Astros sign stealing scandal rocks the MLB

Carson Parrish

The Houston Astros were victors of the 2017 MLB World Series, where they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 in seven games. In November of 2019 reports came out that the Astros had been stealing signs in order to help them win games. The Astros were known for cheating around the MLB, these cheating ways were led by Carlos Beltran, centerfielder, and Alex Cora, head coach. 

Sign stealing in baseball is when someone observes signs given by the catcher to the pitcher and relays what type of pitch is coming to the batter. This can be a huge advantage to the batter because the batter will be able to hit nearly every pitch if they know what is coming. These allegations are huge because the Astros illegally used cameras to steal the signs. According to MLB regulations it is prohibited to use electronic equipment to steal signs or get information to give a team an advantage. 

As a result of the allegations, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and Head Coach AJ Hinch were suspended, and the team was fined five million dollars and stripped of their first and second round picks in 2020 and 2021. Later the Astros fired Luhnow and Hinch. 

On February 13, the Astros held a press conference to address the cheating scandal with team owner Jim Crane and new manager Dusty Baker. During the press conference they apologized for cheating and Crane also made it very clear that they do not believe this impacted the game. 

 “Our opinion is that it didn’t impact the game,” 56 seconds later, Crane said “I didn’t say it didn’t impact the game” said Crane, later on in the press conference.

Since the first report on November 12, the league has started investigating the Boston Red Sox because of Alex Cora’s involvement in the organization. In the 2018 season the Red Sox won the World Series with Alex Cora serving as their manager. Cora was later fired by the Red Sox on January 15 during the investigation. 

The New York Mets hired Carlos Beltran in November but was later fired amid the allegations of sign stealing with the Astros. Beltran was a player on the Astros world series team and was one of the leaders of the sign stealing scandal. 

Overall this will impact the game of baseball significantly because it will force the MLB to implement stricter rules about cameras and technology allowed in baseball.This event will go down as one of the biggest scandals in MLB history.

Photos by needpix.com
Houston Astros are penalized for stealing opposing teams signs