As a New York Yankees fan, it’s impossible to enjoy watching the Houston Astros play baseball.
As a baseball fan, it’s impossible to like the Houston Astros.
And as an overall human being, it’s impossible to not want to drop the entire Houston Astros organization into a volcano.
After years of rumors of the Astros stealing opposing teams signs, sources finally came out and revealed that yes, the 2017 Astros were out here cheating their asses off.
Before we get into what the Astros were doing, let’s first establish that the idea of stealing signs is commonplace in the sport. It’s gamesmanship. You see a pitcher tipping pitches or a catcher isn’t subtle enough with his calls, you take advantage of it.
You don’t get a gold medal for being an honorable guy and ignoring pitchers giving out huge clues on what type of pitch they’re about to throw. I wouldn’t necessarily describe a baserunner on second relaying messages to the batter in the box, as cheating.
However, once you start using outside technology and you start hiring people outside of the 25-man roster and the coaches in the dugout, you’re out of bounds.
Former Astros pitcher, Mike Fiers (along with 3 other former Astros employees) came out and said that Houston stole signs at home games with a camera in the outfield.
Two quick things before I continue shouting about sending the Astros into the sun:
Mike Fiers was not the one who benefited from the sign stealing. The report claims that a hitter and a coach on the staff came up with the plan together. For everyone in my mentions saying that the Astros didn’t cheat and it was just Mike Fiers confessing: nah.
Second, for people mad at Fiers for revealing this info, why? Why are we always pissed at the whistleblower and not pissed at the corrupted system that the whistleblower is trying to reveal?
Fiers says he confessed because he wants people to play the game the right way.
Fiers wasn’t denied a shot at the World Series at the hands of the Astros and is now bitterly trying to rain on their 2017 parade. He does not benefit in any way from this story coming out.
Let’s take our attention off Fiers and back on the Astros via our camera from the outfield.
Here is exhibit A of their sign stealing.
Then White Sox pitcher, Danny Farquar, said that he heard bangs from the Astros dugout every time he threw an offspeed pitch at a speed that can only be explained by technology:
This is gross. Imagine the Golden State Warriors won their championships because there was someone in the bleachers shining laser pointers in the eyes of opposing players when they took free throws. Shit is truly deflating.
And maybe this all sounds overly dramatic. Well, until you see the raw statistical benefits of their cheating.
These are 2017 postseason home and away splits:
- Home: .472 BA/.513 OBP/1.028 SLG/1.541 OPS, 17 H, 6 HR & 12 RBI
- Away: .143 BA, .268 OBP, .229 SLG, .497 OPS, 5 H, 1 HR & 2 RBI
- Home: .273 BA/.342 OBP/.515 SLG/.857 OPS, 9 H, 2 HR & 6 RBI
- Away: .154 BA/.175 OBP/.333 SLG/.508 OPS, 6 H, 2 HR & 4 RBI
- Home: .371 BA/.421 OBP/.743 SLG/1.164 OPS, 13 H, 3 HR & 10 RBI
- Away: .211 BA/.231 OBP/.395 SLG/.626 OPS, 8 H, 2 HR & 4 RBI.
- Home: .300 BA/.382 OBP/.467 SLG/.849 OPS, 9 H, 1 HR & 7 RBI
- Away: .037 BA/.161 OBP/.037 SLG/.198 OPS, 1 H, 0 HR & 0 RBI
Oh, fuck off.
Remember when Brian McCann made himself the captain of defending the unwritten rules of baseball? And then he hit .300 at home and .037 away because he was cheating with spies in the outfield?
This whole organization is trash.
Manager, AJ Hinch, laughed at reporters after they brought up sign-stealing to him in the postseason this year in a way that can only be described as sociopath-level.
Lance Armstrong style gaslighting where you’re not only denying wrongdoing but you’re attempting to make the people accusing you cheating seem like they’re the assholes for bringing it up.
Never forget that AJ Hinch got into a bar fight after Game 1 of the World Series. As someone who used to frequent bars with no regard for the fact that I had work the next morning, Hinch not only getting into a fight but reportedly initiating the fight tells you everything you need to know about that maniac.
And needless to say, Hinch called the report ‘ridiculous’ and tried to discredit the event that happened.
When it comes to the Astros, none of this is in a vacuum.
Last month, the Astros were being investigated by Major League Baseball after a locker room incident where the assistant GM, Brandon Taubman, shouted at a female reporter essentially bragging about acquiring Roberto Osuna, known wife beater.
This isn’t some small problem.
The Houston Astros are corrupt top to bottom. You can’t have a guy recording signs and relaying messages to the dugout instantly without the knowledge and assistance of the front office.
You’re either successful or you stand your moral ground. But you can’t do both. The Astros sacrificed their ethics to acquire a dude serving a 75-game suspension for beating his girlfriend and then berated reporters who opposed them.
They couldn’t just steal signs like every other team does. They needed to use cameras. And then they were dicks to reporters when accusations came.
Burn the Astros to the ground.
So what now?
What should be the consequence for the Houston Astros being a garbage franchise?
You can’t replay games. You can’t give the title to the Dodgers. They cheated. they won. They got away with it.
But you can’t do nothing.
You can’t give them a slap on the wrist and just fine them. People literally lose jobs over wins and losses. Joe Girardi was fired after losing to the Astros. Sure, he landed on his feet and is now back with the Phillies but still.
When the 2007 New England Patriots were found guilty of spying on opposing teams practices, the NFL docked them of their 2008 first round draft pick. The Astros need a similar sentence.
You can’t go back and take away the success they’ve had but you can bulldoze their future by striping them of draft picks, money and resources that can help them procure future success.
Fuck the Houson Astros.
Andddd I’ll just leave this here. This is Justin Verlander crying about the Cleveland rocking him as he claimed they were stealing his signs.
Punch all of the Astros in the face.