Reacting to the Latest Houston Astros Slander Piece From The Athletic

World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game Six
World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game Six / Bob Levey/GettyImages
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Takeaways from the latest Ken Rosenthal article slandering the Astros

Another day, another Astros’ hit piece from Ken Rosenthal…

In a stunning turn of events that absolutely nobody in the city of Houston saw coming, Ken Rosenthal went back to the well, delivering yet another column on the 2017 Houston Astros and his continued double standard against them. 

Now, Ken doesn’t come right out and admit to his double standard, but rather, he lets his writing do so for him, admitting to his own lapses in logic. 

Rosenthal penned an entire column on his reasoning for not voting Carlos Beltran into the MLB Hall of Fame. The short version: Beltran was an instrumental piece in the Astros sign-stealing system in 2017 and 2018. 

Multiple things from Ken’s think piece stand out. 

First, he has to take the opportunity to remind us that he, ahem, broke the scandal. 

"I won’t go that far, even though The Athletic’s Evan Drellich and I were the reporters who initially uncovered the Astros’ misconduct."

Ken Rosenthal

Did he uncover it? Or did Mike Fiers go public to the media? Splitting hairs, but nonetheless, an odd back pat from Ken to Ken. 

Secondly, as Ken himself admits, there is zero consistency in his logic. 

"I voted for Bonds and Clemens from 2015 until they ran out of eligibility in 2022, changing my mind under the belief we already had elected PED users. But while Beltrán certainly has a strong case for Cooperstown, I’m not there yet. As I’ve acknowledged before, my logic when voting for the Hall is not always consistent. "

Ken Rosenthal

Newsflash Ken, it’s not just Hall of Fame voting where your logic is not consistent. It’s covering baseball entirely. 

You said yourself you voted for Bonds and Clemens because the MLB wasn’t actively testing for steroids when they used PEDs, but are punishing Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez for the same sin. 

Here you punish Beltran for his role in cheating, but the MLB crackdown on sign-stealing came after the events of 2017. 

So Ken, in an attempt at consistency, will you withhold a vote from Aaron Judge when he’s eligible because of the Yankees exposed cheating? How about Mookie Betts for his role on the 2018 Red Sox? Although all three teams cheated before the crack down, if Houston is punished, surely other sign-stealers also will be, no? Or do we just punish Astros around these parts? 

Is Beltran getting punished for cheating? Or for being an Astro?

He continued on to say this will be a debate that rages on with Altuve, Bregman, Correa and Springer. Rosenthal mentions that anger may fade over time, “particularly if information emerges implicating other teams. But even then, if any team went as far as the Astros, we’d probably know it by now.”

Would we now? What happened to Mike Fiers? He went from one of the better seasons of his career to out of the game entirely. Why? He broke the code. He unveiled the secrets of an MLB clubhouse. Unless he makes his way into a time machines and signs with any of the clubs linked to cheating, we’ll never know. 

Because again, this wasn’t a story that was “broken” or “uncovered.” It was shared from a behind closed doors snitch. 

Let’s look back at the initial report you “broke.”

"MLB has heard of this specific system before, but to this point, the league has not gathered sufficient evidence to prove the Astros committed wrongdoing, sources said."

Of course they hadn't gathered the evidence! The whole world knew cheating was happening, in Houston and elsewhere. As Logan Morrison attested to. And Joey Votto. And Chris Bassitt. And Lucas Giolito. And Steven Souza.

The only reason Houston was, to use your wording, "uncovered," is because they employed the sacrificial rat. 

But by all means Ken, keep your agenda up. Keep punishing the Astros all the whole voting for Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds because there is no length you won’t go to move a goalpost against Houston. We look forward to your votes and adoration lobbed at Yankees, Red Sox and others teams both proven to have and linked to cheating.

The Astros will just keep winning. And silencing you until you cook up yet another Astros slam piece. Happy New Year, Mr. Rosenthal. Here’s to 2023 ending just as 2022 did—with the Astros on top. 

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