MLB Will Survive the Sign Stealing Scandal
It’s knocked the impeachment of a President, the wild fires in Australia and even Harry, Meghan and the Queen from the front page.
Some are pounding their chests and insisting it’s the end of our “National Pastime” and others say baseball will never be the same. I say hogwash.
Don’t get me wrong. The sign-stealing scheme that at the very least helped the Houston Astros win a championship in 2017 and maybe the Boston Red Sox the following year is a big deal. It’s cost three managers and one general manager their jobs this week and it’s possible they’ll be more axes to fall before it’s over.
However this is more a reflection of the times we live in than anything else. Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza summed it up best when he said the Astros stealing signs off electronic feeds is an “unintended consequence of the digital age.” Bottom line is that in sports, just like everywhere else, some will use whatever edge they can to succeed and today we have access to technology that we could not even imagine just a decade or two ago.
Again, not to diminish what the Astros (and possibly the Red Sox) did but how much different is it then players using steroids/PED’s, corked bats, pine tar, spit balls, scuffed balls and old fashioned sign stealing. One of the most famous moments in baseball history is the 1951 “shot heard round the world” and decades later it was reported that Bobby Thompson knew he was getting a fastball because of a sign stealing system that the New York Giants had in place.
Like in life sports has cheaters and some of them have influenced outcomes. If a player using performance enhancing drugs hits a home run that decides a game is that not cheating? Recently retired Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia comes off like a hypocrite when he indicated this week that maybe the Astros 2017 World Series title should be vacated.
Since we know Alex Rodriguez used PED’s which is a way of cheating should we go back and take away the Yankees World Series crown from 2009? “A-Rod” hit six home runs and had 18 RBI’s in 15 playoff games. Maybe the Yankees don’t win without him.
This whole thing is a mess but baseball will survive. Now the Mets have to find a new manager and I for one cast my vote for Buck Showalter.