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Houston Astros' Jake Marisnick

Opinion: MLB Should Take Title From Astros For Sign Stealing Scandal

Major League Baseball has been dealt its biggest blow since the scandal around PED’s. The sign stealing scandal has league insiders, as well as baseball fans everywhere, scratching their heads as to how a major league team could pull this off. Better yet, how and why a major league team would cheat in order to pull something like this off.

Listening to sports commentators, those in and around the league, and your sports nut friend who rants about this kind of thing, a fair and simple question can be raised: Why do people cheat?

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Cheating has been a part of our culture since the beginning and will certainly be around until the end. The desire to get the “edge up” on someone is human nature, that competitive drive that forces us to need to be the best. The method of choice? Cheating.

The Houston Astros sign stealing scandal has become one of the most blatant, yet at the same time relatively complex, scandals in MLB history. Stealing signs is nothing new. But stealing signs with the use of technology is. By using the team replay room to decode catchers’ signs, the Astros would then switch to a more primitive approach in alerting hitters of the incoming pitch by banging on trashcans.

A lot has come out about what should have happened with the punishment of Astros players and management. It does seem a little light, does it not? No players were punished even though more and more is coming out that this was a player-driven scheme. Three managers were suspended for a year, and two later fired, and the team lost a couple first and second round draft picks and was fined $5 million.

Many have called for the title to be stripped from them and for there to be no 2017 World Series champion. Commissioner Rob Manfred is afraid of what that might do to the sport. But the sport is already in trouble and there is nothing more that could happen to make the situation worse than for another scandal to come and distract everyone from this one. People lost their jobs because of poor performances in these games where this kind of cheating went on. If the title was not truly earned, then should it not be taken away? Yu Darvish made the point that if an Olympic athlete cheats, the gold medal is taken away. Should that not be the same in the highest level of professional baseball?

As technology begins to advance further, and peoples’ competitiveness begins to cloud good judgement, this type of behavior is bound to continue. With scandals like the NFL’s “Deflategate” and FIFA’s corruption scandal, these types of events exist at all levels of all sports. But Major League Baseball is in the cross hairs right now and it doesn’t look like they’ll be out anytime soon.

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Written by Austin Letorney

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