The Houston Astros dodged reporters yesterday regarding their sign-stealing cheating scandal, with owner Jim Crane meeting with players to discuss handling of the situation. They are to have a press conference with the media, which should be particularly interesting considering new manager Dusty Baker has had absolutely nothing to do with any of this. Get the popcorn out and ready, people…..
Angels news out of camp
The Angels sure had a bone to pick with the Astros regarding cheating, and pick they did. Andrew Heaney said he hopes the Astros “feel like shit”. Noé Ramirez hopes for bad karma to come Houston’s way.
Joe Maddon believes the Astros’ fun times did not extend to that of other teams.
Max Stassi expects to be ready for Opening Day.
Jaime Barria is in the best shape of his life??
FanGraphs ranked Jo Adell (#4), Brandon Marsh (#39), and Jordyn Adams (#79) within its top 100 prospects, a must read for prospect followers across baseball. Turk’s will have more on this very shortly.
Don’t ever tell me that Tommy La Stella isn’t brave…..
MLB made its rule changes for the upcoming changes official yesterday: among them, a minimum of 3 batters faced for pitchers, two-way player designation, and a return to the 15-day IL. For more on that two-way designation:
A “two-way player” — someone who both hits and pitches — is now an official designation. That lets them stay on the roster as a position player and pitch in games without counting toward their team’s 13-pitcher pitcher limit. If you designate someone a two-way player, they have to stay that way through the end of the year.
Players have to meet certain criteria to qualify as two-way players — in either the current MLB season or the previous one, they have to pitch at least 20 innings in the Majors and start at least 20 games as a position player or DH where they bat three or more times.
Mookie Betts and David Price are excited to join the Dodgers.
What’d I miss? Discuss in the comments below.
Here’s pictures for Tempe today
Thanks again, Rex! I wish we were there.
With Rex’s photos – it’s as if we ARE there.
Ippei … Man his Bieber hairdo is alive and well!
Andrelton Simmons has checked in regarding the Trasshterisks’ performance today:
For a lot of years Jose Altuve was a favorite to watch, he seemed to hit everybody we threw at them. Now knowing he is a cheater along with Springer and Correa and the rest, they make me sick. To watch the rerun of their Press Conference, but especially Altuve, they are stressing that they cheated for only one season. l do not believe that they did not continue to do something that worked. l believe that Altuve had something under his shirt on the game winning HR. The other team members do not necessarily have knowledge of what was there because he was afraid they would rip it off. The Astros deserve everything that comes their way this season and in the coming years. Amnesty my arse. l don’t hate the Dodgers, l’m just not a fan of theirs, but they were cheated out of a WS victory. I do not at all believe that they should be given the title, just take it away from the Astros. l think that there will be a cloud over the Game for years to come based on nothing happens to the player’s.
They are still lying through their teeth. As they say, don’t kid a kidder. They did NOT stop of their own volition. Cheaters in any form or fashion don’t stop until they are caught and when they are caught they are only sorry that they GOT caught. Maybe a revelation and personal or professional changes happen afterwards, but that is not the road the Asstros are going down.
I’m not a fan of beanballs but they better be prepared to wear quite a few of ’em this year. Can’t say they won’t deserve them. Additionally, they should take them willingly. If they act up and rush the mound or clear the benches then other teams will only be more inclined to hand out some good ol fashioned heaters to the ribs and ass at a higher clip than before.
The shirt thing… I can’t even get started on that absolute nonsense. They were wearing buzzers. It’s as plain as day.
Additionally, what a joke Carlos Beltran has become. This guy was losing his shit over Yasiel Puig flipping bats in 2013 and saying he has to learn and that its not playing “the right way.” Turns out that in addition to being connected to a doping doctor up in Canada, he’s an alleged cheating ringleader and a lying sack of shit.
Astros deserve EVERYTHING coming to them.
l think only Altuve was wired as know other player came forward to claim anybody being wired. l hope that the “Beanball” does not show up as no one should be plunked imho. But l would like the Angels to shun the Astros on the field for the first half of the season. The Astros will be the only casualties of sign stealing as MLB does not want this to do nothing but blow over. The hitters will really be hearing the crowds all season and that will be a huge distraction to them on every pitch.
Hahahha. Kinda nauseating with Eric Spillman and Frank Buckley so bitter on air. Sorry not sorry Dodger fans. Hahaha.
No, they earned that. They banged the can against our pitchers as well. Fuck them.
Why start the sentence with “no?”
He is quoting Torii Hunter
Sure. The Astros can suck it. But there’s got to be a little love for that moment too. Just remember how confident your local Doyer fans were in 2017. How sure they were that their 1% of the 1% ownership had finally purchased a World Series title for all their “cast of FOX’s new show”, bad pop diva, neck tat rapey staby, show up in the third leave in the seventh glitter puppy fan base. Recall how many of them were acting like they had finally won a title before game 1. There’s great joy in the Sunshine Yankees getting robbed of anything they felt entitled to, even if it’s by cheating AssBros.
It reminds me of the time I was young and was concerned that I was going to be found and beaten on by a particularly large, mean and bad dude. Then he got beaten into a long hospital stay by an even scarier real life sociopath who eventually died in a Mexican cartel conflict in Tijuana. Do I like the sociopath? No. I sure did like that one aspect of his otherwise horrible existence though. The Astros are a dead eyed Mexican killer who will wind up being found in a Tijuana park with missing parts. But when they beat the Doyers, they were MY dead eyed Mexican killer for just that moment.
Calcaterra’s kid has a future in post war map re-drawing ….
I’m still struggling with embedding Twitters. See image attached for a better visual. It’s pretty funny.
Long Chile Angels of Anaheim
eyespy smartened me up on this, so let me pass it on: don’t use Twitter’s embed routine. Instead, copy and paste the url for the individual tweet that you want to post.
@rspencer I tried that also but don’t think mobile links embed properly. Trying it here….
Trying again without the crap at the end …
Take 3: bullrush this mofo… (Manually remove mobile change with www and remove crap at end
@myself SEE? It failed
And failed part 2
YAY!!!!!! Attempt 3 SUCCESS
The comments in the twitter thread are pretty funny too.
This was one of the most beautiful things I’d seen. And now he’s posting a thread of other crazy stuff his daughter’s done!
Yeah we got a crappy catcher in Stassi. But at least he isn’t spanking the monkey in his car like the Blue Jays catcher Reese McGuire. Yikes
People and Fox.
I guess the meme is dead
Haha. I gotcha man. New name but same game.
It was reported the he has excellent skill framing the hand movement, and he has a strong arm on attempts to 2nd base and 3rd base.
So our Monkey only Rallys?
Angels prospect Jose Soriano had Tommy John surgery last week https://twitter.com/jonathanmayo/status/1228025254095790080?s=21
It’s good to see the Angels TrAditions seeping down the levels and becoming system wide.
Seems like nobody is buying the Asterisks’ attempt at a mea culpa. I agree, they should have the 2017 title vacated. An empty flagpole will send a message to everybody in baseball. That is after all the point here, to send the message.
Cheating should never be accepted but MLB and Manfred believe that the title should stay, but if removed that does not mean that the Dodgers won, it just means that the Astros did not win and there was no WS winner. The Astros and RED SUX should lose their titles. imho
i agree ,its almost as if they are expecting the title to be taken . I bet the one that doesnt want the title vacated is Crane . He doesnt have to deal with the fans booing and heckling like the players . MLB has to do the right thing . Dont they ?
Correa made a comment that the sign stealing scheme “affected careers”. this comment will live on for awhile in legal filings and courtrooms, is my guess.
First injury of the Spring. Justin Anderson out 4-6 weeks with injured oblique
Great, pitchers falling out even before position players report, I hope it’s not an omen..
Wait, from playing catch today? On the day they reported? Or is this like, your bet on who gets injured first and for how long? (We need a pool for that either way)
Not a prediction. Happened playing catch yesterday https://twitter.com/jefffletcherocr/status/1228003624950759425?s=21
So aren’t the athletes working out and preparing for weeks before going to spring training? If so how do you get injured playing catch and shagging slow grounders like we saw in the videos?
Easy with calling a pitcher an athlete. Also, I often injure my back picking up a sock from the ground. Random stuff happens.
You sir, are an out of shape asshole. You should be ashamed of not staying in top shape, never best shape ever unless when you pick up socks you are, reporting to pre work all flabby, and taking that poor poor man Artuo Moreno’s had earned millions in that contract he forced you to sign.
You and Anderson, are different. Anderson gets a pass.
I blame my trainers.
@eyespy why are you going all anti-Richard Simmons on the poor old Chivo Negro ? As an Angels fan it sucks getting old. Hell look at Grandpa. With McCann retiring he doesn’t have any more competition as the world’s slowest baseball player.
Note I did not talk about myself waking up in the mornings with a new injury from sleeping. Nor did I call myself and athlete. I was just pointing fingers 😉 And I agree, random stuff happens…
Hey Astros, if it didn’t affect the outcome of the games, then why did you do it? What would be the purpose?
The Astros press conference was an absolute train wreck. You’d think a billionaire could afford to hire a professional “crisis management” firm to more effectively address the fallout from the scandal. It was a terrible look for the owner to emphatically state that only Ludlow and Hinch were to blame, and that he – the owner – should not be held accountable. Clearly self-awareness is not a skill of Mr. Crane.
As for the apologies from the players: weak-ass and lame. Poorly written, poorly executed. I’m not sure why Dusty was apologizing on behalf of the team. The players are alledgedly men – they need to own it and lead from the front.
It seems to me this only gets worse from here…..
The only way to move on is to strip them of their title .The only way they earn any respect from the masses is to give up their fraudulent dishonest title,and earn one the right way. They have to realize that giving up the Championship no one gives them credit for is their out . If they really want us to get over this ,they have to strip themselves of the 2017 title . Will they ,NOT A CHANCE , because thats how cheaters are
Yes…just like Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod, Pete, and the rest of them
you got it . i also think mlb should save them and strip the title . otherwise this year is going to ugly with the fans going after the players
Should be an all time high.
For pitchers ejected this year.
Tighten up those batting helmets.
ASStros…it’s gonna be fun fun fun!!!
If I’m Bregman, Springer, or Correa I’m buying body armor level elbow pads, shin guards, and maybe a rib protector of some kind.
A local ice hockey retailer should have a wide selection of goalie gear that should do the trick. A little awkward to run in though.
Looking forward to the first team that calls up some kid from Single A that throws a very wild 101 mph just to face the top of that order.
Haha, freaking Heaney went off on the Astros. 😆 😆
WWDDD: What would Don Drysdale do? He wouldn’t have complained about it in the press, he would exact vengeance on the field. The same with Bob Gibson.
Bob Gibson would have beaned Altuve while he was in the on-deck circle then walked toward him to tell him exactly why he did it. Bob Gibson was a bad man.
Like, I know that this would be wrong, and the game is better for it that we don’t do things like this now, but the caveman part of my brain would love to see it.
@Mia Treat ‘yo self https://mopupduty.com/bob-gibson-stories-and-anecdotes-040714/
Yeah, me too, but this hasn’t worked out so well for the Angels in recent seasons. I would hate to see the season start with suspensions.
Then again, 2002 started out with suspensions. . . .
This press conference, what the hell is that? A 5 second apology? Fuuuuuuuuuuck them. Can’t even take questions?
Crane: “We went above and beyond and fired those guys”…
I can easily see this making things worse for them in terms of retaliation by other teams.
It’s still going and Crane is talking himself into a deeper hole…
That may be the craziest comment ever. Why cheat then?
He’s trying to protect the legacy. It’s their only WS ring, doesn’t want history to judge it with an asterisk. He can spin his narrative all he wants.
I think their legacy is pretty much sealed at this point. It just isn’t the one Crane wanted.
Show up in shape son
“Damage control” must mean something different in Houston than it does in the rest of the US.
The players need to be held accountable. Remember the Black Sox?
I keep seeing these comparisons to the Black Sox and at least in my mind, they aren’t really comparable. The Astros cheated and deserve to be punished. Technically, the Black Sox didn’t cheat; they simply made the conscious decision to try to not win. So Cicotte and Williams threw a bunch of meatballs while Swede Risburg and Chick Gandil botched some plays and ABs. The difference is that the Black Sox tried to lose (or at least agreed to try to lose), but the Astros tried to win.
I haven’t seen it mentioned, but the 1951 Giants (of the famous Bobby Thompson HR and “The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant”) had a sign stealing scheme that was similar to what the Astros did. They had an attendant watch from centerfield and use a buzzer to alert the bullpen what was happening and they would signal the batter. A few players came clean in 2001 about that one, but nobody suggested that Willie Mays should be retroactively suspended or that the Giants title should be stripped and given to the Dodgers.
Morally, this is similar to a corked bat or a spitball. The penalty for those infractions is a 7-10 game suspension. The problem here is that apparently, the players were given immunity in exchange for cooperation, so even those types of suspensions are off the table.
Perhaps the difference is that this was done specifically after the Red Sox Apple Watch scandal. So, with increased scrutiny and people saying, to all teams, don’t use electronic means or there will be serious penalties, they doubled down. The thumbing one’s nose at the rules makes this worse.
Maybe, but it’s still not accepting money from mobsters to intentionally throw baseball games. There is a difference in my mind of cheating to win and intentionally losing.
I would agree that the involvement of mobsters is a bit of an intensifier, but in general the only difference I see between cheating to win and cheating to lose is who is being cheated.
but the penalty is different. the cheating to lose penalty in baseball is a lifetime suspension.
Cheating to win has never been a lifetime suspension. A corked bat is a 7-10 game suspension (everyone knows it’s cheating) as is a spitball. A PED violation is 50 games for a first time offender. The Astros thing is weird especially because it was developed. If you’re a young impressionable player and Carlos Beltran comes up with this scheme, you might assume that this is just how it’s done in the majors. Beltran’s been around for 20 years on a variety of teams.
Players are always looking for edges, whether it’s pretending they caught a ball when they trapped it or pretending they tagged a guy when they clearly missed. PED’s and corked bats are just another form of that. Guys who play to lose are messing with the integrity of the game in a very different way. If you cheat to win, you may or may not be successful (you may strike out with that corked bat), but if you cheat to lose, you’re going to be successful.
If they hadn’t granted the Astros players immunity to cooperate, I would be fine with a suspension similar to a corked bat, 7-10 days for each guilty player, and perhaps more for the ringleaders.
My only point is that this is on a different scale than throwing a game or betting against your own team.
jco, you make some very good points, and I largely agree with you, except for most of the paragraph that begins, “Players are always looking for edges.” You lump a lot of things together that, to me, don’t belong together. But I don’t want to nit-pick.
My real argument to what you’re saying is that you are only dealing with the attempts of individuals. The situation with the Astros in 2017 (let’s stick with what has been proven) was a conspiracy which we now know involved not only every player on the 25-man roster, but the uniformed staff and the FO all the way up to the GM.
And it wasn’t just one scheme, but a whole corporate philosophy, as has been revealed in the aftermath of the MLB punishments.
If you’re comparing scales, that’s a pretty large scale. What the Astros did was the exact opposite of sporting. Dissatisfied with merely having assembled a very talented team (by years of losing accidentally on purpose), they worked to take the sport out of baseball.
I would term this, in terms of scale, the worsiest.
I agree, that a conspiracy is worse (although this is exactly what the ’51 Giants did). However, the penalties for the individuals who participated (and perhaps coerced into participating) should be similar in scale to other types of cheating. I don’t blame the league for offering immunity to the players so that they could prove the conspiracy. The penalty to the team is significant. The draft picks they are losing have real value that will hurt the team in the future. Managers lost their jobs and maybe their careers (I wouldn’t hire Hinch). I get why people want penalties to the players (and Beltran did lose his job), but I also get why the league would offer immunity. if any of the players lied as part of the investigation, they should be punished severely.
The Astros thing is different than the corked bat and PEDs. Those enhance an individual’s skills, but still require something from them which doesn’t directly affect the opposing team. As you said, one can still strike out with the corked bat – so the dynamic between the pitcher and hitter is the same.
What the Astro’s did is change that very pitcher/hitter dynamic. This is what ruined the careers of young pitchers, this is what allows for such inflated numbers by Astros hitters – they changed the fundamental aspects of the game.
And they did it blatantly, got lots of people involved, and did it despite being specifically warned that this particular thing (use of electronics to monitor signs) was out of bounds.
Cheating to lose affects the entire way that fans view a game. If you know that teams are throwing games the entire sport essentially becomes the WWE with predetermined outcomes. Cheating to win creates an unfair advantage, but at least (as a fan) you know that both teams are trying to accomplish the same thing. Gambling is a cancer in professional sports and can never ever be allowed, this is why the penalties are so comparatively harsh.
@Blackgoat if “Gambling is a cancer in professional sports and can never ever be allowed” why is sports becoming legal everywhere?
I mean the direct influence of gambling, meaning that players/managers involved in it. That can never be allowed, not an inch.
Blackgoat, I hate the influence of gambling upon sports as much as you do. I just can’t make your fine moral distinction among the various types of cheating. For me, any cheating turns a sport into a lousy imitation of WWE.
@rspencer I hear you. Not trying to justify anything. This just sets the context for why Pete Rose and the Blacksox were banned for life for what they did and why other cheaters get X number of game suspensions. One is worse than the other from an institutional perspective. The early 1900s were plagued with gambling issues and it severely threatened the integrity of the game in a way that modern day examples of cheating hasn’t.
Blackgoat, okay, I agree with that.
I’ll keep making the argument that trying to lose is far worse of an infraction than cheating to win.
That makes Houston the worst franchise, they used both tactics, intentional losing and suppression of MLB ready talent to improve draft pick positioning, AND then cheating professionally, which is criminal when you factor in the betting and career changing fraud, which damages the sport itself.
now that is an excellent point!
I see your point, but I think there is a clear distinction between a team that fields a crappy roster to avoid winning and a team that purposely kicks grounders to influence the outcome. Both might achieve the same result (a loss) but the team with the players on the crappy roster are trying to win, whereas in the other case the player(s) aren’t. That distinction matters to a fan viewing the game.
Isn’t the ‘kicked’ balls just an extension of fielding players that you don’t think are good enough? So, trying to learn the signs of the opposing players, or find tells by pitchers is ok, but then using the cameras to know exactly which pitch is on goes too far, right?
No, players that aren’t good enough are still trying to achieve a positive outcome, they just aren’t good enough to do that consistently. A player that is handed a brown bag full of money to lose a game is not trying to achieve a positive outcome. For a fan watching the game, there is a big difference.
In the case of the low quality team, a fan can feel that a square game is being played by unequal teams. In the case of the team paid to lose, (assuming that the fan knows about it) you don’t feel like you’re watching a square game at all, but a charade.
Fielding a losing experience on purpose to achieve a positive draft pick situation has become the bain of pro sports. Intentional losing is essentially being Anal Retention of Talent and the promotion of tomato cans, the fielding of intentionally less competitive lineups, less competent relievers, which renders the entire game pointless. If I want to root for 4A, I will raise a cow.
The Astros sabotaged themselves to accumulate an unnatural amount of cost controlled suppressed young talent. Their strategy worked, but they got greedy, on top of that they cheated, as a unit, they conspired to bypass the rules of the game, creating an unnatural advantage, which now eclipses the net sum of their athletic talent, skill and honor. They have no honor, no real victory, they cheated everyone, not just the Dodgers and Hankies.
The Black Sox cheated. The game, the integrity, and the fans. They cheated everything.
So did the Astros. Just depends on whose fans they were.
OK. How are we getting that to happen?
Interesting that Joe Maddon doesn’t think that the cheating was happening with other teams. What about Boston?
Well, I guess he is not saying no other team is doing it. It’s more like he is saying that not all the teams are doing it.
Better not upset the employers. Need to keep them job options open.