The Los Angeles Dodgers are entering their third season since losing the 2017 World Series but the pain keeps resurfacing because of the Houston Astros.
It has been a month since the news broke that the Houston Astros cheated during the 2017 season, and possibly in the World Series that they won against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the team hasn’t really admitted much guilt.
Astros owner Jim Crane spoke to the media on Thursday and said the sign-stealing they were found guilty of didn’t impact the game” in his opinion, and then said he didn’t say it didn’t impact the game about a minute later in the same interview. He also said they had a good team and they won the title as if a good team can’t steal signs to be even better. That’s fine. Apples to oranges.
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They’ve acknowledged that they broke the rules, but they haven’t talked much about it. No one has. There is no accountability happening and no real punishment.
The penalties for their actions were a year suspension for then-manager AJ Hinch, who has since been fired, and a year for then-general manager Jeff Luhnow, who was also fired.
Former assistant GM Brandon Taubman is suspended for a year, the team forfeited their first and second-round picks for the next two years (no matter what), and were fined $5 million, the max allowed.
No fines for players — partly because they were promised immunity for their cooperation, but who knows how much they told the league anyway. No fines for the personnel directly involved in the acts. They can’t steal signs without a video crew, people editing the videos, people using the technology to cheat.
Cora was a part of Hinch’s staff in 2017 and went to the Red Sox in 2018, and they coincidentally beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series as well. The league is still investigating if the Red Sox were doing some sign-stealing of their own, and we’ll have to wait and see on that.
But let’s get down to business. I don’t speak for all Dodger fans, but I know Dodger fans feel some way about all of this too. Dodger fans don’t want the pity party, they don’t want fake apologies, they don’t even want the 2017 championship back — they want justice! Don’t apologize for your actions, apologize for the harm that those actions caused.
Yu Darvish, a player the Dodgers got from the Rangers in 2017, was trashed by fans after two horrible starts in the World Series, including allowing four runs in one and one-third innings in Game 7.
There was even a story by Sports Illustrated where an unnamed Astros player told Tom Verducci that Darvish was tipping pitches. That’s interesting to know now, right? Well, it might not be surprising but the Dodgers didn’t re-sign him in the offseason and he went to the Cubs. He signed a big contract, but he has never been the same since.
He was an All-Star in 2017 — let’s not forget that. He has since said he refuses to blame possible sign-stealing on his poor performance, but I think it had an impact.
In 2017, the Los Angeles Dodgers had solid hitting, the pitching was pretty good and Kenley Jansen had 41 saves out of 42. I think that stat alone speaks numbers on how important that World Series was.
Look, I’m not saying fans deserve a better apology — or any apology at that. I’m saying Dodgersfans deserve closure, and they deserve to know in their heart that their team would have won that World Series in 2017 if there was a level playing field. The Astros played really well, but the Dodgers should have won.