MLB Sign Stealing Scandal: Where Are You Going From Here?


"What a week I have!"
– Walter Kornbluth, "Splash"

Goodness. Are you still standing after the craziest four days in baseball history?

We will discuss the Astros scandal of electronic sign stealing and its many reverberations in the coming years. What a great, funny story. While we are preparing for the week-long anniversary on Monday, we have a few random thoughts for now:

– What's next? In addition to the Astros, Red Sox, and Mets hiring new managers, and Houston, who is also adding a general manager, the greatest certainty could be that MLB will add personnel to its investigation department. Investigating alleged baseball crimes is a growing industry!

What will definitely come is a report by Commissioner Rob Manfred on allegations that the Red Sox 2018 stole signs illegally, albeit in a less sophisticated and outrageous way than the 2017 and 2018 Astros.

With this resolution, a ban will be imposed on & # 39; 17 Astros Bankcoach and & # 39; 18 Red Sox Manager Alex Cora, who, according to common sense, given Cora's leadership in what has perished – at least Houston’s one-year sentence AJ Hinch received and possibly even surpass. Dave Dombrowski, the president of 18 Red Sox for baseball operations, who the club has since fired, is also vulnerable. However, note that thanks to Mike Fiers and Danny Farquhar's comments on The Athletic, the latter of which quickly produced a meaningful video of Jomboy, a social media detective, investigators got quite a head start on the Astros case. The Bosox probe has no such public bread crumbs.

Alex Cora, Carlos Beltran and A.J. Hinch
Alex Cora, Carlos Beltran and A.J. HinchGetty Images; Charles Wenzelberg

In the meantime, the commissioner's office and the players' association must and will certainly discuss what to do in future investigations (which you know are coming) and penalties. It is still outraged that the Astros players received immunity to their testimony when they and Cora orchestrated the program. Just like the development of penalties for illegal performance-enhancing drugs, these efforts are driven by the players themselves. If they are angry enough and want the high-tech harassment to stop, the players in their union will order their punishments to be severe.

Social media now has numbers spewing out much more conspiracy theories, such as Jose Altuve's refusal to take the shirt off after his Homer who won the pennant, or Mike Trout's industry-recognized use of HGH. Baseball just has to deal with every outbreak (both were quickly refuted). They don't go away and some of them could turn out to be true.

– On the morning of November 12th, I interviewed Brian Cashman at the Arizona CEO meeting for a report that I wrote about the new Mets manager Carlos Beltran.

"First and foremost, he's a really humble person," said Cashman about Beltran, whom he hired in 2019 as a Yankees special advisor. … He tried everything to engage the player, decrypt the player and unlock the keys to the kingdom for the individual player.

Later that day, The Athletic published its story about the Astros theft of signs carried out by Beltran in 2017. We put this story on hold and for obvious reasons it will never run again. While Cashman's quotes shed light on why Beltran was such an effective leader for the operation, he also underlines why he should return to the game shortly.

Yes, after his release from the Mets, Beltran has to go on an apology tour, answer some questions, and maybe look some former opponents in the eye and express remorse. He can handle that. It would make sense if Beltran took up an advisory role somewhere again, returned to the flat end of the pool and worked his way up again. If he stays in there and is determined enough, given his exemplary record in the game last week, he would have deserved another chance.

– Let's take a break in action to find some scandal-inspired trivia:

1. Name the best player from the WAR who played for Astros, Red Sox and Mets.

2. Name the only active player who has played for Astros, Red Sox and Mets.

3. Name the two players who only played for Astros, Red Sox and Mets.

Answers below.

– A friend of Astros owner Jim Crane, who claims anonymity, believes that Crane and his manager candidate Buck Showalter would work well together based on Showalter's long-standing love of information. The deposed Jeff Luhnow and Hinch also shared this curiosity and became crane favorites until the scandal struck. Astros Bank coach Joe Espada has a chance, as did former manager Dusty Baker and John Gibbons and Cubs coach Will Venable.

– One reason why Manfred and his company have to work as hard as possible to eliminate the illegal theft of signs: gambling. In particular micro inserts. If you want to sell the gambling community to bet on any field or even on any field, these matchups must be as pure as possible.

– The new Red Sox chief baseball officer, Chaim Bloom, could never have known he would hire a manager before overseeing a day of spring training. Bloom appeared from afar to smoothly and admirably manage his team's Cora crisis. Admittedly, last year I wondered if Bloom, who had only worked in the calm and skill of the Rays organization, was ready to lead the Mets when they interviewed him to become their general manager. The Mets, of course, hired Brodie Van Wagenen instead. These doubts have diminished significantly after Bloom weathered the Fenway Park crisis.

– While Mets consultant Jessica Mendoza didn't do her employer a favor by criticizing Fiers for doing her other job as an ESPN commentator, her opinion is not unique. Fiers has another year in his contract with the A’s, with whom he has put together a strong 2019 season. As long as he stays healthy and performs adequately in 2020, the right-hander's free hand will be extremely fascinating. If front office managers don't necessarily like scammers whose crimes can go up, as we've seen at Luhnow, they don't love guys who make the headlines with their words. No matter whether these words bring about a positive change.

l Your scandal trivia answers:

1.Billy Wagner (7/27 WAR)

2. Jed Lowrie

3. Bob Gallagher and Joe Sambito

When you have achieved all three points, you will win a trash can that was signed by all members of the Astros 2017.