Although Major League Baseball announced their findings from an investigation into the Houston Astros, confirming they electronically stole signs en route to wining the 2017 World Series, it’s hardly put the matter to bed.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred levied a $5 million fine against the Astros — the maximum amount permitted under the league’s constitution — suspended general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch, and stripped the team of first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.
Astros owner Jim Crane, who was cleared as part of the investigation, promptly fired Luhnow and Hinch. The Boston Red Sox and and New York Mets subsequently parted with managers Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran, respectively, as both were detailed in the nine-page report as to being at the forefront of the cheating scandal.
As debate raged on over whether or not Manfred imposed a punishment that was sufficient, new allegations of Astros players using wearable devices took social media by storm. The league issued a statement that said their investigation did not find that to be the case.
Nevertheless, Ross Stripling had an inquiring mind and asked Josh Reddick if the accusation was true while working out at the same Houston gym, according to Pedro Moura of The Athletic:
The methods the 2017 Astros used in the postseason remain unclear. So he asked Reddick recently, point blank: Were there buzzers? No, Reddick told him.
While the Los Angeles Dodgers have cautiously discussed the Astros’ actions — including complying with MLB’s gag order since announcing their findings — Stripling reiterated the team sensed impropriety was taking place during the World Series:
“We had an idea that things were going on in real time,” he said last week. “Because it seemed like they had an advantage in real time. We’re glad the investigation found what it found, the punishment was handed out, and now it’s behind us.”
Like other Dodgers and players around the league, Stripling sees a clear difference between a player picking — and relaying — signs from the bases, and the Astros using a live camera feed to steal signs in live time.
Making matters all the more frustrating for the Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox, their opponent in the 2018 World Series, remain under investigation for illicit actions as well. The L.A. City Council voted to ask MLB to take the titles away from the Astros and Red Sox and retroactively award them to the Dodgers, though Manfred all but ruled out the possibility.
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