The Houston Astros don’t think that cheating helped them win the 2017 World Series.
If you thought the Houston Astros cheating scandal was either over or couldn’t get any worse, Jim Crane has news for you.
As teams prepare to get their 2020 seasons underway at Spring Training, the Houston Astros are finally addressing the sign-stealing scandal that rocked baseball this offseason. The Astros were accused of stealing signs during their World Series-winning 2017 season, investigated by Major League Baseball, and found guilty of cheating.
Punishments have already been handed down for this, ranging from managers A.J. Hinch and Alex Cora being fired as well as Carlos Beltran losing his managerial job with the New York Mets before it could ever get started.
What didn’t happen was perhaps the most obvious and harshest punishment: stripping the Astros of the World Series they won.
It’s impossible to divorce Houston’s title with the idea that the team cheated to get it. Well, it’s impossible for anyone not named Jim Crane.
The Astros owner was somehow allowed to both:
A) Speak publicly on the matter of cheating, and
B) In that public forum say, with a straight face, that cheating didn’t help Houston win a World Series.
What Crane should have said was nothing at all. What he actually said was:
“Our opinion is this didn’t impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series and we’ll leave it at that.”
Hooooooly crap. The mental gymnastics involved here are something to behold.
Oh, but it gets better. No less than a minute later, Crane pretended like he didn’t say what he just said:
“I didn’t say it didn’t impact the game.”
Get your popcorn and project this onto the largest screen you can:
It’s one thing to admit to cheating, which the Astros have pretty much done. The strategy for Houston from here on out seems to be own the fact they cheated and try to move past it. There’s absolutely no downside at this point from admitting that you did the thing mounds of evidence heavily suggest you did, especially if there’s no longer a threat that the World Series will be vacated.
What doesn’t seem like a good strategy is trying to play the victim in a cheating scandal which resulted in a World Series. We didn’t think the hole Houston was in could be dug any deeper than it already was, but then someone gave Jim Crane a shovel.