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#pounditTuesday, March 21, 2023

Report: MLB teams felt Astros got off too easy for cheating

Astros cheating meme

The sports world has had a day to digest the punishments handed down to the Houston Astros for cheating. Apparently it didn’t take very long for the baseball world to decide how they felt about things.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan published a story about the matter on Tuesday and says that many MLB owners felt dissatisfied by the penalties the Astros received.

From Passan’s story:

Multiple ownership-level sources told ESPN that dissatisfaction with the penalties had emerged following a conference call with Manfred, in which he explained how the Astros would be disciplined, then told teams to keep their thoughts to themselves.

“The impression,” one person familiar with the call told ESPN, “was that the penalty for complaining would be more than Houston got.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers were the only team to address the situation. They did so with a passive-aggressive statement in which they said they were told not to comment on the situation.

The Dodgers lost the 2017 World Series to the Astros and fell in the 2018 World Series to the Red Sox, who are currently under investigation by MLB for alleged cheating. They are arguably the most aggrieved team by the cheating.

Houston’s penalties included:
– Record $5 million fine (the max allowed)
– Loss of two first-round picks and two second-round draft picks
– Season-long suspensions for GM Jeff Luhnow and Manager AJ Hinch (both were later fired)

The idea behind the punishments was to send a harsh enough message where teams would be scared to cheat. Instead, some teams came away asking themselves whether they would trade the draft picks, suspensions and fine for a World Series. In the end, many felt Astros owner Jim Crane got off easy. He got his World Series, and with the exception of losing the picks and manager/GM, gets to move on with a strong team next season and beyond. Plus, Crane got to look like the good guy by firing Luhnow and Hinch, though we shared why you shouldn’t be fooled by his actions.

Looking at the entire picture, I think it would be hard to say I wouldn’t trade all that for the World Series.


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