As the Astros get ready to play out the 2020 “season,” we’re again reminded that if nice guys finish last…the Astros finish first.
As the glorified exhibition schedule that MLB is calling a season is about to begin the Houston Astros should once again be giving thanks to Rob Manfred. Thanks to Manfred and the owners killing any chance of a reasonable facsimile of a season, the Astros are set to avoid the only real repercussions of their cheating coming to light. The penalty for fostering a culture only rivaled by the D.C. Snyder’s for zero accountability? Nothing.
The short season and regionalization of the schedule ensure the Astros get to avoid many markets where they would have been less than welcome, and the lack of fans helps them avoid the hostile environments they were sure to walk into. Now the players get to tiptoe through the tulips of 2020 and if/when fans do return hope enough time will have passed to ease the anger. Well, I’m calling BS on that.
It’s not just that they cheated, it’s their attitudes about it pre and post-discovery. Justin Verlander had a whole lot to say about cheating, steroids, and…wait for it…SIGN STEALING before Houston’s scam was uncovered. Since then? The conscience of the sport issued a sorry/not sorry apology and then went radio silent. What a guy!
Do you remember former manager A.J. Hinch mocking other team managers and players for having the audacity to talk about what Houston was doing? Whoops, sorry bout that folks. Hinch, who showed the buck stopped with anyone but him in Manfred’s investigation, is no longer the manager but epitomized the culture. On a side note if your players treat your manager telling them not to CHEAT like a 12-year-old ignoring mom when she asks him to clean his room, well then it’s probably good he’s gone.
Then there was Jim Crane saying he didn’t think it helped them win. First of all, Jim Crane is either
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promising people positions for life or a trash human being based on this, I’ll leave it to you to decide which. Then there was that time he tried to pretend his assistant GM didn’t taunt a female reporter about the team’s shrewd acquisition of a domestic abuser…good dude.
Anyway, I have a suggestion for Old Jimmy. Since knowing what pitch is coming does not help hitters, let’s have Houston pitchers call out what’s coming before every pitch. I think that would absolutely prove his point, don’t you? Also, do they make those L-shaped screens for every position in the infield? You might need them when opponents are all over every pitch and launching missiles at your shortstop.
So this merry band of cheaters gets to avoid their comeuppance thanks to the pandemic. Although if noted humanitarian Jim Crane had his way they’d be packing some fannies in the seats anyway. What’s a couple of thousand cases of COVID when a billionaire could lose a few million right? Priorities. At this point, the Astros should take a cue from another guy that cheating totally didn’t help, and remind any reporter who asks about the scandal that “they didn’t come here today to talk about the past.”
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