When it comes to the Houston Astros, the punishment did not fit the crime. At least that’s what the vast majority of readers believe.
This week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers to weigh in on the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Houston was sanctioned heavily by Major League Baseball last week for illegally using technology to steal catcher signs and inform batters what pitch was coming during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The punishments included the suspension of general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch, who were subsequently fired by the team, along with a $5 million fine and the forfeiture of first- and second-round draft picks each of the next two years. Two other managers — Boston’s Alex Cora and the New York Mets’ Carlos Beltran, who were coach and player, respectively, on the 2017 team — also lost their jobs.
What was not included in the punishment, however, was being stripped of the 2017 World Series championship. Therefore, this week’s poll asked readers if they thought the Astros should lose their 2017 World Series title. Here’s how you voted:
POLL: Should the Houston Astros, embroiled in a sign-stealing scandal, be stripped of their 2017 World Series title? Full context, including a closer examination of the scandal, here: https://t.co/TPrp89O8ts
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) January 20, 2020
Add the two together and it’s a runaway, as 80 percent of the responders said they thought Houston should forfeit its 2017 World Series championship as a result of the scandal, whereas only 20 percent thought the Astros should be allowed to keep it.
This is an indicator of just how strongly the public feels about this scandal. It’s particularly understandable that supporters of the Seattle Mariners, who reside in the American League West with the Astros and have had to eat the Astros’ dust the past three seasons, including losing 18 of 19 head-to-head contests in 2019, would feel aggrieved by the Astros’ actions and call for stronger punishment.
One thing people have pointed out in the aftermath of MLB’s sanctions is that while the general manager and manager received real punishment, the players who participated in the sign stealing haven’t faced any real consequences. No player has been suspended or fined, and they’ve been largely unavailable for comment beyond Alex Bregman’s, “The commissioner made his report and the Astros made their decision,” press availability at the team’s FanFest last Saturday:
But there’s been no sign that more punishment is coming the Astros’ way, either for the players or in having the 2017 World Series title stripped. The public may be calling for it — at least the public in the Puget Sound region — but it doesn’t appear it will be forthcoming.