Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers had a magical season in 2017 that made them seem like the team of destiny with hopes to win the franchise’s first World Series since 1988.
L.A. defeated the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series to put them just four wins away from winning a championship. It felt even closer to reality after Chris Taylor opened the first inning with a home run and the Dodgers went on to win Game 1 of the World Series.
Then, it all came crashing down. The Dodgers gave up a lead in the ninth inning of Game 2 and the series was 1-1 heading back to Houston. L.A. ultimately lost in Game 7 back at Dodger Stadium.
It was a heartbreaking moment for the Dodgers, which was amplified two years later when it was revealed the Astros were involved in an electronic sign-stealing scandal during the season and playoffs.
While many of the Astros’ players and executives wouldn’t admit it helped them win the World Series, Carlos Beltran said the scandal does leave a blemish on their only championship in franchise history, via the Dan Martin of the New York Post:
“Looking back now, yes, we did cross the line,” Beltran said in the interview with Michael Kay, which airs Monday at noon.
And he said there is a “stain” on their title.
“Yeah, there is because, you know what we did,” Beltran said. “And we all have taken responsibility and at some point we all have shown remorse about what we did.”
After MLB conducted a three-month investigation into the Astros, commissioner Rob Manfred levied significant penalties against the organization, fining them $5 million, stripping them of their first and second-round draft picks over the next two seasons, and then-general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were each suspended for the entire 2020 season.
However, none of the players who took part in it were suspended, which caused many around the league to become upset with Manfred for setting a soft precedent for cheating.
Manfred had granted players immunity for honest testimony during his investigation, but MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) later came to terms on new sign-stealing rules in which players could be suspended if found guilty.
Since then, the Astros have made it back to the World Series twice, but they have yet to win one without the help of sign-stealing. The Dodgers have since returned in 2018 and 2020, winning the latter of the two against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Dodgers learned from falling victim to Astros
In 2020, manager Dave Roberts revealed the Dodgers were in the process of developing multiple sign systems for pitchers and catchers during Spring Training.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was wary of the Astros heading into the 2017 World Series, citing previous whispers that the club had a tendency to go above and beyond the usual sign-stealing practices.
However, they did not have a strong enough system in place to prevent it.
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