The MLB world has just been hit with a major cheating scandal. Earlier this month, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced severe punishments for the Astros after evidence was found that the team used cameras to cheat during their 2017 championship season.
Both the Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were suspended for the 2020 season and subsequently fired. The team was fined $5 million and stripped of its first and second-round draft picks for 2020 and 2021.
Houston used an elaborate system to execute its cheating. They had cameras pointed where the opposing team’s catchers made their hand signals, while team officials watched closely on monitors in the home clubhouse. Then, they would relay this information to the rest of the team. When certain pitches were thrown, the team would bang on a trash can in the dugout to let hitters know what type of pitch was coming. The masterminds behind this scheme were reportedly bench coach Alex Cora and veteran hitter Carlos Beltrán.
In addition to the trash can system, reports also indicated a buzzer system the Astros put underneath their jerseys to alert them about what kind of pitch was coming.
Another rumor surfaced recently, although it has been disproven, that it is photographic and video evidence that suggests otherwise. Including a video of star José Altuve telling his teammates to not take off his jersey after hitting a walk-off. This scandal is unlike anything ever seen in the history of baseball, and if the buzzers turn out to be true, it will leave an even larger stain on the Houston Astros franchise.
Manfred also announced that the league would be investigating the 2018 Boston Red Sox after allegations and evidence of them cheating came to light. Although the accusations are not as egregious as the Houston Astros’, they still used cameras to read opposing team’s signs too.
Cora was the manager for the Red Sox during their 2018 championship season. After being the bench coach in Houston, he stepped down from his position with Boston. Cora is considered to be the mastermind behind both cheating scandals and Manfred implied that he would be punished more for his role in the scandals.
Beltrán, who was just hired as the new manager for the New York Mets, also played a major role in organizing the system in which the Astros cheated. Since then, he has stepped down from his new role.
This is one of the biggest scandals in all of sports history. Many people applauded the league for their punishments, while others said that the league should have stripped the Astros and Red Sox of their titles. Whether or not the MLB chooses to rescind those World Series titles, the 2017 and 2018 seasons will forever be tainted.