Both the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves have made it through the gauntlet of Major League Baseball’s postseason and are set to begin the World Series at Minute Maid Park tonight. Many fans have a pretty strong rooting interest in this year’s Fall Classic because of the despicable cheating committed by the Astros during the 2017 season that resulted in them winning the title. Everyone wants to see Houston fail now that the playing field is supposedly even, but since the massive scandal came to light following the 2019 campaign, the Astros have kept on winning. They fell in the ALCS during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but they’re back in the main event this time around.
I’ve been doing nothing but rooting for more Astros success. Not only would another world championship legitimize the 2017 team as a group that could have reached the pinnacle of baseball without stealing signs, but it would tell all the holier-than-though critics to shove it. That’s right, no one should like cheating, but a lot of the fans who turned into Houston haters overnight seem to be under the assumption that no one else has tried to steal a sign via camera or other shady method.
Based on the career paths of the ringleaders of the trash can scheme, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran, I’m convinced that at least two other teams were trying out similar systems in their own clubhouses. After winning the World Series with the Astros in 2017, Cora left to manage the Boston Red Sox for the next two seasons before the scandal was still under wraps. Not only were his Red Sox investigated for a similar sign-stealing system, but Cora implied that the Yankees were also up to no good during the 2019 London Series.
Beltran was working as a special advisor for the Yankees at the time in his first baseball role following his playing career, which ended after the 2017 season. It sure seems like the the two big American League East powers were implementing similar sign-stealing systems to the one that brought Cora and Beltran success on the 2017 Astros. And why wouldn’t they? They won in Houston and now found themselves in high-pressure organizations where winning is even more important.Continue reading