Outrage that the Houston Astros and Major League Baseball have received from players around the league since the team was found guilty of electronic sign-stealing during their 2017 World Series run has been widespread and seemingly reached a fever pitch in the days before Spring Training games began.
Players, particularly within the Los Angeles Dodgers clubhouse, are understandably upset that they were cheated out of an opportunity to win a World Series, and the league’s integrity as a whole has been called into question.
In exchange for cooperation with the investigation so they could get all of the facts, MLB granted all Astros players immunity from suspension despite it being described as a player-driven scheme.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were each suspended a year (and then fired) in addition to the organization being fined and losing draft picks, but no players were penalized for their roles in the sign-stealing scheme.
While the Astros players apologized for cheating when they reported to Spring Training, Dodgers players have been unhappy with their lack of remorse. Houston’s owner, Jim Crane, stated that he doesn’t think the use of electronic sign-stealing impacted the outcomes of games and Carlos Correa said that they deserved their championship, which is flat out laughable considering MLB said in its report that the scheme went on in the postseason.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred did not make matters better when he called the trophy he refused to take away a “piece of metal,” a statement he apologized for.
One thing Manfred does understand is how angry players around the league are though, and because of that, he is willing to meet with whoever has questions about what went on with the Astros.
“I have never been shy about meeting with players,” Manfred said during a Cactus League media day in Arizona. “And let me say it this way, I am more than happy to meet with players who have remaining questions about what happened here, and engage in what I would call a civil discourse on the topic.”
While MLB’s investigation came to a conclusion based on the information they got from players and staff members in the organization, Manfred also concluded that there are some things such as when the cheating stopped that they will never be 100% sure about.
So while him answering questions for players will help, it doesn’t seem like the outrage throughout the league is going to go away any time soon.
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