Some things just don’t add up.
Obviously, the banging of trash cans, whistling, or even hand signals to communicate with players is not prohibited because it’s not an electronic means of communication. I know I keep repeating myself, but this is where the most “circumstantial” part of all of these allegations comes into play — the alleged camera in the outfield.
We all know that the players (pitchers and batters) all review in-game video after the fact to look at pitches missed, calls made by the umpires, and other legitimate things. This is no secret. In fact, it is often mentioned by broadcasters several times during a game. The rules implemented in 2019 seemingly addressed the coach and player access to these monitors and the eight-second delay time in the feeds to said monitors.
Where is the evidence of the camera that was allegedly installed in the outfield? And if there was a camera that was installed for the purpose of a real-time feed to a monitor inside of the tunnel to the clubhouse, who allegedly installed this equipment? How many people would have had to have known about it? Who installed the monitor before games? Who took it down after games?
Why now? Why two years after the fact? Reportedly, Fiers stated:
"“I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they’re going in there not knowing. We had a lot of young guys with Detroit trying to make a name and establish themselves. I wanted to help them out and say, ‘Hey, this stuff really does go on. Just be prepared.'”"
Why not come forward before going to the A’s? What has gotten into Fiers to make him suddenly grow a conscience?
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How is MLB going to investigate all of this? If they find anything that violates the rules as they stood in 2017, how are they going to handle it in relation to the rules of 2019, and in relation to the punishments that were dealt to the Red Sox and Yankees?
As the owners meetings were beginning, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported comments made by Manfred after he toured Globe Life Field in Arlington:
"“Right now, we are focused on the information that we have with respect to the Astros. I’m not going to speculate on whether other people are going to be involved. We’ll deal with that if it happens, but I’m not going to speculate about that. I have no reason to believe it extends beyond the Astros at this point in time. “I’m not going to speculate on what the appropriate discipline is. That depends on how the facts are established at the end of the investigation. The general warning I issued to the clubs, I stand by. It certainly could be all of those [past disciplinary actions], but my authority under the major league constitution would be broader than those things as well.”"
One thing is for sure — MLB had better do this investigation right. At any rate, it is probably going to be a minute or two before we have a resolution to this issue, and hopefully before the 2020 season gets underway.
In the meantime, can we just get back to the game, please? No matter who you root for, at the end of the day, everything is better with baseball!
For me and my house, though, we’re rooting for the Astros to #BringitHome in 2020!