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      01-13-2020, 05:11 PM   #1
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Houston Astros get the well deserved shaft

The team owner fired the manager and general manager today after MLB handed down discipline that includes Houston forfeiting their 1st and and 2nd round draft picks in '20 and '21 and issuing a $5M fine due to "sign stealing" during the 2017 season, a season where they won the World Series. Per the Astros owner, their championship is not tainted. I say it's absolutely tainted because of the egregious acts of cheating. I wonder how the Yankees and Dodgers feel, two teams that lost to the Astros in the ALCS and WS.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/...-sign-stealing
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      01-13-2020, 05:15 PM   #2
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And yet we banned Pete from the Hall of Fame . . .
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      01-13-2020, 05:17 PM   #3
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My Red Sox are up next. I hope they started looking for a new manager already. Alex Cora sounds like the worst offender in all of this and he was with both organizations.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this extends beyond the Astros and Red Sox.
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      01-13-2020, 05:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RickFLM4 View Post
My Red Sox are up next. I hope they started looking for a new manager already. Alex Cora sounds like the worst offender in all of this and he was with both organizations.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this extends beyond the Astros and Red Sox.
Yep, he's expected to face a similar penalty which would probably be a 1 year suspension.

Carlos Beltran who was heavily involved now manages the Mets. Juicy stuff
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      01-13-2020, 05:59 PM   #5
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Watching MLB Networks. This is really bad. I know the Yankees complained about this since 2017. Astros went 8-1 at home the year they won the WS.

Cora is fucked as well. He orchestrated the scheme in 2017 and now is being investigated for cheating with the Sox in 2018. Sign stealing has been going on since the beginning of the game. But, to install cameras at the stadium from center field and other places to systemically steal signs? Man, that is really messed up.
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      01-13-2020, 06:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickFLM4 View Post
My Red Sox are up next. I hope they started looking for a new manager already. Alex Cora sounds like the worst offender in all of this and he was with both organizations.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this extends beyond the Astros and Red Sox.
Yep, he's expected to face a similar penalty which would probably be a 1 year suspension.

Carlos Beltran who was heavily involved now manages the Mets. Juicy stuff
I suspect Cora will get worse than one year and also get fired. He was heavily involved at Houston and then brought it to Boston.
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      01-13-2020, 07:00 PM   #7
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And all that time, the Astro's looked like an unbelievable team with the greatest hitters of all time against the Dodgers. We couldn't figure it out.
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      01-13-2020, 07:16 PM   #8
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So two WS championships are badly tarnished. And it makes the Nats win last year look that much better. They won despite the cheating by the 'Stros.

I hope they ban Cora for life.

I'm gonna steal your image, Haywood. I want to post that in my Red Sox forum.
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      01-13-2020, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
So two WS championships are badly tarnished. And it makes the Nats win last year look that much better. They won despite the cheating by the 'Stros.

I hope they ban Cora for life.

I'm gonna steal your image, Haywood. I want to post that in my Red Sox forum.
Ha! Please do. I don't hide my hate of NE sports teams.
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      01-13-2020, 07:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
So two WS championships are badly tarnished. And it makes the Nats win last year look that much better. They won despite the cheating by the 'Stros.

I hope they ban Cora for life.

I'm gonna steal your image, Haywood. I want to post that in my Red Sox forum.
Double awful to me. SOX fan + Miami alum (albeit before Cora got there).
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      01-13-2020, 07:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
So two WS championships are badly tarnished. And it makes the Nats win last year look that much better. They won despite the cheating by the 'Stros.

I hope they ban Cora for life.

I'm gonna steal your image, Haywood. I want to post that in my Red Sox forum.
If anyone thinks it has been just the Astros using tech to steal signs, they're sadly delusional haha. The Red Sox and Yankees were already punished in 2017 for using the Apple Watches as well as using the replay room illegally. Manfred is just going to make an example out of everyone involved with the Astros to save face for the MLB. No way the league goes after everyone and makes itself look bad.

The investigation also only found evidence in 2017 and 2018, not 2019 from what I read. We blew this past World Series all on our own.....welcome to Houston sports

I'm still curious what all they found though. I've been to Minute Maid Park TONS of times and can attest to how loud it is (at least the last few years). I have zero clue how anyone would be able to hear a trash can banging over the crowd. I'm also not sure how they'd be able to relay the information so quick to the batter either. But obviously they found enough evidence to convict everyone involved so it is what it is at this point.

I get what Jim Crane wants to do by cleaning the slate with everyone but I think he might have made a big mistake in letting Jeff Lunhow go. It is really hard to find a GM like that, in any sport. That one might come back to bite him in the ass but I guess time will tell.
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      01-13-2020, 07:57 PM   #12
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And it isn't just the managers. All the players had to know this was going on and said nothing about it. Maybe it is so widespread that many just accept it as part of the game. Like doping in the Olympics and Tour de France.
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      01-13-2020, 08:01 PM   #13
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Call my silly, I don't get why its such a huge thing.

Just because you know a call doesn't mean you are still going to be able to hit it.

Understand it would be better to know what's coming than not.

Look at the Sox last year, didn't seem to do them much good?

Besides, and no excuse, I bet most of the MLB is doing it.
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      01-13-2020, 08:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
And it isn't just the managers. All the players had to know this was going on and said nothing about it. Maybe it is so widespread that many just accept it as part of the game. Like doping in the Olympics and Tour de France.
Sadly, it was mostly Cora and the players that were involved from the way the report read. Hinch knew about it and said he didn't agree with it, nor did he participate in it, but he failed to stop it or notify Crane of it.

Edit: Lunhow released a statement that echoed what Manfred's report said. He had no idea it was going on as it was player and lower-level coaching driven. If he had known, he would've stopped it.

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Originally Posted by HFW003 View Post
Call my silly, I don't get why its such a huge thing.

Just because you know a call doesn't mean you are still going to be able to hit it.

Understand it would be better to know what's coming than not.

Look at the Sox last year, didn't seem to do them much good?

Besides, and no excuse, I bet most of the MLB is doing it.
I agree to be honest. Knowing what pitch is coming does give a slight advantage but man it is just really damn hard to hit a baseball at that level. Plus we had just as good of a hitting record, if not better some seasons, on the road compared to at home. So I'm not entirely convinced of how much it helped us in the first place
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      01-13-2020, 08:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricVR4 View Post
Sadly, it was mostly Cora and the players that were involved from the way the report read. Hinch knew about it and said he didn't agree with it, nor did he participate in it, but he failed to stop it or notify Crane of it.

Edit: Lunhow released a statement that echoed what Manfred's report said. He had no idea it was going on as it was player and lower-level coaching driven. If he had known, he would've stopped it.


I agree to be honest. Knowing what pitch is coming does give a slight advantage but man it is just really damn hard to hit a baseball at that level. Plus we had just as good of a hitting record, if not better some seasons, on the road compared to at home. So I'm not entirely convinced of how much it helped us in the first place
It definitely decided game 7 of W/S vs. dodgers, man were they foolish to start Darvish that game
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      01-14-2020, 08:29 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by EricVR4 View Post
Sadly, it was mostly Cora and the players that were involved from the way the report read. Hinch knew about it and said he didn't agree with it, nor did he participate in it, but he failed to stop it or notify Crane of it.

Edit: Lunhow released a statement that echoed what Manfred's report said. He had no idea it was going on as it was player and lower-level coaching driven. If he had known, he would've stopped it.


I agree to be honest. Knowing what pitch is coming does give a slight advantage but man it is just really damn hard to hit a baseball at that level. Plus we had just as good of a hitting record, if not better some seasons, on the road compared to at home. So I'm not entirely convinced of how much it helped us in the first place
You went 3-6 on the road in the playoffs that season. How is that not convincing? I know you're a fan, but read the whole report and try to be unbiased.
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      01-14-2020, 08:45 AM   #17
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You went 3-6 on the road in the playoffs that season. How is that not convincing? I know you're a fan, but read the whole report and try to be unbiased.
I did read the report. We cheated, no arguing that. Looking at the statistics though, in 2017 we hit better on the road than we did at home. Obviously we couldn't use cameras on the road in other teams' stadiums.....so I'm just saying I don't know how much of a difference it made. But regardless, cheating is still cheating and we got punished for it

Just as a reference because I'm a numbers person and love statistics (I did not pull these myself, took them from another analyst):

Astros
BA/OBP/SLG/tOPS+
Home
.279/.340/.472/97
Road
.284/.351/.483/103

Equally as interesting, since the other teams have been involved and/or accused in sign stealing as well (going back to my comment about if anyone thinks the Astros are the only ones doing it, they're insanely delusional):

Yankess
BA/OBP/SLG/tOPS+
Home
.265/.343/.474/107
Road
.258/.334/.421/93

Red Sox
BA/OBP/SLG/tOPS+
Home
.269/.340/.412/105
Road
.247/.319/.401/96

Dodgers
BA/OBP/SLG/tOPS+
Home
.252/.335/.449/103
Road
.246/.334.426/98

We were found guilty of cheating based on evidence found and we had a better record on the road than at home. That makes those other numbers look a little sketchy. If anyone thinks all other teams are innocent, you're in for a rude awakening
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      01-14-2020, 09:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricVR4 View Post
I did read the report. We cheated, no arguing that. Looking at the statistics though, in 2017 we hit better on the road than we did at home. Obviously we couldn't use cameras on the road in other teams' stadiums.....so I'm just saying I don't know how much of a difference it made. But regardless, cheating is still cheating and we got punished for it

Just as a reference because I'm a numbers person and love statistics (I did not pull these myself, took them from another analyst):

Astros
BA/OBP/SLG/tOPS+
Home
.279/.340/.472/97
Road
.284/.351/.483/103

Equally as interesting, since the other teams have been involved and/or accused in sign stealing as well (going back to my comment about if anyone thinks the Astros are the only ones doing it, they're insanely delusional):

Yankess
BA/OBP/SLG/tOPS+
Home
.265/.343/.474/107
Road
.258/.334/.421/93

Red Sox
BA/OBP/SLG/tOPS+
Home
.269/.340/.412/105
Road
.247/.319/.401/96

Dodgers
BA/OBP/SLG/tOPS+
Home
.252/.335/.449/103
Road
.246/.334.426/98

We were found guilty of cheating based on evidence found and we had a better record on the road than at home. That makes those other numbers look a little sketchy. If anyone thinks all other teams are innocent, you're in for a rude awakening
I hear ya. I don't think other teams are innocent. But, I also believe, as in the steroid era, not every player was juicing. MLB definitely wanted to make an example of them because of the blatant disregard of the rules they set back in 2014 about no use of technology to steal signs. After seeing the evidence, it was the fact that the Astros went further than what most teams were doing to steal signs. Now, again, other teams could have done the same thing and we don't know about it, but it seemed pretty bad to the techniques they used.
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      01-14-2020, 09:54 AM   #19
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I hear ya. I don't think other teams are innocent. But, I also believe, as in the steroid era, not every player was juicing. MLB definitely wanted to make an example of them because of the blatant disregard of the rules they set back in 2014 about no use of technology to steal signs. After seeing the evidence, it was the fact that the Astros went further than what most teams were doing to steal signs. Now, again, other teams could have done the same thing and we don't know about it, but it seemed pretty bad to the techniques they used.
Reading Twitter has been interesting lately, I'll say that. Lots of current/former players giving their take on it and from the sound of it (still hearsay, I understand), it is definitely a widespread problem.

Regardless though, it's still frustrating as hell as an Astros fan. It was arrogant, idiotic, and just flat out dumb. Especially since Hinch knew about it but never told anyone. I think that's what pisses me off the most, because it could've been put to bed almost immediately if he had notified Lunhow and Crane about it.

I guess we'll see what happens once the dust settles, but I don't expect Manfred to go so far as to make the league look bad. I'm sure a few examples will be made but I don't hold out any hope of it going past Cora once they hand out his punishment. They'll probably try and sweep it under the rug after that.

Edit: And for what's worth, Manfred's investigation found that the Astros stopped doing it at some point during the 2018 regular season because the players didn't think it was effective and didn't find anything in 2019. Batting averages didn't change too much for 2018 and 2019 compared to 2017 either.
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Last edited by EricVR4; 01-14-2020 at 10:02 AM..
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      01-14-2020, 11:47 AM   #20
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Interesting take...

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/...ng-punishments
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      01-14-2020, 12:36 PM   #21
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I can agree with some of that yeah. I also agree that this entire thing has opened up a giant can of worms that Manfred and MLB did not want opened. I have a hunch that almost everyone in the league hates Mike Fiers right now. Including all of us Astros fans

To add more speculative fuel to the fire.....the Cora connection is obvious. The Red Sox winning it in 2018, make of that what you will. Buuuuuut, guess who shares their spring training facilities with the Astros every year? The Nationals. Coincidence they won it too? Something to think about I guess

At the end of the day though, I don't look at our ring any less differently. Hitting the ball in MLB is ungodly difficult, knowing what pitch is coming or not. You still have to hit it. I think the same about the PED stuff too and whether that tarnishes those rings for other teams (to me it doesn't). Yes it's all cheating just like using tech to steal signs, but at the end of the day you still have to hit the ball. All the muscle in the world doesn't mean you'll be able to hit a home run.

Either way, this whole thing has made allllll of MLB really uncomfortable. They've obviously always known this stuff has gone on, they just didn't want to bring it all to light and make them look bad.
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      01-14-2020, 03:35 PM   #22
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The best part is reading how Pete Rose is out of mind saying his offenses aren't as bad as stealing signs.
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