Ok, so there’s one thing you don’t do in sports.
You don’t cheat.
This means you, Houston Astros.
I realize that the pressures to win something as big as a World Series are huge and that sometimes people can be led astray by that, but you have to realize that the thing that suffers the most from your cheating is the sport you supposedly love. If we look at the Astros sign-stealing scandal, what we really see is a bunch of people who make baseball look bad. They devalue the game, they devalue what the World Series is all about, and, maybe worst of all, they devalue the idea of a championship. The idea is to find the best baseball team in the world (ok, in the country), and it’s super exciting and fun for your team to be that team. Houston cheating has taken away from that, since, now, we can’t be sure that the team that wins is the team that deserved to win. People can say ‘oh yeah, baseball players cheat so the World Series is probably fixed anyway’ – which is a huge embarrassment for the sport and everyone concerned with it.
So what the Astros did totally sucked. Partly because it meant the Dodgers will never know if they would have won the World Series if they’d played fair and square (and I think they were the better team and probably would have won…even with all the bad managing from you-know-who.) Partly because it takes away from the significance of the most celebrated championship in sports. And partly because it makes the game I love so much look bad. People are gonna think baseball is for cheaters, and the sport is going to lose credibility and respect.
Like I said…it sucked.
There’s a lot of talk going around that the Astros should vacate the championship, but, let’s be honest, that ain’t never gonna happen. And I don’t think that Rob Manfred is gonna take it away from them. That would mess things up if the commissioner can change the World Series. But what can be done is that the rules get adjusted so that no one’ll be able to do what the Astros did. They’re talking about banning all video in the dugouts once the game starts. I’m a player and I think that’s a good idea. I realize that there are good uses of the technology in the dugout, but it’s another of those cases where someone doing something bad ruins it for the rest of us. Of course, we didn’t exactly have the kind of sophisticated technology in the minors that they have in the World Series, and I never learned to depend on it, but I think players can learn to live without it. Plenty of dang good players and dang exciting World Series got played without iPads and shit in the dugout.
One of the cool things about our game is that it’s so simple: all you need is a bat, a ball, a glove and 4 things to indicate where the bases are. There’s nothing wrong in keeping it that way.
Meanwhile spring training has started and the Dodgers have their first Cactus League game on Saturday. The TV showed a speech Dave Roberts gave the players in the locker room, and, wouldn’t you know it?, he’s already talking about October again. I guess he hasn’t read anything I’ve written about pissing off the baseball gods, since that’s exactly what he’s doing. One more time. Dude: the baseball gods don’t like hubris.
Even if we have Mookie Betts and David Price onboard for the season. I think they’ll be able to do a lot to help the team, although there is such a thing as a glut of talent. Let’s see what he can do and how he fits into the overall picture. Don’t go giving him (another) World Series ring before he plays his first game.
The player who made the most sense when they were talking to him on the TV is Seager. He basically said they had to focus and play one game at a time and not get worried looking too far ahead. Exactly! That’s how you need to play ball. There are 162 games before you get to October, and you gotta play those first.
Wouldn’t you know the most reasonable dude on the team is the shortstop?