The finger-pointing has begun once again, as sources have apparently come forward alleging that the Astros electronically stole signs in 2017.
According to an article in The Athletic, former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers has reportedly come forward detailing how the team was cheating and stealing signs from the catchers in real-time and then relayed to the batter if an off-speed pitch was on its way.
Fiers and several other people who were with the Astros organization back in 2017 have supposedly confirmed that during home games at Minute Maid Park, the signs were being captured via camera equipment in the outfield and relayed to the dugout.
It was said that there was a monitor in the Astros dugout receiving the signs from the outfield camera. Then someone would purportedly bang on a trash can indicating to the batter that an off-speed pitch was coming.
"“That’s not playing the game the right way,” said Fiers. “They were advanced and willing to go above and beyond to win.” via Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic"
Whether these allegations are true or not, this has been an ongoing issue throughout baseball and is nothing new. The Red Sox and Yankees have been accused of similar tactics and many say that this is a much bigger issue than just the Astros. I’m guessing this won’t be the last we’ve heard of this, but future draft picks and international spending could be at risk if any of these accusations are proved to be true.
So many media outlets besides The Athletic are already declaring the Astros guilty before an investigation is even done. Why has this all of a sudden become a huge controversy and all blamed on the Astros? Where is the uproar about the Yankees and the Red Sox who were accused and paid fines for the same allegations?
"One Astros source was adamant: The team should not become the poster child for sign stealing. Not when so much is going on with other clubs that MLB has not stopped, they said. via Matt Snyder of CBS"
The Astros organization seems to be under the spotlight as of late with the recent controversy surrounding the firing of Brandon Taubman in relation to postgame comments made in reference to Roberto Osuna‘s acquisition. Taubman and other members of the Astros are said to be scheduled for interviews by MLB officials in regards to their in-house culture and I’m sure this will now be a part of those discussions.
This is the Houston Astros official statement: “Regarding the story posted by The Athletic earlier today, the Houston Astros organization has begun an investigation in cooperation with Major League Baseball. It would not be appropriate to comment further on this matter at this time.”
I don’t know if this article by The Athletic was just a way to gather more subscriptions, but the timing is interesting, with MLB Awards being handed out and some going to Astros players. But I do know this, the Houston Astros didn’t win a World Series and the AL West Division three years straight due to sign stealing, it was done by a group of extremely talented ballplayers, playing their hearts out.