Major League Baseball levied one of the most significant punishments in the history of the league on the Houston Astros for cheating during their World Championship season in 2017. Executive Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were suspended for the 2020 season, while the team was stripped of four draft picks and fined $5 million. The Astros as an organization then fired both of them.
Let’s face it, a $5 million fine is absolutely nothing to an organization worth in excess of $1.775 billion dollars! If the fine was $50 million, so what? It would still be just a drop in the bucket compared to what they’re worth and also what the three extended playoff seasons brought in money wise.
Can you strip the Astros of what they won? You could but what would be the point of that? No, what needs to be done is an example to be set to show teams that it is not worth stealing signs, even if you win a World series or two. The only way to do that is to make an example of the team and the people involved. The penalties handed down do not exist as a deterrent, they just are not harsh enough!
The integrity of the game (Pete Rose)?
Now Pete Rose fans will scream, ‘Why is Pete banned for life after these ramifications?’ The answer to that is simple: With Pete, that answer is the integrity of the game can NOT EVER be in question. So for you Rose fans out there he got what he deserved and has nothing to do with this, at least that’s what the powers that be in MLB seem to be saying. I say Rose got what he deserved and this crime of sign-stealing is just as bad and deserves the same punishment! Lifetime banishment for all involved, because simply, if people cannot trust that what they are watching is on the up-and-up the sport will eventually die.
What about the players?
The General Manager, Manager and Coaches that knew should all be done, forever! The players, on the other hand, are a different story because it seems to involve all of them to some extent. To suspend or get rid of all the players is something that logistically would be a nightmare and it all comes down to the fact that the people in charge, the G.M. and the Manager and his coaching staff, allowed this to go on. If the commissioner really cares about the integrity of the game he needs to grow a backbone and really do something to show players, managers, and fans that doing things like this will have swift consequences. What has been done so far has fallen well short of that.