Astros accused of cheating

The accusation of the 2017 World Series Champions of using technology to cheat and gain the advantage over their opponents.


EricEnfermero [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

The Astros allegedly stole catcher signs and relayed them to the dugout where a trash can would be hit to tip off the batter.

AJ Hinch has been the Astros manager since 2015, but his legacy maybe be tarnished with these recent allegations.

The 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros have been accused of stealing signs.  Former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers told The Athletic that the Astros used a live video feed to show catcher signs to the dugout while players hit a trash can to tip off Houston batters.  You can watch it here and the setup here.

There have been several accusations over the past few years, including the Yankees accusing the Astros of whistling in the 2019 ALCS and the Indians telling the Red Sox that Houston was looking for signs before the 2018 ALCS.

A series of emails have been released, in which Houston’s upper management asked the scouting department to spy on opposing teams.  Some scouts were disgusted while others took to the task.  They managed to discover the current camera and trash can banging system.  However, this subterfuge wasn’t able to be enacted on road games or during the World Series because of the noise.  Reddit user “ryanmull1089” posted a video of whistles replacing the banging against the Dodgers in game 5 of the World Series.  The Yankees accused the Astros of the same whistling in this year’s ALCS.  Among the other accusations, the MLB has also believed the Astros used an electronic buzzing system to tip off their batters.  There is a thread on Reddit with a large list of incidents and evidence that Houston is up to something.

Major League Baseball has launched a full investigation and is interviewing several current and former Astros staff and players:  Mets manager Carlos Beltran, Red Sox manager Alex Correa, Red Sox bullpen coach Craig Bjornson, Astros manager AJ Hinch and former Astros Assistant GM Brandon Taubman.  Several players for this years team are also planned to be interviewed to see if anything happen in the 2019 season.

Baseball needs to do something about this issue.  This is the biggest scandal in sports since the “Deflategate” scandal in the NFL, when Tom Brady was accused of using deflated footballs.  Sign stealing has been happening since baseball began.  However, baseball took steps to stop the electronic use of cheating by limiting live feeds for teams and not allowing team cameras in between the foul poles.  in 2017, the Red Sox were caught using an Apple Watch in their dugout as they tried to steal signs.  But this is different, because there was an elaborate set-up.

If nothing is done, other teams will cheat and it will become a much bigger problem that could get out of control.  Caden James, a St. Louis Cardinals fan and Lafayette high school sophomore, had this to say about the allegations:  “I believe that the Astros cheated, but it was 2 years ago so what can we do now?  Maybe if they fine them and take away a few draft picks it won’t happen again.”  Camiel Sims, Williamsburg resident, TNCC professor and die hard Red Sox fan, believes that ,”It’s not illegal so you can’t criminalize it, but if it goes against the code of baseball and there is evidence then there should be punishments.  Possibly losing draft picks.  But at the end of the day it is not illegal.”

Joey Sims
My family during game 5 of this years World Series, the game where the Astros were accused of having buzzers to tip off the hitters.

This is without a doubt one of the biggest baseball scandals in recent memory.  It is the most unethical and uncivilized moments in sports.  The Houston Astros should be fined, and they should lose their draft picks for the next 3 years.  If it is confirmed that they cheated not just in 2017, but in 2018 and 2019, the MLB should vacate all wins for the past 3 years.

If we don’t punish the Astros enough, then other teams will follow suit and baseball will have a much bigger problem.