What if your favorite team had been the banging/buzzing cheaters?

Suppose that instead of the Astros, YOUR favorite MLB team had won the 2017 World Series by the same cheating methods as the Houston Astros and was now in the process of being synonymous with  the 1919 BlackSox and perhaps worse. Imagine the cheating scum wasn’t Alex Bregman or Jose Altuve but rather your favorite all star players.

How would you cope?

Would you still follow the team with the same passion you do now? How passionate were you just two and a half years after your team won the world series? Especially with the team in the middle of a seeming dynasty and going deep into the playoffs the following two years, to Game Seven last year… and then suddenly, to find out that it was all a fraud. Be it banging on a trashcan or buzzing a buzzer, the seasons of systematic fraud suddenly coming to light would have to take a toll on you. With each new revelation, would your fandom come to task?

Observing Houston Astros fans online, most that post on twitter are still in a little denial. “Everyone does it!” they insist. Which is not true. Not everyone does it and nobody did it to the extent that they did. the absurd numbers will come crashing down this season, the egos of the one time heroes will not be able to handle the pressure of hatred they are about to get, the clubhouse could disintegrate. This is the lone possible reason for bringing in Dusty Baker to manage and even he might not be able to keep the chemistry there cool and composed.

So picture the situation as landing on your shoulders as a fan. Do you:

Denial
Behave like the Astros’ twitter twerps and insist the cheating had little effect and that a buzzerless 2020 will still see them victorious as derided underdogs triumphing over a stacked deck. If someone asks if you are still a fan of the team you reply “Hell yeah, now more than ever!”

Accepting But Loyal
Be contrite but still root just as hard for them in 2020 as ever, even if the very cheaters themselves soil the sacred uniform of your team. If someone asks if you are still a fan of the team you reply “Yeah, if you are here for the good times you gotta be here for the bad times.”

Dial it Back Some
Take in fewer games in person, less social media involvement, no new merch, kill the team alerts on your phone, watch less games and change the channel during them more often. If someone asks if you are still a fan of the team you reply “Yeah but I dialed it back after the cheating thing.”

Operation Fairweather
If you are in a sports bar to see some friends you ‘ll look at the game for a while but that is it. You might check the score or story of a game that is getting particularly big news but you play videogames or work on a hobby with what had been your baseball time before. If someone asks you if you are a fan of the team you shrug, “Kinda, but not really.” Your only optimism is to add “Maybe I will be back in a few years after all the cheaters are gone…”

SCAD: Spontaneous Current Association Dissection
You sell your merch on eBay or give it away, maybe even burn it, not bothering to make a YouTube video out of the moment. If the sport still tugs at you, perhaps you adopt another team, maybe you even move to be closer to follow that new team. If someone asks if you are still a fan of the team you reply, “Hell no. Never trust a cheater.”

Nuclear Option
You become a Raiders fan.

42 Comments
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opiejeanne
Member
3 years ago

Off topic, but I’d love to hear about the photo at the top of this page. Is your dad one of the fellows in the picture?

Cowboy26
Legend
eyespy
Super Member
3 years ago

I would still cheer for my team, and if it was that Angels, I would be proud.

Players, whatever, they don’t care about us anyway.

Owner, it’s his to do what he wants.

Gotta do anything to win.

If you ain’t cheatin’

Nice guys.

I am against cheating, they were bad, and got caught. Buying the end, MY TEAM, I got their back.

LanaBanana
Super Member
3 years ago

I had thought about this question and I’m really not sure what I would do.
I love baseball and I can’t see myself rooting for another team but I would be so disillusioned that I don’t think I could enjoy watching them play. And like Mia said, if Mike Trout were involved……

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

Well, the first thing I would do is make a loud, piercing sound….. I don’t know, rent a klaxon or something. Once I had everyone’s attention I would then howl with rage and denounce any love for the Angels I ever felt. While doing this I would cry a little and rend my blouse. I would march up into the Angels locker room and confront every player. I would force them to mean it when they apologize, then I would have them draw lots and have one half of the team beat the other half to death with bats.

Then I would march into every office in the FO and demand confessions and acts of contrition. I would demand that every item in the building be sold, as well as every dollar made by the team in that cheating year be declared unclean and the cash given to the WNBA as an act of futile waste and contrition. I would demand that the team be disbanded, sold, and renamed. Also every Angels employee would be publicly spanked and I would commission the douche from Coldplay to write a song called “We Are Horrible People, and This is a Horrible Song” which they all must sing as a group We Are The World style before they are ever allowed to see their families again. Then I would force Arte, the GM, and management team to sing another new Coldplay hit “We Are Dumb and Scummy and We Wish We Were Upstanding Like You All”. I’d force who ever makes the Rally Monkey clips to produce a video.

I would demand they negate their WS title and melt down both the trophy and their rings to make a small bejeweled statue of the god Honos. I would demand that all Angels merch everywhere be found and burned as fuel for an eternal flame kept lit at the new Anaheim shrine to Honos. I would demand the Big A be torn down and the soil it stood upon salted so that nothing may ever grow there again. Then I’d build a Pinkberry and a cement dog park on it.

I would have any Angels related media banned from print and web. I would have any Angel fan that doesn’t admit that they are, in their own tiny way, complicit in cheating be branded with an asterisk on the forehead. We may also consider reeducation camps or sterilization. Cheating is cheating and I don’t ever tolerate any cheating. I will search out and eradicate anything to do with the taint of the Angels cheatpionship until it is wiped from mynkinds memory or people stop paying attention to my virtue signalling.

Or, more likely, I will shrug my shoulders and say “F*** you. I was entertained and that’s what matters.” when ever someone gets all flummox faced at seeing my Angels hat. There will still be teams cheating in 2020. I still hate the Yankees, Dodgers and BoSux way more than Houston. All that matters is that I have a good time. Maybe the Angels should cheat so I have more fun. Nobody gives a shit how irate I can get about cheating, they’re just waiting for the chance to tell everyone how mad they are so we all know how good they are. NONE of the people doing all this boo hooing would have come out in 2017 and said something, or quit the Astros, or anything else big and heroic. We all know, inside ourselves, it’s true and so do the 2017 Astros players, which is why all their apologies have the depth of a spilled cup of water. Legalize steroids, gambling, cheating and fighting. Ban helmets and mitts. After the 12th inning, release one hungry lion per inning onto the field.

Who run barter town?

Let’s have some fun.

GeoKaplan8
Trusted Member
3 years ago

I like the first option better.

SeaAngels
Member
3 years ago

It’s easy to rip on the Asterisks and their fans about what they should do or shouldn’t do, but we don’t stand in their shoes. I do have a slight idea.

I’ve been a big fan of the 1951 Giants for their improbable comeback season and because they did it to the Dodgers. Only, they cheated to get to the series in a manner similar to the Asterisks. It all happened before i was born. I didn’t know about the cheating until recently, but the cheating sucked the magic right out of the moment. I’m not so proud of them any longer.

Video : The Giants win the pennant!

Poor Dodgers. Three times on the wrong side of cheating scandals. I almost feel sorry for them. Almost.

MikeSalmon
Super Member
3 years ago

I would demand all the players that I’d followed and loved and who brought me, the fan, all that success, be banned for life from baseball. Then: the owner must sell the team.
Finally: the stadium must be burnt to the ground.

Why? We must send a message.

Mia
Legend
Mia
3 years ago
Reply to  MikeSalmon

comment image

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 years ago

jeez….just read comments at that Crawfish Boxes place. Wow….I hate Houston and Houston fans. They’re all mad at what someone called “the outrage culture”, as if objecting to cheating is sissy stuff. It was really sickening.

jco
Member
jco
3 years ago

This is a damn good question. I honestly don’t know how I’d respond.

My brother is an Astros fan (and has been for 40 years since he was on the Astros in tee-ball) and he seems to be a little on the denial (the everybody does it thing) and a little bit of remorse. He was more upset by how they handled the Taubman incident and I think he’s upset about the culture that apparently was there, but he’ll continue to be a fan, I’m sure.

Mia
Legend
Mia
3 years ago

If I found out that Mike Trout’s godlike performance came from him knowing what pitch was coming, I would just stop watching baseball, I think. I’d feel so betrayed.

eastbayhalo
Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Mia

Emotionally wounded, an arrow through the heart.

opiejeanne
Member
3 years ago
Reply to  eastbayhalo

Exactly. Mainly because we can’t imagine such perfidy from Mike Trout. It would be devastating to find out.

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 years ago

The key is the WS title. Did anybody really say to Shoeless Joe “say it ain’t so”?

The heights the Astros reached by cheating makes it worse. As a fan I’d think, if it were the Angels, they could only win by cheating.

We’re talking about Altuve, Bergman, Springer…if it were Trout, Ohtani, Pujols I’d feel so let down I’d stop rooting for them. Hearing their names would bother me.

The question for me would be if I could root for the Angels again after all involved were gone.

GrandpaBaseball
Super Member
3 years ago

I think the Nuke option is becoming a Dodger fan….lol But there is no sign stealing going on here, our guys have the numbers to prove it. But I would be embarrassed to be a fan of a cheating team and question how clean the sport really is. Yes l question how clean the sport really is especially in the future as Manfred is a very weak leader.

fishfarm
Trusted Member
3 years ago

They’d be “my guys”

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 years ago

I’d want Arte to sell the team and ….would I want to get rid of all the players? Stassi for sure! But then he’s a .176 lifetime hitter.

Simba
Trusted Member
3 years ago

It would really depend how it was handled. If handled like how the ASStros have done, I’d probably disassociate forever. Become a Padres fan.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Simba

Exactly. I can accept the failings of human beings if they own up to them, make amends, and make changes to ensure it never happens again. If it was handled the way Houston has handled everything, I’d be gone. No more tickets, no more merch, nothing until the team was sold to somebody I could respect.

However, if Arte went out there and apologized for it happening on his watch, canned everybody, and made every player take a turn at the podium apologizing and fielding questions, I’d be a “good with the bad” type.

rspencer
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

I’m in this general camp. I’d be devastated, but if Arte handled it the way Jeff describes I’d take a hiatus from fanship until all the people involved with the cheating were gone.

But if it were handled the way the Astros have handled it, like Simba I’d disassociate at least until the team was sold and everyone involved was gone.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  rspencer

Which will be pretty easy for all but the 12,000 fans who followed the Astros before 2016.

losangel
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Here’s the rub. If they do that, Jim Crane is sued into infinity. I get what everyone is saying, but if that was you, would you plunge your entire remaining life and existence into financial purgatory?
No excuses here, but at this point, they are pretty much hosed either way.

ScoopleDoople
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

I am with you if Arte handled it the way you suggested..

Its too bad. Altuve was one of my favorite players. I too am vertically challenged and played baseball in my youth through high school. Every time I saw him play I could relate to him.

What a bummer this whole thing is. Can you imagine if you were a rookie that had played in the minors for 10 years and then got called up to the Astros? You’d worked your entire life to get there and then you find out they were cheating, what would you do? I ask myself that. What would I have done if it meant getting sent back down to the minors maybe never make it to the bigs again? Or standing up in a team meeting as a newbie and saying hey this is wrong? Would I have the integrity to do that? I hope so but I don’t know.

GeoKaplan8
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

I took stock of my fandom the other day. About 40 Angels hats from the last two decades. Enough Angels t-shirts that I could wear a clean one daily and not do laundry for a couple weeks. A half-dozen golf/polo shirts for the summers in the South. Five thermal Angels shirts for the windy, cold winter days. One heavy Angels parka, three fleeces, a hoodie and pullover sweatshirt.

I have the luxury of working from home, rarely have to go into the office (if I do, it is Angels golf shirt, etc). The point of this is, I represent my team. Every day is an Angels shirt. I stay up to 1am on weeknights for home games. I hang out places like here in my free time. My wife would insist I have no life not Angels-related.

All of this is preamble, my bona fides to make the following statement:

If the Angels had not only pulled this shit on MLB for a few years, but also issued the weakest and most insincere “apology” after being left no recourse, I would be done with the team. Period.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  GeoKaplan8

Some Asstros fans are trying to embrace this, lol.

A little while ago I went to Crawfish Boxes out of curiosity. There was a Fanpost basically saying that the Astros fans should embrace their new “villain” status.

At least they were not trying to deny that the cheating is real. The post called them the “New England Patriots of MLB.” Well, if that is true they have a lot of hate coming their way.

Of course, the Pats have an almost two decade head-start in having refined the art of cheating.

Simba
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  JackFrost

“the Pats have an almost two decade head-start in having refined the art of cheating.”

and yet, they are quite celebrated. Cheaters do prosper?

rspencer
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Simba

Forget it, Simba. It’s Boston.

Tree
Member
3 years ago

The Dodgers were jilted at the alter of fate in 2017, the Astros on the other hand married a dead bride, one they poisoned to death.
The Astros accumulated talent for half a decade by intentionally losing, and then squandered the meaning of winning itself, by systematically undermining the sport of baseball. This is ultimately a story about greed and hatred for baseball and every fan that support it. Jim Crane should be forced to divest from baseball entirely, immediately, no excuses. Manfred should be fired by the ownership circle, now, immediately.
The Astros should skip the 2020 postseason entirely, regardless of how many games they win or lose, and lose all draft picks in 2020 and 2021 as well. They should take 500 days to ponder this moment, and their fans should take that journey with them, they are the sports equivalent of Fraud, Banished.

halofansince1978
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Tree

Agree Manfred should go.

Punishment way to lenient.

Take World Series title away.

All of baseball is under a cloud.

johnnyangel101
Newbie
3 years ago

Since vacating the World Series is unlikely, I would have the players pay back a portion of their World Series share – each player received $438K for a full share.

The 2nd place Dodgers received $259K per full share.

That’s a difference of $179K – figure a way to claw some of that back, the same way the IRS would make someone pay back taxes.

BruinsAngelsKings
Trusted Member
3 years ago

The nuclear option made laugh. 😆

NorCalHalofan
Trusted Member
3 years ago

I was a little offended by the nuclear option- I’m a Raider fan. But after a little thought I realized sadly it is true.

Designerguy
Super Member
3 years ago

I’d never nuke it and become a Raiders fan. I’m just not a violent person so I’d never fit in with their fanbase.

That being said, if my team was discovered for wide-spread cheating, I’d blame those involved, whether it’s player, front office or both. Every organization (sports, business and nonprofits, etc) has assholes who push the limits and step over the line. I’ve followed my teams though great years and bad (really bad years).

I’d suffer through the mess and hope that the blame is eventually pushed out and there’s new procedures in place to prevent it from happening again. While the team will take a reputational hit for decades, I’ve never given two shits what other fans or the media say about my teams.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Designerguy

I made a comment on FB that the Dodgers fans crashing our Opening Day are likely to be of the rowdy Raider fan variety. A Raiders fan friend of mine pointed out that Dodgers fans have sent far more people to the hospital and had far more arrests at games than the Raiders have and didn’t want to be lumped in with the blue crew.

Sadly, he’s right.

rspencer
Trusted Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

But in defense of Dodger thug fans, baseball seasons are an order of magnitude longer than football seasons.

Designerguy
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Here’s a few things I’ve watched Raider fans do during a game…

Rip the hat off an opposing team fan’s head. Light it on fire and throw it in the crowd, where it landed on someone’s back. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Beat up a guy wearing the opposing team’s jersey, give him a skull fracture and dump his body on the track at the Coliseum.

Watched them throw peanuts and beer on kids wearing the jersey of the opposing team.

Overall, I’d say Raider and Dodger fans are on an equal plane.

johnnyangel101
Newbie
3 years ago
Reply to  Designerguy

There’s always that weird USC-Dodgers-Raiders trifecta.

opiejeanne
Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Designerguy

When we lived in the SF Bay Area we saw lots of Raiders gear at the A’s games, and those people were the worst I’ve seen. So, yeah, maybe they haven’t sent as many to the hospital during football season, but during baseball season it’s a different story.

FIREBIRD81
Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Designerguy

The Raiders coming to LA forever changed their fanbase and Pandora’s box can never be closed now. They went from being the Rock and Roll Heavy Metal party fanbase that was a little rowdy in Oakland to the flag gangbangers unite behind.

Cowboy26
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  FIREBIRD81

While this comment is extremely accurate , based upon my own personal experiences, I don’t know that this radical change in Raider nation fan base translated to other cities outside of California.

In the years shortly after the Raiders return to Oakland, I visited a handful of NFL games in other cities. In 2 of those games ( Texas Stadium home of the Cowboys & the Meadowlands home of the Jets) The raiders were the visiting team. I got to witness Raider nation up close and personal in 2 of the larger media markets . While I thought they were well represented , it was more like the old fanbase . Alcohol fueled bands of boisterous take-no-prisoner ruffians decked out in their full Darth Raider and Skeletor Raider regalia ready to embrace their rebel status. I did not witness ,either during or after any of the games, the violent game banger stereotype that they have now been branded with.

In fact in the Jets game, while sitting with my young son high atop of the north end zone, there had been a lot tension building up between the 2 fan bases reaching almost an unpalatable level. Then midway through the fourth quarter with empty beer cans and other bottles strewn about, the trash talking stopped, the dark clouds gave way to bright sunlight , and Raiders ands Jets fans embraced each other to sing a long with a rousing rendition of Sweet Caroline blaring through the loud speakers. It was the most amazing example of detente I have ever witnessed. With a playoff berth on the line at the time, it seemedas large as the Middle East Peace Cord or Christmas 1914. It was like dogs and cats living together. i doubt that could have ever happened at the Coliseum or Chavez Latrine.

DowningDude
Legend
3 years ago

I would hope the FO would be fired and all players cut. I would also forfeit my WS ring and all gear would be burned.