No matter what you were doing Tuesday, you heard about this story. Furthermore, I couldn’t get away from it. The Houston Astros stole signs beginning in their 2017 World Championship season, says former pitcher Mike Fiers.
The news broke in The Athletic MLB, and has prompted a further investigation. Obviously, this is hard news to take if you’re a Los Angeles Dodgers fan. Remember, the Dodgers lost a World Series for the ages back in 2017 in seven games. The reports that broke after that game had Darvish tipping his pitches so that Astros hitters knew what was coming.
Astros used electronic sign-stealing method during title-winning 2017 season, report says https://t.co/kY5ONp7rRz
— CBS Sports MLB (@CBSSportsMLB) November 12, 2019
Furthermore, here was Fiers’ quote regarding the matter.
“I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they’re going in there not knowing,” Fiers said in the story. “Young guys getting hit around in the first couple of innings starting a game, and then they get sent down. It’s (B.S.) on that end. It’s ruining jobs for younger guys. The guys who know are more prepared. But most people don’t. That’s why I told my team. We had a lot of young guys with Detroit [in 2018] trying to make a name and establish themselves. I wanted to help them out and say, ‘Hey, this stuff really does go on. Just be prepared.'”
Then, the Houston Astros released a team statement. Here is the statement, which doesn’t say a whole lot other than ‘no comment’.
“Regarding the story posted by The Athletic earlier today, the Houston Astros organization has begun an investigation in cooperation with Major League Baseball,” it said. “It would not be appropriate to comment further on this matter at this time.”
There’s nothing like a good old fashioned sign-stealing story to kick off hot stove season. In all seriousness, it’s a shame and a black-eye on the sport.
There are a few ways of looking at this, really. First, you can say that all teams steal signs; and the Astros were just most effective at it. Second, you can say the Washington Nationals had no trouble in the 2019 World Series against the Astros (who are still likely stealing signs). Thirdly, you can once again say this is a bad look for the sport; and shame on the Astros.
Indeed, they have now become the heel of the entire sport and several fan bases. Now, baseball has a hated team. Their 2017 championship is viewed as a ‘tainted’ title. For instance, here’s what Fiers says about their cheating in that season.
“That’s not playing the game the right way,” Fiers said in the story. “They were advanced and willing to go above and beyond to win.”
Finally, it will be interesting to see what measures baseball takes in the future to prevent this from happening.