Astros-Justin Verlander deal getting approved during lockout really makes you wonder

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 23: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros is taken out of the game against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning in Game Two of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 23, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 23: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros is taken out of the game against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning in Game Two of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 23, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Hmmm … I’m sorry. We were told Major League Baseball hates the Houston Astros after they were made the “scapegoat” for the 2017 sign-stealing scandal … despite the fact nobody relevant got punished.

No discipline for the players. They stepped ass backwards into Dusty Baker after AJ Hinch was suspended. It’s clear the front office can operate just fine without Jeff Luhnow. A few million for oil magnate Jim Crane? Yeah … it’s like fining you or I $20 for getting a fellow coworker in an armbar during office hours.

But the Yankees letter remains sealed! Let’s keep hearing that … even though the Astros’ letter remains sealed, too. And again, they got away with highway robbery. No major players were disciplined and their 2017 World Series championship wasn’t vacated.

Astros fans are still weeping that their grand punishment is being a piñata for verbal criticism on social media while their players can’t mentally handle getting heckled on the road. Actions have consequences, sorry.

But please … tell us more about the narrative of MLB hating this team, which has been to the ALCS five straight years and the World Series three times over that span. And now, we have more evidence that the league, in fact, doesn’t have it out for the Astros.

Because on Monday, during a LOCKOUT, aka a WORK STOPPAGE, when major league transactions are frozen, the league and players association approved the Astros’ contract with Justin Verlander, which was very much NOT a done deal before the collective bargaining agreement expired.

The players association and MLB somehow approved the Astros-Justin Verlander deal … during a lockout.

I don’t think we got the memo that said as long as the league and MLBPA approve transactions then everything’s good. Time for the New York Yankees to go on that spending spree you’re all hoping for a little bit sooner than expected? Why not! Apparently, it can be done.

It’s also unclear why just because both sides considered this a “done deal” that it was able to be reviewed — once again — during a work stoppage when these exact types of transactions aren’t permitted. If language was the “holdup,” then great! Should’ve figured out that “language” when you had over two weeks to do so.

Verlander and the Astros couldn’t wait a few months for his $25 million deal to be approved, meanwhile fringe major leaguers are departing for Japan and Korea to find work? MLB, as usual, sending the right message. Can’t beat this crew running the show.

Apparently all you have to do is play a role in destroying the integrity of the game, get off relatively scot-free, play the victim when people rightfully express discontent, and then things like this can happen for you just a couple years later.