Dodgers fans are upset with the Houston Astros, and they have every right to be
The Dodgers welcome the Houston Astros to town this weekend for the first time since the 2017 World Series sign-stealing scandal was brought to light. While fans cannot attend the series at Dodger Stadium, they’re still coming up with responsible, socially-distant ways to get back at Houston for essentially cheating their way to a World Series title.
Not only will one Dodgers fan fly a banner above the stadium on Saturday and Sunday, Astros haters are welcoming the road team to the stadium with signs and verbal abuse. It’s harsh, but not necessarily surprising given the lack of punishment Astros players faced in the aftermath of commissioner Rob Manfred’s report.
Will the Astros ever overcome the stigma that now follows them?
In the interim, this is the sort of thing the Astros will have to deal with any time they’re on the road. We wouldn’t call it lucky that Houston doesn’t have to face fans in opposing ballparks given the current state of the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it does allow them to focus primarily on baseball.
The Astros are close to falling out of the playoff picture, as they’re below .500 and just a few games up on the Seattle Mariners for second place in the AL West. Finishing in third place would likely eliminate them from postseason contention.
Houston would’ve faced retribution around baseball regardless of their initial punishment, but it doesn’t help that Manfred traded anonymity for player participation in the investigation. It’s a weak penalty for players that surely knew what they were doing, and offered key Astros contributors a cop-out. Dodgers fans, at the very least, will not let them off the hook anytime soon.