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#pounditFriday, December 3, 2021

Articles tagged: Houston Astros cheating scandal

Braves great goes after Astros sign-stealing critics

Jose Altuve in a practice shirt

The Houston Astros enter the 2021 World Series as the enemy of every other Major League fanbase, including obviously the opposing Atlanta Braves. But one Braves legend surprisingly thinks that the criticism of the Astros has gotten out of hand.

Retired Cy Young winner Tom Glavine appeared this week on CBS Sports Radio’s “The Zach Gelb Show” and said that he does not hold a grudge against the Astros.

“I don’t even think about it,” said Glavine. “I’m not going to say that what the Astros did was right, by any stretch of the imagination. Everybody in baseball is trying to cheat. Don’t kid yourself. Everybody’s trying to find an advantage, find an edge. Now, what the Astros did at the time crossed the line. There’s no question about that.

“But I feel like there’s a lot of people casting stones who maybe shouldn’t be casting stones,” Glavine went on. “They crossed the line. They suffered the consequences for it. And look, to their credit, here they are again… A lot of those guys paid a pretty heavy price. But to me, it’s over and done with. And any suggestion that what happened that year has something to do with what the Astros are doing this year, I just think is ridiculous.”

The Hall of Famer Glavine is one of the greatest players in Braves franchise history. He made eight All-Star teams and won two NL Cy Young Awards in Atlanta. Glavine also was central to the Braves’ 1995 championship, earning the title of World Series MVP.

The Astros faced some extensive punishment for the infamous sign-stealing scandal that tainted their 2017 and 2018 seasons. Manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow were each suspended for one year and ultimately lost their jobs with the team. Meanwhile, the Astros organization got docked several draft picks and millions of dollars in fines. But no actual Astros players faced punishment for the scandal. Now many of those same core players are part of Houston’s pennant-winning team this year.

Cheating allegations have dogged the Astros once again this postseason after suspect whistling noises arose during their ALCS series against Boston. The team will likely never get the benefit of the doubt from the public again, and something about that clearly does not sit right with Glavine.

Photo: May 22, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) takes batting practice before the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Astro trolls bitter fans who think Astros are cheating

Houston Astros logo

The Houston Astros, fresh off a years-long cheating scandal, are headed back to the World Series after defeating the Boston Red Sox, 4-2, in the ALCS.

Their triumph did not come without a little controversy, however.

Throughout the 2021 MLB Playoffs, the Astros have again been accused of cheating. First, Chicago White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera accused them of stealing signs during the ALDS and then fans noticed some curious whistling during the ALCS — a cheating tactic the Astros had been known to use previously.

Former Astros infielder, Geoff Blum, believes they should wear the allegations as a badge of honor. And following Friday’s 5-0 victory sending them to the World Series, he used the whistling to troll Houston detractors.

The Astros and their supporters are enjoying this now but they still have one leg of their journey remaining. They must defeat either the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers to reclaim the crown.

Atlanta currently leads the NLCS, 3-2, with Game 6 scheduled for Saturday night at Truist Park.

Houston native Justise Winslow takes shot at ‘Covid Champ’ Dodgers

Justise Winslow

Los Angeles Dodgers fans got in some hearty boos this week as they hosted a two-game series against the Houston Astros. One prominent Houston native took an opportunity to return fire however.

NBA swingman Justise Winslow attended the Dodgers-Astros contest on Wednesday. He posted an Instagram picture of himself in the stands with a caption that mockingly called the Dodgers the “Covid Champs.” Winslow also held up an inflatable trash can in the picture for good measure.

Winslow was born in Houston and attended the prominent local high school St. John’s. His father Rickie was also a member of the University of Houston’s iconic “Phi Slama Jama” team in the 1980s.

As for the Dodgers and the Astros, their bad blood dates back to the 2017 World Series when Houston cheated their way to victory. There was a lot going on elsewhere in the stands during this week’s rematch as well.

Houston Astros’ mascot Orbit booed by fans at All-Star Game

Houston Astros mascot Orbit

All of the Houston Astros’ players backed out of the MLB All-Star Game, which left the team’s mascot to get the boos.

When the MLB mascots were introduced in front of the fans ahead of the Home Run Derby on Monday, “Orbit,” the Astros’ mascot, heard it from the fans.

Orbit took the booing well according to a fan in attendance.

Orbit even took some more direct heckling.

By now you know what the “bang bang” means. It’s a reference to the Astros cheating by banging a trash can.

If the mascot was hearing it from the fans, imagine how much worse it would have been for the team’s players.

Photo: EricEnfermero/Wikimedia via CC BY-SA 3.0

Did Jose Altuve go shirtless after home run in response to Yankees?

Jose Altuve shirt

Jose Altuve did it again. The Houston Astros second baseman hit a walk-off home run to beat the New York Yankees, only this time the stakes were not quite as high.

Altuve’s 3-run home run in the bottom of the ninth capped off a 6-run inning and gave the Astros an 8-7 win on Sunday.

After hitting his walk-off home run, Altuve’s jersey was ripped off by his teammates.

Why is that significant? A rumor regarding the Astros’ cheating scandal suggested their players were using electronic buzzers. Altuve was even accused of covering his alleged buzzer up after a 2019 home run to eliminate the Yankees from the postseason during the ALCS. Aaron Judge made reference to this accusation during his home run trot on Saturday (video here). The Astros might have wanted to rip Altuve’s shirt off as a point Sunday to show that the second baseman did not have any devices strapped to his chest.

Buzzer or not, Altuve is still ripping the hearts out of the Yankees.

Did Aaron Judge troll Jose Altuve with jersey move during home run trot?

Aaron Judge jersey

A sly move by Aaron Judge during a home run trot has some wondering whether he was trolling Jose Altuve.

The New York Yankees are in Houston for a three-game series against the Astros. Judge clubbed a solo home run in the top of the third inning on Saturday for the first run of the game. As he was approaching third base during his home run trot, the Yankees slugger pressed his jersey together.

What’s the story there?

Altuve hit a walk-off home run in the ALCS against the Yankees in 2019 to send his Astros to the World Series. Altuve’s bizarre behavior, such as clutching his shirt and changing it (video here), played a role in rumors that the Astros were wearing electronic buzzers under their jerseys.

The buzzer rumor was the peak of the suspicion regarding Astros cheating allegations. The Astros were confirmed to have cheated during the 2017 postseason, but others felt they continued to cheat by doing much more in the ensuing years.

The Yankees were one of the biggest victims of the Astros’ alleged cheating. Their players won’t soon forget what happened.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Yankee fans let Astros players have it during Tuesday’s game

Astros cheaters sign

One of the things to come out of fans returning to MLB stadiums is that the Houston Astros are facing very hostile responses in road games. For most fans, it’s the first chance to register their disapproval of the team’s sign-stealing scheme that tainted their 2017 World Series title.

Tuesday night’s response was the angriest yet. The Astros made their first appearance at Yankee Stadium in front of fans since the scheme was revealed in 2019. The game had special significance for Yankee fans, as their team suffered a seven-game defeat to the Astros in the 2017 ALCS. There’s been plenty of speculation over whether the result of that series could have been different in light of what we know now.

Many Yankee fans brought signs taunting the Astros for cheating, and every Houston player was heavily booed upon stepping up to the plate. Check out the starting lineup announcement, with core players Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, and Carlos Correa getting the most vocal responses.

Altuve was booed even more loudly as he stepped up to the plate in the first inning.

Bregman seemed to relish the reception he got more than the rest of his teammates did. He stepped up to the plate and hit a home run to give the Astros a 1-0 lead later in the inning.

The Astros had to know that they’d get a reception like this. After all, they’ve had it before when playing in front of crowds. Bregman, more than anyone else, seems to really enjoy it, so maybe it’s not a surprise he got into one.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Mike Scioscia backs Angels fans who taunted Astros for cheating

Mike Scioscia Angels

Mike Scioscia is backing Los Angeles Angels fans who taunted the Houston Astros for cheating.

The Angels on Monday began a series with their division rivals. It was the first time the teams met when fans could be present since the Astros were found guilty of cheating in the 2017 season.

Angels fans trolled the Astros with the use of trash cans throughout the game (as seen here). The Astros, of course, used trash cans as part of their cheating scheme.

Scioscia managed the Angels from 2000-2018, which is during the time the Astros cheated. The new manager of Team USA Baseball, Scioscia spoke this week and was asked about the actions of Angels fans. He supported the right of the fans to voice their displeasure with the Astros.

Scioscia’s teams were personally affected by the Astros, so it’s no surprise he would back the fans who supported him. But anyone who upholds the integrity of the game would also hold this against Houston.

Look: Angels fans troll Astros by tossing trash cans onto field

Angels trash can

The shortened, fan-less season last year spared the Houston Astros from national ridicule at ballparks, but Angels fans are trying to make up for things this year.

The Angels faced the Astros on Monday and came back to win 7-6. During the game, Angels fans trolled the Astros with trash cans.

At first it started with a real one in right field:

Then someone threw an inflatable trash can on the field:

And then fans threw a real trash can onto the field.

The Astros were confirmed to have cheated in the 2017 season by banging a trash can to communicate pitch types during at-bats. You can see here what the setup looked like.

The Angels fans’ efforts weren’t too far off from what the Astros’ setup actually looked like.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Alex Bregman trolled by Marlins security guard during spring training game

Alex Bregman

The Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal has not been forgotten by at least one member of the Miami Marlins’ spring training security contingent.

According to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle, a member of the security team at the Marlins’ Roger Dean Stadium spent Alex Bregman’s entire plate appearance banging on a trash can.

Bregman has always been willing to dish it out, but given the lack of crowds last year, he’s probably going to have to take some of this in 2021. There are some fans with long memories who will want to register their disapproval with the infamous sign-stealing scheme after not getting to do it in 2020.

Bregman hit only .242 last year with six home runs. Improving those numbers would silence some of the critics.