Astros Are Not Alone
I’m not just referring to the Red Sox here. If anyone thinks this sign stealing mess began and ended with Alex Cora, they’re only kidding themselves. We’ve already had clubs like the Yankees and Dodgers accused of it, and now it’s gone even further.
Former major league pitcher Jack McDowell has accused longtime manager Tony LaRussa of instigating a sign stealing scheme when he was manager of the White Sox in the 1980s. Supposedly, there was a camera zoomed in on the catcher, and a light in an outfield sign that was controlled from the manager’s office would light up to signal hitters.
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McDowell said that illegal sign stealing has been going on for years, with everyone looking the other way similar to the steroid era. This practice did not begin with the Astros, no matter how many people want to believe it did.
Besides, it’s not as though they were using any new technology — cameras have been around for decades. Does anyone really think the 2017 Astros were the first ones to come up with the idea of using a camera to steal signs? I find that laughable.
But everyone outside of the Houston fan base wants to see the Astros made into the scapegoat for this whole thing. They’re the evil, cheating Astros who should all be banned from the sport for life, regardless of the fact that they weren’t the first to do it. They were just the first to get publicly caught.
I suspect there will be more teams and names outed as time goes on, revealing that illegal sign-stealing is indeed as pervasive as McDowell indicates and that it’s been going on for longer than anyone wants to admit. Making the Astros the sacrificial lamb won’t save the league from this.