Wow! It looks as though the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal is way bigger than I imagined.
A third field manager has been sent to the proverbial showers. Carlos Beltran, who was supposed to manage the New York Mets this coming season, is now the former Mets manager. Why? Because he, too, was among those mentioned by Commissioner Rob Manfred in the sign-stealing scandal involving the Astros and their now-controversial 2017 World Series championship.
Beltran was a veteran member of the Astros when they won the World Series and, I guess, he was deeply involved in the sign-stealing tactics employed during the Series.
The Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers three seasons ago in the Series. They cheated, though, by stealing signs and transmitting that theft using high-tech hardware from the outfield to the bullpen. It’s really weird, given that sign-stealing on the field has been part of the game since its inception. Runners on second base watch the signs the catcher flashes to the pitcher and somehow communicate what he sees to the batter.
The Astros went way beyond that.
Major League Baseball was going to suspend the Astros’ general manager Jeff Luhnow and field manager AJ Hinch for the season. The Astros, though, fired them both. Then came the boot delivered to Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was bench coach for the Astros during the 2017 season and was part of the sign-theft crisis.
Now. Beltran is gone.
The question is circulating about whether MLB should vacate the 2017 Series title won by the Astros. I hope the Astros get to keep the trophy. I also don’t want them to have to bear an asterisk next to their designation as World Series champs.
The Astros could do the sportsmanlike thing and perhaps offer the Dodgers a share of the trophy. Maybe the Astros organization can make a profound public apology to the Dodgers for doing what they did during the Series.
I am dubious about whether the Astros’ tactics proved decisive, that they would not have won without cheating. I am not sure how you prove such a thing.
My strong hunch, though, is that there might be more heads to roll before this matter gets settled once and for all.
Now I am feeling badly for dismissing the scandal initially. Yeah, this is a big deal.