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Sport MLB needs to step up on cheating allegations against Astros: 'It's a serious matter'

08:15  13 november  2019
08:15  13 november  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

'This tarnishes everything': Astros cheating allegations have baseball world demanding punishment

  'This tarnishes everything': Astros cheating allegations have baseball world demanding punishment The Houston Astros are facing public backlash over revelations that the team may have been using electronic means to steal signs.One GM stood off to the side, obscured by the tall bushes towards the check-in desk, not talking to a soul.

Major League Baseball and the Astros announced after Fiers' allegations that they would immediately launch an investigation on whether the Astros cheated . If you’re not following the rules, it ’ s a serious matter . “But I think the best course of action is not to speculate right now.’’

In a statement, Major League Baseball dispelled the cheating allegations raised against the Astros during the 2018 postseason. Major League Baseball released an official statement on Wednesday addressing concerns of cheating by stating that the matter was raised to the league commissioner' s

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Finally, the name of the whistleblower has been revealed.

a close up of a football field: Houston has won 100 games in each of the past three seasons.© Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports Houston has won 100 games in each of the past three seasons.

Oh, not that whistleblower.

Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers has nothing to do with Donald Trump.

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He has everything to do with the Houston Astros making the news again, for all of the wrong reasons.

It has been an awful few weeks for the Astros, both on and off the field.

Their assistant general manager was fired for an obscenity-laden tirade directed towards a female reporter.

Report: Astros executive asked scouts for help stealing signs

  Report: Astros executive asked scouts for help stealing signs Another piece of incriminating evidence has emerged as MLB continues to investigate claims that the Astros illegally stole signs.According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich, an unnamed front-office executive wrote an email in August 2017 asking scouts to pursue stealing signs from the stands and suggested using cameras to accomplish it.

It probably took longer for the Astros to generate the statement about the forthcoming investigation • MLB to look into claims against Astros exec. Now that we know what Fiers says, which matches MLB offseason coverage. Free agency is officially underway! These are the storylines you need to

Major League Baseball says it will take no action over allegations the Houston Astros had cheated during the playoffs. Cleveland said to have lodged formal complaint over matter . Metro Boston claimed man with camera removed from game.

Then they lost to the Washington Nationals in the World Series, blowing a 3-2 lead.

And now the report that Fiers revealed to The Athletic that the Astros were electronically stealing signs during the 2017 season, which ended with the team winning the World Series.

“I know these past couple of weeks there’s been a lot of news surrounding the Astros and it's not all good news,’’ Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said.

"It’s disappointing. If there’s an issue that we need to address, we’ll address it.’’

Fiers, who pitched for the Astros from 2015-2017, said that the team stole signs using a center-field camera, which violates MLB rules. He warned his Detroit Tigers team in 2018 and the Athletics in 2019 of the Astros’ sign stealing.

“I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they’re going in there not knowing,” Fiers told The Athletic. “Young guys getting hit around in the first couple of innings starting a game, and then they get sent down. It’s (B.S.) on that end. It’s ruining jobs for younger guys. The guys who know are more prepared. But most people don’t. That’s why I told my team. …

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred comments on Astros sign-stealing allegations, 'really thorough' investigation

  MLB commissioner Rob Manfred comments on Astros sign-stealing allegations, 'really thorough' investigation The league has yet to announce any sort of discipline against the Astros

When the allegations against Choudhury began piling up in 2013, William sat down with her husband and discussed whether she should change the studio' s name. I think we need to have a conversation about what' s happened. I don't need to pay homage, but I also can't erase him from the history."

"We take the allegation seriously and we're going to look into it. If you're not following the rules, it ' s a serious matter MLB strengthened its rules against sign stealing before the 2019 season, instituting procedures attempting to ensure teams If there is an issue that we need to address, we'll address it."

“That’s not playing the game the right way. They were advanced and willing to go above and beyond to win.”

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Major League Baseball and the Astros announced after Fiers' allegations that they would immediately launch an investigation on whether the Astros cheated.

Even if the Astros are cleared , it badly sullies their reputation.

Once again.

“I hope it doesn’t,’’ Luhnow said. “We have a lot of good players. We have a great manager. We have a good fanbase. And we accomplished a lot. I think that stands for itself. I’m hopeful we’ll find out exactly what happened, and we’ll address it if there’s something that needs to be addressed, and we’ll move on.’’

Would taking away draft picks and pool money actually harm the Astros?

  Would taking away draft picks and pool money actually harm the Astros? Specifically: would it actually harm the perpetrators of the sign-stealing scheme?Rob Manfred said earlier this week that he considers sign-stealing to be a “serious matter” and suggested that he could level any punishment he sees fit regardless of precedent. Still, we’re not flying totally blind here, as early in 2019 Major League Baseball stated that teams who were found to be using electronic means to steal signs would receive heavy penalties, including the loss of draft picks and/or bonus pool money if they were found to be in violation.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow vows that the organization will investigate the claims of sign stealing and is hopeful these allegations won't mar the team's Given that accusation occurred before the 2019 crackdown, it ' s unclear how MLB will handle the matter upon completing its investigation.

One of Major League Baseball ' s big offseason storylines was born Tuesday as The Athletic released an in-depth report on the rampant use of technology to steal signs in baseball. Our own R.J. Anderson went through how the Astros have picked up on a tell from James Paxton, for example.

Suspicions that teams are using technology to cheat remains a widespread concern in baseball, but some, including Luhnow, believe it's been overblown.

“There’s a certain level of teams wondering what other teams are doing,’’ Luhnow said, “and trying to prevent them from gaining and edge, particularly when it’s something that goes against the rules. …

“I know it’s a topic that surfaces every year among the coaches, among the players among the people in the industry. I’m sure it’s an issue. I just don’t know how widespread it is.’’

Still, the epicenter of the conspiracy is in Houston.

“We’re going to find out as much as we can, whatever there is to find out,’’ Luhnow said, “and make a determination after that. I think at this point, we are going

to investigate it, figure out what the facts are, and we’ll respond after that.

“We take the allegations seriously. If you’re not following the rules, it’s a serious matter.

“But I think the best course of action is not to speculate right now.’’

Still, this isn’t the NCAA. It’s not as if MLB will force the Astros to vacate the World Series title. They won’t be placed on probation. If penalized, it will likely involve nothing more than a monetary punishment, and at worst, loss of a draft pick.

2017 World Series Wikipedia page edited to troll Astros over sign-stealing allegations

  2017 World Series Wikipedia page edited to troll Astros over sign-stealing allegations The Wikipedia page for the 2017 World Series briefly featured an edit that calls humorous attention to the sign-stealing allegations against the then-champion Houston Astros.While the Houston Astros are still listed as World Series champions, the World Series MVP is now listed as the “Centerfield cameraman (Houston).

And it subsequently evolved to the Astros might have been doing this all season, with multiple Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said of the allegations that the Astros do this type of stuff all the time, and Apparently MLB powers that be only needed a handful of hours to come to the conclusion that the

Major League Baseball — once the game begins — must return to a purer battle of players versus each other. Not a contest influenced by who has the best IT department. Let this latest controversy involving the Astros — yes, them again — resonate as the moment when the leadership of the game

Again, it's more about the image of the franchise, which has won at least 100 games in three consecutive seasons including two American League pennants and a world championship.

“The reason we won the World Series in 2017 was Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Justin Verlander and a lot of great players,’’ Luhnow said. "They do things the right way. We, as an organization, that’s what we aspire to do as well.’’

Still, just as players find it virtually impossible to reshape their image, it’s perhaps even more difficult for organizations to do it..

The Astros’ reputation for illegally stealing signs was rampant enough that Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said Tuesday at the General Manager Meetings that he told his staff to ignore all the rumors and speculation, and just play baseball.

“We eliminated that from our thought process,’’ Rizzo said. “The coaching staff told the players we’re not dealing with that, we’re not worrying about that. We just go out and play the game. We didn’t want that splitting our focus, and getting away from preparing for the team.

“There’s way that players police that stuff on their own, and we certainly didn’t acknowledge it, and we specifically said we’re not dealing with that.’’

Well, if nothing else, the Astros can at least point to this year’s World Series and prove to Major League Baseball they weren’t cheating.

2017 World Series Wikipedia page edited to troll Astros over sign-stealing allegations

  2017 World Series Wikipedia page edited to troll Astros over sign-stealing allegations The Wikipedia page for the 2017 World Series briefly featured an edit that calls humorous attention to the sign-stealing allegations against the then-champion Houston Astros.While the Houston Astros are still listed as World Series champions, the World Series MVP is now listed as the “Centerfield cameraman (Houston).

“I don’t think it ’ s a technological question alone. It ’ s just conduct,” Cashman said. Asked how much concern he held over opponents cheating , Cashman said, “There’ s a lot of concern that it “We take the allegation seriously and we’re going to look into it,” Astros president of baseball operations Jeff

a number of cheating allegations against the reigning World Series Champions have arisen. The report goes on to detail other investigations into the Astros . In August, Oakland A's players believed But it ’ s the same process of getting to know the situation as it would be really with anything going on

They didn’t win a single game at Minute Maid Park, losing all four, making this the first seven-game series in North American team sports history that not a single team won a home game.

“If we were both cheating,’’ Rizzo said, “we were pretty bad at it.’’

Really, if anyone had a legitimate complaint, it’s the Los Angeles Dodgers.

They were the ones who lost to the Astros in the 2017 World Series.

Then again, the Dodgers lost Game 7 at home.

“It’s speculation for me at this point,’’ Dodgers president Andrew Friedman said. “There was scuttlebutt about it being beyond just the things at home. I don’t know the answer. This is more for Major League Baseball than it is for me.

“From our standpoint, being one of the teams involved, it sounds like sour grapes for us to comment too much on this.

“I’m a person who looks forward way more than I look back, so it’s not something that has been front of mind for me. It’s not productive.’’

Still, it’s time MLB launches a full investigation.

The league needs to interview Fiers. It needs to interview former Astros players and coaches. It needs to locate all of the evidence possible.

It’s time to put a stop to it once and for all.

If not, all of the doubts, distrust and skepticism will forever be linked to this entire Astros’ era of greatness.

Follow Nightengale on Twitter: @Bnightengale

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB needs to step up on cheating allegations against Astros: 'It's a serious matter'

Report: MLB asking Astros players about different sign-stealing methods .
Major League Baseball's investigation into allegations that the Houston Astros stole signs electronically over the past three seasons has led to another twist. The league is asking players in the organization about a variety of sign-stealing techniques, including buzzing Band-Aid-like wearable stickers, furtive earpieces, and pitch-picking algorithms, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. The wide-ranging accusations about the Astros' methods areThe league is asking players in the organization about a variety of sign-stealing techniques, including buzzing Band-Aid-like wearable stickers, furtive earpieces, and pitch-picking algorithms, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.

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