MLB Hit By Cheating Scandal

MLB Hit By Cheating Scandal

The MLB has been embroiled in a cheating scandal involving the Houston Astros as the team have been found guilty of using technology to steal pitching signs from opposing teams. Katherine Acquavella and RJ Anderson from CBS Sports reports that the Astros used the center field camera of Minute Maid Park to pick up signs from the opposing team’s catcher and then relay information to Astro batters. The team would bang on trash cans to alert their hitters of any off speed pitch. 

 

The MLB has conducted investigations against the Astros after many allegations of cheating. Mike Fiers, who was a pitcher on the 2017 Astros, reported to The Athletic talking about how the Astros cheated and went overboard with their actions. Acquavell and Andersons reported that the investigations have looked as far back to 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons interviewing 60 witnesses and reviewing over 76000 emails. The MLB is continuing investigations into the 2018 Red Sox as there are also allegations regarding that the Red Sox have been involved in cheating as well.

In terms of punishment, Mike Axisa from CBS Sports reports that the Astros were hit with a fine of $5 million which is the maximum fine allowed under the MLB rules. The investigation also resulted in the loss of their first and second round draft picks for 2020 and 2021. Manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year but have already been fired by the Astros. The manager of the Red Sox, Alex Cora, have also been suspended for a year as he was the bench coach for the Astros at the time along with former assistant GM Brandon Taubman. Cora has since been fired as manager of Red Sox. AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow have released statements expressing their regret over the situation and mentions that they completely accept responsibility for their actions. 

 

Axisa reported that the 2017 Astros’ players received a pool of over $30 million for the 2017 postseason. This is in the wake of the Astros team receiving a total of a $5 million fine. Some say that a simple $5 million fine is not a serious enough punishment to deter future acts of cheating on this level. Many have been calling for harsher punishment than the penalties issued and some have even called for the MLB to strip the Astros of their 2017 World Series title. Whether the MLB will continue to pursue the investigation and issue new and even harsher punishment remains to be seen.