It seems like a lifetime ago that the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal was the talk of the country. Whenever baseball comes back, the Astros may be getting bailed out once again.
Remember when the Houston Astros were getting booed at every single road spring training game a little more than six weeks ago?
In case you need a reminder why, the Astros were proven to have stolen signs illegally in 2017, and there was plenty of unproven speculation on other charges. The Astros were halfheartedly apologetic about everything. The game’s top superstars like Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, and Aaron Judge actively spoke out against the Astros. Bets were placed on how many Houston batters would be hit by a pitch this season. They were booed everywhere they went.
But since spring training was cancelled, and the MLB season was postponed, it seems like all has been forgotten about the scandal that rocked the sport.
Fans were buying tickets to games where the Astros visited their stadium simply just to boo them.
Now, more likely than not, fans will not be able to get the chance to do that this season. If there is a season, it seems like there won’t be any fans at any games.
The Astros are seemingly in the clear of fans until 2021. Of course, the trash can bangs woulds be more noticeable in empty stadiums (buzzers?).
But this leads us to wonder how, and if, players will still take matters into their own hands. It’s safe to assume that every time a Houston batter got hit by a pitch on the road, the bulk of the home crowd would cheer.
In that sense, home field advantage will go away this season. There aren’t any fans to have your back.
So will all retaliation wait? Who knows if there was going to be any retaliation this season anyway?
It was a legitimate question if the Astros could handle the pressure of being the most hated organization everywhere they went.
But now, if there is a season, it’s just mono e mono. Pure baseball. No heckling, no mind games, no “fastball” or “curve ball” signs from fans in center field.
Remember, the Astros have been sued by a former player who retired and could not make it back to the big leagues after allowing four runs on four hits and three walks in just one-third of an inning in August of 2017.
Astros owner Jim Crane said that the sign stealing had no impact on the game, only to deny that comment less than a minute later.
Carlos Correa tried to come up with several excuses as to why Houston won their championship fair and square.
Former manager AJ Hinch reverted to the commissioner’s report in regards to allegations of buzzers and other cheating systems in 2019 — he never purely denied it.
The Astros get to keep their trophy. The players get to keep their salaries. No player served a suspension.
Who knows, maybe everything involving the Astros would have died down at this time if baseball were played anyway.
But the Astros are, once again, getting off easy.