums.
Now, though, fans have returned to their former confines, and Yankees fans (as we knew they would be) were especially prepared to make the Astros’ lives a living hell again this week.
So the Astros changed the rules again.
The Houston Astros complained to MLB about Yankees fans and got protected.
Remember, according to Rob Manfred, the punishment doled out to the Astros players was supposed to be in the court of public opinion. They never received any tangible suspensions, so their fate was supposed to be sealed by the reactions of road fans.
So now that Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve have actually had to deal with the booing, jeering and costumes, they ran to Manfred and said they didn’t enjoy it very much, so he’s now trying to shut the whole thing down?
Man, if MLB will go this far to protect the Astros … what else have they covered up that they don’t want fans knowing about? Any chance this could spiral out of control if the fans aren’t stifled? Could be interesting.
The dispatches from the Yankee Stadium bleachers Tuesday night in the pages of Sports Illustrated painted a fairly typical picture that you’d think a professional athlete would be able to deal with:
"Some fans were able to sneak in trash cans smaller than Taub’s. Ryan Donohue happened to own a foot-tall plush Oscar the Grouch; he taped on an Astros logo and added a mask inscribed BANG! Chico Heano wore a small plastic trash can around his neck and occasionally smacked it with a pencil shaped like a baseball bat. And two people in section 203 smuggled in inflatable trash cans, which they blew up in their seats and quickly had confiscated. (The Bleacher Creatures briefly batted one around like a beach ball.)“They took it away in two minutes,” said Sam, who declined to give his last name because he works for a political campaign. “It was the best $20 I’ve ever spent in my entire life.”"
So, remember, that’s some trash cans good, bigger trash cans bad. MLB spent more time litigating prop trash can size than they did dealing with the actual repercussions of the scandal.
If we can’t get an asterisk in the record books, we should at least get inflatable garbage cans in the crowd.
What matters most, though, is that this isn’t the first time the Houston Astros have been intimidated on the road. Famously, in 2017, the Astros were so thrown off by the Yankee Stadium crowd that they could not get their bearings, dropping three ALCS road games, which is typically enough to send a team packing one step short of the World Series.
That time, MLB rose up to protect them after we all found out why exactly this specific group of guys leveled up the second they reached their home turf. Once again on Tuesday, MLB came to the rescue once their favored, cheating sons showed an ounce of vulnerability.
Nothing new. Same embarrassingly mis-aligned priorities.