A lot of the talk around Major League Baseball this offseason has been on the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal that was a factor in defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series.
The Astros were found guilty after MLB completed a thorough investigation. While there were penalties handed down, none were issued to the players on the team as they were given immunity by the league for cooperating with the investigation.
The lack of punishment for Astros players has not been popular throughout the league, as Dodgers players and others have spoke out about it.
Among those is Kenley Jansen, who saw everything go down up close and personal after allowing three runs in 8.2 innings that World Series. Not only does Jansen think that this scandal is worse than steroids, but he also believes that MLB not punishing the players will lead to more issues in the future.
“It’s not good. If you suspend coaches and managers and you don’t suspend players, you basically are telling teams to keep continuing to do it,” Jansen said. “It’s like when the first suspension for steroids came and it was 15 games and then guys keep doing it, so I don’t think this is enough.
“You think they’re gonna stop doing it? All they’re gonna do is fire a manager and fire coaches, they’re not gonna do anything to the players, so in my mind, I don’t think they’re gonna stop doing it.
“If you were to give a suspension of they can play this year and they can win as many games as they can and they’re not gonna make the playoffs, they maybe it might stop. To me, I don’t think it’s going to stop.”
Jansen even went as far as to pose a potential playoff ban for the Astros as a solution. “That’s what it should be, right?” he said.
“You stole a championship from a team so you should not be in the playoffs this year. That’s the punishment, I get it, don’t take money away from players, but you’re not gonna play in the playoffs this year.
“With steroids, at least it was a fair game instead of a team just sitting on every pitch, knowing what was coming and buzzers and all of that stuff that they’re talking about. It’s ridiculous, I’m sorry. A sorry won’t help, it’s the weakest punishment I’ve ever seen in any sport in the world.”
Not only does Jansen feel that electronic sign-stealing is worse than steroids, but he also added gambling to that list. While he heard the Astros players apologize, he is not a fan of some of them potentially being voted into the Hall of Fame one day while Pete Rose is still banned from baseball.
“For you to be apologizing for this one and in 20 years one of these guys gets into the Hall of Fame and Pete Rose is out, that’s terrible. People may not see it as that, but I see it as not good. You won a championship while knowing what was coming. Just sit down and think about it.”
Jansen may have been willing to talk about these issues now, but he concluded that his focus now shifts to his team and the 2020 season.
“We’ve just got to focus on 2020, we have a really good team, adding Mookie Betts and David Price, and Joc (Pederson) is still with us, [Ross Stripling], we’ve got a good chance to win a championship this year,” he said.
“So why waste my energy going back to ’17 instead of putting my focus and look forward to what we can do in 2020 to win a championship for L.A.? That’s where my focus is, I’m not looking behind.”
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