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Signstealing scandal won’t tarnish Astros

Over the last month, the Houston Astros have been a hot topic of discussion surrounding Major League Baseball because of the 2017 cheating scandal that involved the team stealing opposing team’s signs.

The controversy over stealing the opposing catcher’s signs, is claimed to have given the team an advantage when on offense. It’s up for debate whether their championship is tainted or not, and while it’s a valid argument, it’s still a controversial topic.

On Jan. 13, the Commissioner of the MLB Rob Manfred announced that he had concluded his investigation of the Houston Astros and reported the Astros had used cameras, a video room, and the banging of trash cans in the dugout to decode and transmit the signs of the opposing team’s catcher to their batters.

While this gave the Astros a small advantage in the batter’s box, I would argue that it didn’t really make a huge impact on many of the games, considering that the team didn’t use this system while playing on the road. It should also be considered that only a certain number of the players used the system. Even though it has been said that there were players that didn’t like/use the system, some of their peers around MLB  are having a hard time believing that is true.

Several players have been publicly outspoken such as LA Dodgers superstar outfielder Cody Bellinger.

“I think what people don’t realize is Jose Altuve stole an MVP from Aaron Judge in 2017,” Bellinger said per ESPN. “Everyone knows they stole the ring from us. But it’s over.”

After those comments were made, Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa fired back at Bellinger, defending his team and his MVP second baseman, supporting the notion that not all players liked the fact that the team was stealing signs.

“The few times that the trash can was banged was without his consent, and he would go inside the clubhouse and inside the dugout to whoever was banging the trash can and he would get pissed,” Correa said, in an interview with MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal. “He would get mad. He would say, ‘I don’t want this. I can’t hit like this. Don’t you do that to me’. He played the game clean.”

I believe these comments validate that Jose Altuve earned that MVP. I don’t think that he stole that from anyone.

While many players have gone on to say the Astros cheated for the past three years, Commissioner Manfred’s report clearly stated that they did not use the system in the 2017 playoffs, or beyond the 2017 season. This means that their playoff run in 2018 and their run in the World Series in 2019 were completely legit.

While the Astros shouldn’t have cheated to begin with (also noting they didn’t have to with the abundance of talent on the roster), I don’t think that this scandal defines who they are as a team, or that their 2017 World Series title is tainted.

I think that the team will bounce back better than ever this season. Showing everyone around the sport that they’re a legit title contender, and that they’ll continue to be a force to reckon with for years to come.

Category: Opinion , Sports