MLB's Astros punishment doesn't go far enoughby Fred Hofstetter on January 16, 2020
The punishment for the Astros' garbage can banging sign stealing cheating scandal hasn't gone nearly far enough. Should heads roll?
Major League Baseball doled out its punishment for the Houston Astros’ sign stealing garbage can banging scandal:
- Manager A.J. Hinch suspended for one year. He got canned.
- General manager Jeff Luhnow suspended for one year. He got canned too.
- Astros lose their first and second round picks for the next two years.
- $5 million. Just for fun.
- Former assistant GM Brandon Taubman suspended one year.
Consequences reverberate across the league. Astros 2017 bench coach Alex Cora is the now former Red Sox manager. Just about everyone on the 2017 roster is culpable. Newly hired Mets manager and former 2017 Astro Carlos Beltran is already on the hot seat before his first game.
What exactly did the Astros do?
The Astros used a center field camera to steal signs. The camera picks up two fingers, a lackey glued to a monitor somewhere behind the dugout clatters a couple garbage can lids, and the batter knows what pitch is coming.
It’s cheating. They cheated at baseball.
Many serious, indignant fans furiously demand further vengeance. Including banning Hinch and Luhnow from baseball outright, or stripping the Astros of their 2017 World Series title.
— SI MLB (@si_mlb) January 13, 2020
Dodgers cheated out of a championship https://t.co/VKDZXuEfgk
— Bill Plaschke (@BillPlaschke) January 13, 2020
#MLB’s decision on the #Astros cheating scandal lets other teams know that cheating your way to a guaranteed World Series title will only cost you 4 draft picks, $5 million, and your manager & GM for a season.
I’m sure a lot of teams would gladly pay that price.
— Matt Tomaszewsky (@MTomaszewsky) January 13, 2020
Or even worse:
If MLB really wants to punish the Astros, it should make them swap pitching staffs with the Orioles.
— Justin McGuire (@JMcGuireMLB) January 13, 2020
What is the right punishment?
Amid the froth of righteous rage in the baseball community, none have properly assessed the weight of these heinous sports crimes. Heinous acts must be met with heinous comeuppance.
Robespierre’s weapon of swift justice against enemies of the French Revolution was the guillotine. Got a problem with the revolution? Thwump. Problem solved. You can’t bang trash can lids without an alive head. Why settle for metaphorical head rolling when the greatest deterrent of all is literal head rolling? After all, baseball is Important and the Sanctity and Integrity of Baseball must be protected at all costs.
Sign stealing via cameras and monitors is yet another catastrophe of the technology revolution in baseball. Quell the revolution with the tool of revolution.
The alternative? Existential annihilation and the pulverization of American culture.
Suspensions, firings, maximum fines, stripping draft picks, blacklisting anyone with tertiary involvement, several months of cataclysmic PR and permanent ridicule are nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Time for MLB to start getting tough. To really start taking cheating seriously.
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