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#pounditFriday, December 4, 2020

Joe Maddon discouraging Angels pitchers from plunking Astros

The temptation around the league to drill the Houston Astros is sky-high, but Joe Maddon would prefer for his players to avoid doing so.

Addressing the media Tuesday, the Los Angeles Angels manager indicated that he is discouraging the team’s pitchers from plunking Astros batters ahead of their upcoming series against Houston, which begins on Saturday.

“We’ve talked about playing baseball, straight up,” said Maddon, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. “That’s what I’m anticipating. That’s all I’m looking for. What happened yesterday [with the LA Dodgers], if you were immediately impacted by [the sign stealing], I could get it a little bit. But then you saw the commissioner’s response, regarding what happened. So you got to choose the method you want to incorporate, and I would prefer that we just go play baseball.”

The Astros’ sign-stealing scandal is back in the news after the Dodgers and pitcher Joe Kelly reignited the flames during their interleague series. The Dodgers had lost the 2017 World Series to the Astros, and the Angels also lost their division to Houston that year, a time when the Astros were confirmed to have been cheating.

The league came down hard on Kelly however, and in a 60-game season where any suspension could hurt their chances of taking the division back from Houston, Maddon is wise to tell his guys to just play ball.

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