Houston Astros Cheating “More Insidious” Than Any Other Team
The Houston Astros baseball franchise has had a lot success over the last few years. It really all started in 2017. That's the year the Astros won their first ever World Series title. But that's also the year that the Astros engaged in one of the largest cheating scandals in baseball history.
During the 2017 season, the Astros engaged in a program where video cameras would be trained on the opposing dugouts, managers, coaches, and the catcher's signs to the pitcher for pitch calls. Then the system would notify the player at bat what pitch was coming. Staff members would then use various methods to communicate to the batter whether they should expect a fastball, breaking ball, or off-speed pitch. This was done in crude ways, like banging on a trashcan in the dugout, or something as sophisticated as the buzzer system they're alleged to have used.
This is not speculation...MLB conducted an investigation, and confirmed the cheating scandal occurred. Although the depths of the scandal have been kept under wraps, even after suspension were handed down.
Now, a new PBS documentary digs deep into the scandal. Talking to the staff members directly responsible for setting up the equipment used to executed the original system.
While some Astros fans, staff, and players have insinuated that other teams were doing the exact same thing, this new documentary makes it clear there were no teams doing what the Astros were. The documentary says that while other teams were bending the unwritten rules of baseball, what the Astros did was "far more insidious" than the other teams.
Antonio Padilla, the former Manager of Video and Advance Information for the Houston Astros organization was interviewed for the PBS documentary "The Astros Edge". Padilla was the man personally responsible for setting up the physical system, including a TV monitor, wiring, and camera system that was able to relay the opposing team's signals to the staff in the dugout.
Padilla verified much of what people speculated for years about the Astros' system. Including the positioning of the monitor, and its purpose.
But Padilla answered a deeper question: why would he be involved, and why would he remain silent until after he left the organization? Turns out, it was money.
Not only was it his job to do what coaches and players asked of him, but he kept things quiet too. He did this because he knew that it was his job that could be on the line, but also that there was the potential for a payday at the end of the whole thing.
Padilla was given a "full share" of the playoff money the Astros earned that year. Which totaled $450k, or ten-times his annual salary.
Many MLB fans still hold a grudge against the team, and the players from that season. Because baseball did something incredible...they chose not to punish any players. No player lost a World Series ring, or served one second of a suspension. Managers, coaches, and executives all faced suspensions, and the franchise lost draft picks, but the players were untouched.
The only people who can punish the Astros' players for stealing a World Series are the fans.
Much of the Astros' cheating scandal is still unknown. The depths the cheating scandal will probably remain a mystery forever. MLB has said all they will say, some players have revealed parts of the scam, but others refuse to speak about it.
The one thing we've learned about this new documentary is that Astros' apologists can no longer say things like "every team was doing it" or "the Yankees were just as bad", because as their evidence shows, the Astros were in a league of their own when it comes to cheating.
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