Major League Baseball announced the findings of their three-month investigation into the Houston Astros this week, levying harsh penalties against the organization for electronically stealing signs at Minute Maid Park during the 2017 season.
The Astros were fined the maximum $5 million and stripped of their first- and second-round draft picks over the next two years. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were additionally suspended for the entire 2020 season, then dismissed by owner Jim Crane.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the primary teams most affected by the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, having lost to the organization in seven games during the 2017 World Series.
Prior to the cheating allegations coming to light, former Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish faced heavy criticism for his performance in the Fall Classic. He was charged with a loss in both of his starts, allowing a combined nine runs (eight earned) across 3.1 innings of work.
Darvish’s struggles were initially attributed to him tipping his pitches, although an unnamed Dodgers player later refuted the notion after going back and watching the film.
Darvish revealed that Astros players informed him of his pitching tipping at the time, but he is now questioning their honesty, via Phil Thompson of the Chicago Tribune:
“That’s what I want to know,” Darvish said. “A couple of Astros players told me that I was tipping pitches 100%. But then it came out they’re stealing signs. That’s why I want to know, (if) the World Series came from stealing signs or tipping pitches.”
“Game 3 was (a) maybe,” Darvish added. “After that the Dodgers started checking (whether I was) tipping pitches or whatever. But they couldn’t find it, especially Game 7. But Astros players (later) told me I was tipping 100% in Game 7. So it’s like …”
In the wake of what was found in MLB’s investigation, Darvish no longer believes he tipped his pitches against the Astros:
“Not sure, no.”
Darvish previously opined that the Astros’ purported sign stealing did not impact the outcome of the World Series. Judging by his latest comments, it sounds like the right-hander is now under the impression Houston’s sign-stealing played a bigger role in his struggles than originally anticipated.
But even with that, Darvish has largely put the onus on himself needing to perform better.
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