ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

By:  Kurt Snyder

They lied.

The Astros lied and now they must pay. They must pay the ultimate price for what was first described as a player-driven sign-stealing operation, but has progressed to something larger and more distasteful.

It’s been very difficult to branch away from this topic. Mainly because it is growing legs. This thing ain’t over, I am sorry to say.

We watched intently as former Astros manager A.J. Hinch was very apologetic about the cheating that went on under his watch. He was sorry that he did very little to stop it. He wished he did more.

Well, it sounded good at the time. But we have since found out there is far more to the story. A story that now implicates the GM, who allegedly had knowledge of an even more sophisticated scheme than we first realized.

So, what was Hinch really sorry about? Maybe he was really sorry because he couldn’t do a damn thing if he wanted. When your boss is orchestrating the show, it’s your job to stay in line.

And he did. He stayed in line and supported the lie.  He may have hated it, but again, who knows?  Hinch could only show his displeasure. He couldn’t stop it because it was not in his power to stop it.

And their lovely GM? He supported the lie as well.

Player-driven?  Well, yeah, Mr. Commissioner!

Those crazy players! What are you gonna do with ‘em!

Well, if you listen to Hank Aaron, he would like to see those players run out of the game altogether. That’s quite a strong statement from one of baseball’s most respected Hall of Famers.

What would I like to see? Well, it’s time. This is becoming a most embarrassing discovery. More serious than I ever thought it could be. And I think it’s time that MLB seriously consider forcing Houston to vacate their World Title.

Should it go to the Dodgers? No, it goes to no one. This is a stain on the game. And no one can be declared a winner after all of this.

Everyone loses.

And I can’t imagine the Dodgers wanting to win a championship in this way in the first place.

This discovery will certainly sew things up for the Astros former GM Jeff Luhnow and their former manager Hinch. They are done with Major League Baseball. A week ago it could be debated, but now, after we have learned about the intern, who devised the program to decode signs, well, that kinds of tears it, doesn’t it?

I have been trying hard to move our baseball discussion to the Tigers.   Really hard.  But things keep shifting back to the scandal as more dirt becomes unearthed.

Who knows what we are going to discover in Boston? What took place with the Red Sox is being billed as something less serious. But who can honestly trust it? You just can’t.

Not now.

But we aren’t done with Houston yet.. The Commissioner may be. But as fans of the game, oh, we aren’t done.

Championship teams are models for success. When a team wins it all,  others benchmark them and try to determine what it was that was most responsible for their success.

What did they put in place as a franchise? What was their drafting strategy? What steps did they take from the very beginning until the day they won it?

Well, when you are dealing with a championship team that went to such great lengths to cheat their way to winning it all, well, just scrap that.

Anything you wanted to learn from the Astros, well, it’s like trying to separate the meat from a fatty cut of steak. Sure, you have steak, but it doesn’t look that good in the end.

I was incredibly wrong about how I officially reacted to this story. But as more and more news came out, there is now nothing that can be salvaged from this once-coveted cut of steak. Nothing to salvage, nothing you want any part in digesting.

As a baseball fan, day by day, it’s all very disturbing.

So, in Houston … pull the title. And if is determined that what transpired in Boston is worse than we thought, pull the title from the Sox as well.

It’s time.

Enough is enough.


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25 thoughts on “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

  1. Kurt, but where will it end? I agree that if they take the title, no one should get it. After that, will we go through the Hall of Fame and remove all the players with say, PED problems? I still believe other clubs have done similar things or worse, just not as well as the Astros. I have a fundamental problem about sign stealing. I do not believe it to be wrong, per se. If you don’t want your signs stolen, fix how you communicate them, Sorry, it’s like we want absolute equity for everyone. Real world isn’t like that, never will be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I basically agree with your point about sign stealing. As technology advances, the Astros won’t be the only team, if others haven’t done so already, to use it to attempt to gain an edge. Also your point about “where does it end” is an excellent one. Is MLB ready to pull championships from teams who used prominent players on PED’s to win their rings? It’s incumbent upon MLB to stay ahead of developments and nip them in the bud if they don’t want teams to take advantage of situations.

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    • Just because the real world isn’t like that and never will be doesn’t mean we should toss the concept of fairness aside and allow laissez-faire behavior on the field instead. Also, let’s not confuse “sign stealing” with “sign decoding”. Even though it’s often referred to as “stealing”, decoding is what players do organically on the field. Stealing signs is what the Astros engaged in, using their unique technology to engage in a theft that the other team cannot reasonably be expected to know about and defend against.

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    • Even if your defense isn’t up to snuff doesn’t mean those committing the “offense” aren’t committing a crime. A person might be very naive to leave their car or house unlocked, but a robbery is still a robbery.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Wasn’t it Jim Crane who said he would have a closed door conversation with the players during spring training so they can give a proper apology?! Perhaps he should join them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The ultimate penalty for Houston would be to ban them from playing the entire 2020 season or more realistically the next. But that would be big money lost and MLB would never let that happen.

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    • There would be a basic unfairness to this idea because every other team in the West would be givien 18-19 free wins, while all the other AL years would get only six. Also, it would mean only five teams in the other league would get three or four apiece and no one else in the league would get any.

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      • What if they were banned from post-season play for a couple of years? That way regular season schedules wouldn’t have to be affected.

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  4. Most people associated with Watergate were sorry after they got busted. Some were defiant down to the bitter end. It started with a seemingly minor and ill-conceived break in seeking to gain a slight edge – for a president who was already likely to easily win reelection. Houston had a great team, no need to deliberately use technology to cheat, yet made the decision looking for that extra edge. They now wear the stain for their actions.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. The Astros are such an arrogant team, I doubt and apology would be sincere. Wasn’t Altuve the MVP in 17? I think that title should also be taken away.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Accountability starts at the top. Owner Jim Crane hired Jeff Luhnow, who hired his front office and field management. Luhnow acted the way he did because Crane allowed him to. Crane knew all this was happening because it was reported in 2018 by Passan at Yahoo that teams were accusing the Astros of doing the very same trashcan-banging thing. Perhaps if he weren’t one of Rob Manfred’s 30 bosses, Crane would be made to pay a penalty as well.

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    • What baseball needs is another Kennesaw Mountain Landis (i.e. someone with carte blanche to do whatever necessary for the good of the game), but ownership is too greedy to cede that kind of control ever again. And as long as they don’t truly care about what’s best for the sport, why should the players?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m with Hank – bring down the “hammer” on every player directly involved in the scheme. A lifetime ban is the only way to stop it. And Hinch should be ashamed of himself. He should have quit and gone public if his own team and players wouldn’t listen to him.

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    • As much as I agree that I would like to see them come down on players involved, the reason they don’t is because they don’t want to get tied up in litigation with the union in advance of a tough CBA renewal negotiation. If they did hammer the players now, then all this would become a bargaining point for the union, which would weaken the position of management, who figure it’s better to give in on this now then have to give in on something bigger at the table.

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  8. The WS title should be vacated and the trophy thrown on the scrap heap of baseball history. Any player who admitted to participating in the cheating or can be proved to have done so should receive a one-year suspension, without pay, effective immediately. If the owner is implicated, he should be suspended from any contact with the team for a period of one year. That would include entering the ball park to watch games or for any other reason.

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  9. I share your frustration Kurt, and that of all the commenters today, well said everyone. From the earliest comments that this was ‘player-driven’ and no one up the organizations knew, my personal BS detector was on fire. MLB is truly broken organizationally and morally. And I don’t think they (the league, and ownership) even get it. I cringe to suggest this, but I think Congress needs to be involved. Drag MLB through the streets of public opinion and embarrass them openly.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Was listening to MLB channel on XM the other day; CJ Nitkowski was commenting on the WSJ story and the players perspective; the latter is telling. Players who make it to the Show are very skilled and achievement oriented. Too much “yes,” not enough “no” in their young lives. It breeds an arrogance and lack of self awareness; that is why the current Houston players (some of them) are talking about a chip on their shoulders or something to prove in 2020. Sad

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  11. I believe the only thing the Astros organization is sorry for is being caught. Furthermore I believe that many teams and players were aware of the cheating process. Baseball has to come down hard on both the organization and the players who knew all along that they were cheating the game, the fans, and the namesake of baseball.

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  12. An interesting way this relates to our Tigers… a poll released today by polling survey company Morning Consult showed the brand image of the Astros has fallen from 9th to last place among all MLB teams since MLB issued its report on the scandal. Sadly, guess who is second to last? Come on, Ilitch family, do you really want to be the team with the worst brand image in the MLB except for the worst cheaters in 100 years?

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  13. Frankly, I’ve lost all respect for the Houston Astros and I truly hope they never win again–but if they do, who will believe they won it fair and square? I used to really love Jose Altuve, but now–he’s just a “little man” in every aspect of the word. As far as JV goes, he’s no longer a favorite of mine. He not only went along with the cheating, but joked about it afterwards (so much for his supposed “honesty of the game”)!!

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  14. I’m waiting for the movie the “Houston Asterisks” or perhaps “28 men out”…….probably won’t be made for another 20 years…can’t believe JV hasn’t stepped up to the plate on this issue but as Cindy Lauper sang back in the day “Money Changes Everything”

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  15. Kurt you’re right! Enough is enough let’s root for the little guys like the Tampa Bay Rays the little David’s who do everything right against the Goliaths. That is my take on today’s issue

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  16. Does anyone know why Nolan Ryan severed his relations with the Astros? I read that it had to do with his son’s being passed over for a promotion, but is that all that’s happening?

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