In 2017, on October 30, the Houston Astros looked like the best team of the decade. Then it all fell apart. Not only did they lose the game, they are now knee-deep into one of the most major scandals that Major League Baseball has ever seen. It was reported on November 12 that the Astros stole signs during the championship game. A camera in the Astros’ home stadium relayed a live feed of the catcher to a monitor situated in a recessed area where an Astros player was sitting near home plate. That player figured out the opposing team’s signals, then banged on a trash can to inform the hitter what the coming pitch would be.
According to The Atlantic, two team officials were suspended by MLB and then fired by the team for the scandal. Current Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers, who played with the Astros for parts of three seasons, went on record against his former team when the scandal broke out, saying that the team had been “sign-stealing” back in 2017, when he was playing with them. The Astros were fined $5 million as a penalty, which is the largest amount of money allowed under MLB’s Constitution. The Astros also must forfeit their first and second draft picks for the next two years.
According to CBS Sports, it is common for teams to steal signs; it’s part of the game, but the issue in this instance is how the Astros did it. The Astros players took this too far, and they became too greedy for their own good. Alex Cora, Red Sox Manager and bench coach for the Astros was not punished for the scandal. The Astros have taken on an entirely new reputation in Major League Baseball, going from a powerful empire to a cheating, non-authentic group of baseball players.
Story by Maddie Tate