Was The Astros Punishment Severe Enough? By Andrew Santangelo

by Pub Sports Radio

The hottest topic in baseball right now is not what the MLB wants. Since basically the beginning of the offseason, the Houston Astros have been centered around their own version of the “Spygate”. The Houston Astros in 2017 were illegally getting footage of other teams signs and relaying the information to the runner on second base so he could send it to the hitter. They then implemented certain ways to relay to hitter through banging on trash cans. This was happening throughout the 2017 season into the postseason as well where they eventually would go on to win the world series. After being allowed to actually move the video room closer to the dugout they continued into the 2018 season.

On January 13th the MLB announced the finishing of their investigations, along with announcing the ramifications of the incident. These included:

A.J. Hinch (manager) suspended for 1 full season
Jeff Luhnow (GM) suspended for 1 full season
$5-million-dollar fine
Loss of 1st and 2nd round draft picks in 2020, 2021 seasons

 

Is this a lot? Absolutely, it is a huge punishment and one of the bigger ones in sports lot of credit to Rob Manfred (commissioner) for doing this much. However, was this enough is the question? This is where some people including myself take issue. When this first came out it seemed like it, but the more and more that it ran through my hand it came to my attention more could have been done. The main people at fault here would be the players themselves. Many of these players were involved in the cheating scandal but no action was made. The World Series title is still under their name as it was not take away. Yes, that would be the ultimate punch to the gut, but that could be what it takes in the end. Again, the punishment on hand is a lot, but nothing there is something the “rich and powerful” team cannot handle. Not one player is affected, and the team itself keeps the World Series Champions crown.  

In the end, their goal is to scare teams of not cheating in the future but this is not enough to do that. The powerful teams can easily overcome these punishments. They can afford 5 million, if they are that good those picks really don’t mean anything to them, all the players are safe and sound. The team still wins their title, gets all the benefits from it which is why the concern of it possibly happening again is still a fear. If you do not want to go as far as taking the trophy away yet, then players absolutely should have been punished as well because they were as much a part of this as anyone else involved. Does this take away that the Astros were still a great team, no they would have been a contender but it does raise the question would they have still won?

The aftermath of this is the Houston Astros later that day would end up fully firing AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow.

The Houston Astros are reported to have cooperated with the investigation process but that is not enough to let them off the hook with the two most important things still there from 2017. The title could have been revoked along with or players being punished. Hopefully, the punishments are enough to keep teams from repeating the incident is a major concern.

The final question of this all is how much was Alex Cora was involved, who participated in 2017 and later brought it to the Red Sox in 2018 when he took over their team. The Red Sox would win the World Series in 2018 and are now being investigated for the continuation of the cheating scandals. Cora has now been fired from the Red Sox but the question still lies what will be Boston’s punishment along with Cora. The Red Sox taking action now is not only telling of the involvement but might also lessen some of the punishment. We have seen in college sports if the university takes action on their own it usually lessens the punishment overall from the NCAA. It will be interesting to see how this further plays out and if the Red Sox taking action helps them in the long run. 

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