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Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Report: Giles to return WS ring

Relief pitcher Ken Giles is prepared to return his World Series ring from the 2017 season with the Astros, saying he wasn’t aware of the sign-stealing plot while with Houston.

Ron J Posted: March 04, 2020 at 08:37 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cheating, general

Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Ringer: How Teams Tried to Counter the Astros’ Sign Stealing Before MLB Did

In late August 2018, the second-place Oakland Athletics visited Houston for a potentially pivotal three-game series against the first-place Astros. The A’s entered the series boasting baseball’s best record over the previous two and a half months (45-19 since June 13), and they trailed the Astros by only 1.5 games in the AL West. The previous week, the two teams had actually spent a few days tied atop the division, although the A’s had never pulled ahead. If Oakland swept this series, the reigning world champions would be looking up at the A’s.

The A’s dropped the first game of the series 11-4, but the next two contests would each be decided by one run. Journeyman Edwin Jackson, pitching for the 13th of his record 14 franchises, took the mound for Oakland in Game 2. He also took his time. The A’s and the Astros wouldn’t face each other again during the regular season, and given their proximity in the standings and the closeness of the score, each pitch was too critical to rush. But there was one other factor extending Jackson’s pauses between pitches: The A’s were aware that the Astros might be stealing their signs. [...]

Of course, it’s possible that the Astros were still stealing signs in late 2018 via some pervasive, hitherto-undocumented method (insert buzzer-based conspiracy here). But by that time, at least some Astros opponents were paranoid enough to act under the assumption that the Astros were cheating, regardless of whether they still were. Jackson and Lucroy weren’t the only battery to slow down against the ’Stros; Angels starter Andrew Heaney, who recently said he hopes the Astros feel like ####, worked with catcher Francisco Arcia in two late-2018 starts in Houston and showed a similar spike in bases-empty time between pitches. [...]

Also of note is that no other team in 2018 had a home pace gap as large as the Astros did: Opposing pitchers slowed down more in Minute Maid than they did at any other park.

bobm Posted: February 29, 2020 at 08:22 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cheating, pace of play

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

MLB tells court attempts at cheating are a part of sports

NEW YORK (AP) — Attempts at cheating are a part of sports, Major League Baseball said in urging a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by fantasy contestants.

Five men sued MLB, MLB Advanced Media, the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox in federal court in Manhattan, claiming fraud, violation of consumer-protection laws, negligence, unjust enrichment and deceptive trade practices by teams that violated MLB’s rules against the use of electronics to steal catchers’ signs. The five said they participated in DraftKings fantasy baseball contests.

“Rules violations — large and small, intentional and unintentional, technical and game-changing — are a never-ending source of sports television, talk radio, web and elevator commentary by sports pundits and fans alike,” MLB said Friday in papers submitted to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. “And fans’ general awareness of the potential for infractions is underscored in this case by the fact that clubs were publicly disciplined for electronic sign-stealing violations during the 2017 regular season.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred ruled last month the Astros violated sign-stealing rules during home games en route to their World Series title in 2017 and again in 2018. He suspended manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one season each, and both were fired by the team. Manfred fined the Astros $5 million, the maximum under MLB rules and stripped the team of its next two first- and second-round draft picks.

If cheating is so inevitable, maybe going all-in with the bookies isn’t the brightest idea in the world…..

 

QLE Posted: February 25, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cheating, fantasy baseball, gambling, lawsuits, mlb

MLB tells court attempts at cheating are a part of sports

NEW YORK (AP) — Attempts at cheating are a part of sports, Major League Baseball said in urging a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by fantasy contestants.

Five men sued MLB, MLB Advanced Media, the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox in federal court in Manhattan, claiming fraud, violation of consumer-protection laws, negligence, unjust enrichment and deceptive trade practices by teams that violated MLB’s rules against the use of electronics to steal catchers’ signs. The five said they participated in DraftKings fantasy baseball contests.

“Rules violations — large and small, intentional and unintentional, technical and game-changing — are a never-ending source of sports television, talk radio, web and elevator commentary by sports pundits and fans alike,” MLB said Friday in papers submitted to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. “And fans’ general awareness of the potential for infractions is underscored in this case by the fact that clubs were publicly disciplined for electronic sign-stealing violations during the 2017 regular season.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred ruled last month the Astros violated sign-stealing rules during home games en route to their World Series title in 2017 and again in 2018. He suspended manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one season each, and both were fired by the team. Manfred fined the Astros $5 million, the maximum under MLB rules and stripped the team of its next two first- and second-round draft picks.

If cheating is so inevitable, maybe going all-in with the bookies isn’t the brightest idea in the world…..

 

QLE Posted: February 25, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cheating, fantasy baseball, gambling, lawsuits, mlb

Saturday, February 15, 2020

This might be Astros’ best chance to win title for a while

For the Astros, though, the need to win in 2020 should be about more than exoneration or chest thumping. The way their roster and farm system are positioned after the best run of on-field success in organization history, this coming season projects as arguably their last, best shot to win it all in this phase.

The farm system, once able to replenish with high-end talent, was ranked 27th out of 30 organizations by Baseball America.

Hank Gillette Posted: February 15, 2020 at 04:54 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cheating

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The world just learned of the Astros’ cheating. Inside baseball, it was an open secret.

On the evening of Oct. 22, 2019, a group of umpires, Major League Baseball officials and the brain trusts of the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros — the respective general managers, Mike Rizzo and Jeff Luhnow, and managers Dave Martinez and A.J. Hinch — filed into a room beneath Minute Maid Park in Houston for a pre-World Series meeting. While ordinary in nature, the meeting would become notable in the weeks that followed.

Joe Torre, the Hall of Fame manager who now serves as MLB’s chief baseball officer, cut through the standard review of ground rules and other on-field matters with an unusual, “no-shenanigans” warning, according to people familiar with the meeting: No cameras trained on dugouts or catchers, and no electronics in the dugout.

reech Posted: February 12, 2020 at 05:37 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cheating

 

 

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