In addition to a significantly more active free agency period this offseason, much of the attention around baseball in recent weeks revolved around sign-stealing allegations against a pair of American League powerhouses.
Last November, former Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers revealed that the team utilized a camera in center field at Minute Maid Park to electronically steal signs during the 2017 season.
The comments sparked a lengthy investigation by MLB, which concluded on Monday. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were each suspended for the 2020 season, while the organization was stripped of future draft picks and fined $5 million. Astros owner Jim Crane subsequently fired Luhnow and Hinch.
Earlier this month, the Boston Red Sox were in headlines with allegations they stole opponents’ signs in their video replay room during the 2018 season. Then this week, the team parted with manager Alex Cora, who heavily implicated in MLB’s findings with the Astros.
Both of these cases figure to be of interest to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were on the losing side of back-to-back World Series to the Astros and Red Sox.
Amid newfound speculation Astros players wore buzzers to further be alerted of which pitch was coming, Cody Bellinger voiced his shock and hope rumors were not true:
For the sake of the game I Hope this isn’t true.. if true, there needs to be major consequences to the players. That Completely ruins the integrity of the game!!!
— Cody Bellinger (@Cody_Bellinger) January 16, 2020
The Dodgers took the Astros to seven games in the 2017 World Series, ultimately losing the winner-take-all contest at home. The allegations against Houston would in some part explain the struggles Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw endured on the road.
L.A. returned to the Fall Classic the following year, but this time fell to the Red Sox in five games. The matchup was one-sided for the most part, as the Dodgers won their only contest in extra innings courtesy of Max Muncy’s walk-off home run.
Multiple players had voiced disappointment in the wake of allegations levied against the Astros, but also a sentiment that it is in the past and any penalties ultimately would not reverse the outcome.
Joc Pederson admitted that the Dodgers’ loss to the Astros was difficult to accept for awhile, but has already moved on and is looking ahead to the future.
Former Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish — charged with the 2017 World Series Game 7 loss — believes the Astros were the better team and that the outcome would not have changed even if they did unfairly stole signs.
MLB asked clubs not to comment on the investigation, and for the Dodgers to also refrain from speaking about their loss in the World Series.
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