Houston Astros: Five worst moments in franchise history
4. MLB’s Sign Stealing Report
Regardless of one’s feelings on this issue — and there are many — there’s no denying this has left a permanent black mark on the organization. I’m not so worried about the haters, because they’ll always be there no matter what happens and are probably enjoying the fact that this all happened.
It’s an awful moment for plenty of other reasons. For one, the Astros lost their manager and GM, both of whom were instrumental in the team’s success since 2015. Jeff Luhnow in particular had shown himself to be one of the most shrewd GMs in the game, routinely outmaneuvering his counterparts.
It cast a permanent shadow on the team’s 2017 World Series title, which will forever be tainted in the eyes of many players and fans. The Astros were talented enough to win without resorting to cheating, which makes it all the more difficult to swallow.
There’s also the penalties they were slapped with, most notably the loss of draft picks. Having a continuous pipeline of young talent is key to maintaining a consistent winner at the major league level, and the disruption of that could really harm this team in the future.
Then there are the image and legacy concerns, not just for the organization, but also for the individual players. Guys like Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman could end up having Hall of Fame caliber numbers when their careers are done, but the baseball writers who do the voting are notoriously sanctimonious. Just look at how many of them refused to vote for Bagwell simply because he was a power hitter in the steroid era.
So this scandal will have effects that last for years, and we won’t really know how far it reaches until all the players have since retired. That could take a couple of decades, and until then, it’s tough to measure just how detrimental this has been to the Astros organization. But there’s no doubt it will hang over us all for quite some time.