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Dirty Rotten Cheaters Newsbeat

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Crane: Players will apologize in Spring Training

HOUSTON—The Astros will apologize for the role they played in the recent sign-stealing saga when they assemble in West Palm Beach, Fla., next month, team owner Jim Crane said while addressing reporters at the Houston Sports Awards in downtown Houston on Tuesday.

Crane, noting the criticism select Astros players have taken for not making more contrite public statements at FanFest last weekend, said the players will “come out with a strong statement as a team and apologize for what happened and we’ll move forward.”

Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman were the only marquee players from the 2017 World Series champion team to attend FanFest last Saturday. They each addressed the media but said little to clarify the role they and others played in the sign-stealing scandal from 2017 and part of ‘18 that led to Major League Baseball’s suspensions—and subsequent dismissal by Crane—of president of baseball operations and general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch, in addition to other penalties.

Bregman opted to repeat variations of a pre-planned statement that said, in essence, that MLB made its decision, the Astros made theirs, and he’d have no other comment on the matter. Altuve, while slightly more forthcoming, did not offer insight as to what role the players had in the sign-stealing scheme that led to the sanctions.

The sincerity of this is….suspect, shall we say?

 

QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:39 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: apologies, astros, dirty rotten cheaters, jim crane

Monday, January 20, 2020

J.D. Martinez says Red Sox are innocent. Now what?

SPRINGFIELD—The next shoe may not have officially dropped Saturday, but a toe was dipped into the water. For the first time, a member of the 2018 Red Sox flat-out said his team was innocent.

Up until J.D. Martinez stepped before the media at Winter Weekend there had been a series of coaches and players leaning on “it’s an ongoing investigation” when asked about Major League Baseball’s investigation into The Athletic’s report that the Red Sox had illegally used their video system to help relay sign sequences during games. But Martinez took things to another level.

“I’m excited for the investigation to get over with, just so they can see there was nothing going on here,” Martinez said.

When pressed on if he believed no wrongdoing would be found in the investigation he added, “I believe that, yes.”

This isn’t his way to get Red Sox management to keep him and dump Mookie, is it?

 

QLE Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:44 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: bullshit, dirty rotten cheaters, j.d. martinez, red sox

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Astros stars letting others take blame for player-driven sign-stealing scheme

When A.J. Hinch took a baseball bat to at least one of those television monitors, as one source said he did, maybe this was the day he had in mind.

This was the day he stood alone.

He’d been in the end overrun by his players and members of his own coaching staff and who knows who else, along with his own ambitiousness. That is his to bear.

The Houston Astros went dark one day. Hinch was the man on the top step. He stuck to the shadows like the rest of them, celebrated its bounty like the rest of them, surrendered when the lights came up and was punished for it.

So, what do we make of this line of analysis?

 

QLE Posted: January 19, 2020 at 12:27 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. hinch, astros, dirty rotten cheaters, players

Saturday, January 18, 2020

MLB Rumors: Here’s where investigation into 2018 Red Sox stands

For those curious as for the state of round 2:

Boston Red Sox fans may have to reserve judgment for quite some time.

Major League Baseball may take “a while” to determine punishment for the Red Sox as it continues to investigate the 2018 team, The Athletic’s Peter Gammons reported Friday morning.

Gammons added the league hasn’t even interviewed former Red Sox manager Alex Cora, whom the club parted ways with Tuesday.

MLB is investigating the Red Sox for allegedly using a video replay room to illegally relay signs to hitters during the 2018 regular season.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 01:31 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters, red sox, shame and scandal

Analysis: Baseball has become a prisoner of technology

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology unleashed baseball’s Analytics Era, and now it’s holding the sport prisoner.

AJ Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán are casualties, a triple play of hubris. At the cutting edge with the Houston Astros, now they have been cut. Their sign-stealing system exposed, all three managers were deposed within a whirlwind 72 hours this week that raised questions about the prevalence of the sport’s rule breakers.

What’s next in a game grappling with innovation and plagued by paranoia?

Video rooms and dugouts are now monitored by Major League Baseball, like proctors pacing an exam room to stifle students’ temptation to cheat. Bench and bullpen telephones are monitored, Big Brother in the commissioner’s office listening in to assure compliance. Television feeds in clubhouses were ordered to be delayed by a minimum 8 seconds last year to prevent prying eyes from decoding signals in real time.

Prisoners of Technology wasn’t a bad musical, as far as the shows of Bialystock and Bloom went….

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters, sign-stealing, technology

Congress to take up MLB sign-stealing scandal? Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush hopes so

MLB’s sign-stealing scandal could be headed for Congress.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., on Friday sent a letter to senior members of the Committee on Energy & Commerce to request an oversight hearing into the cheating scandal that has enveloped MLB in recent days. The committee has oversight over major league sports, Rush’s letter states.

“I believe it is our ethical and moral imperative to investigate the Major League Baseball cheat scandal fully and to determine the extent to which this cancer has spread,” Rush writes. “I firmly believe that our investigation must also look at the actions taken by Major League Baseball, and the teams that comprise it, to reprimand the individuals who have been implicated.”

The letter goes on to say that, although MLB and teams have already taken action against guilty parties — such as Astros manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow — the committee must determine whether league officials acted quickly enough and took appropriate action. It also must determine whether there is a “systematic failure” within MLB that has allowed the illegal sign-stealing problem to fester, the letter states.

Trying to figure out what he gets out of it- his reelections seem safe, the odds are against him running for higher office, and I don’t think there are any minor-league teams being contracted anywhere near him so it doesn’t seem to be payback for that…..

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: congress, dirty rotten cheaters, sign-stealing

Friday, January 17, 2020

Stolen away: Brooklyn pitcher recalls ’51 sign-stealing scam

NEW YORK (AP) — Stealing signals. Banging on a trash can. Beating the Dodgers in October.

Sounds very familiar to Carl Erskine.

“If they’re going to go back to 2017 with penalties for the Astros,” he said Wednesday, “then I want them to go all the way back to 1951 to help us.”

The old Brooklyn pitcher was laughing. Sort of.

As a historian, I couldn’t resist…..

 

QLE Posted: January 17, 2020 at 12:36 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: brooklyn dodgers, carl erskine, dirty rotten cheaters, new york giants

Where will MLB’s scandal-stricken teams turn for new managers?

From a handheld device, bouncing along radio waves, caroming off big metal towers dressed as trees, the text message arrived here Thursday morning: “We are truly a mess.”

It’d be a fair assumption the sentiment rode along with others just like it, tapped out of frustration in places such as Houston and New York and Boston, fluttering along the horizon and recalling a day — just Sunday, for one — in which their baseball franchises seemed sturdy enough. Maybe not in Houston. But the others.

Today, two months after the saga began and one month before the first fungo bat is swung, the Astros, Mets and Red Sox do not know who their field managers are, the Astros don’t even have a guy who usually chooses the manager, and the sign-stealing scandal that once looked like it might divert a single franchise appears to be only just gaining momentum.

The next domino could be another team. The next domino could be 10 or 15 more teams, and the crisis that was one or two organizations cheating their way to championships inches toward the more chilling scenario that, other than the championships, the Astros and Red Sox were not the exceptions.

If all else fails, I’ll take the job.

 

QLE Posted: January 17, 2020 at 12:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters, managers, shame and scandal

Thursday, January 16, 2020

L.A. City Council to vote on asking MLB to award Dodgers championship trophies

The Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote within the next week on a resolution urging Major League Baseball to recall the championship trophies presented to the Houston Astros in 2017 and the Boston Red Sox in 2018 “and award them to the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

Councilman Gil Cedillo, one of the sponsors of the resolution, said he expects the council to approve it. As of late Wednesday, the city clerk had not yet determined what day the resolution would come up for a vote.

Cedillo, whose district includes Dodger Stadium, said neither the Dodgers nor his constituents had requested the resolution.

“This is an equity and justice thing,” Cedillo said. “Who was the best team in 2017? Who was the best team in 2018? It was the Dodgers. They got beat by teams that were cheating.

One of those rare things that manages to unite people across the ideological spectrum in Southern California is the utter uselessness of Los Angeles’ municipal government- this serves as a demonstration of why…...

 

QLE Posted: January 16, 2020 at 12:10 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dirty rotten cheaters, dodgers

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Pete Rose feels Astros’ cheating worse than his bets, questions players getting off ‘scot-free’

Pete Rose still has that same perky passion in his voice even though he’ll turn 79 in April, especially when he’s talking about his favorite subject while signing autographs “five hours a day, 20 days a month” near his Las Vegas home.

More than 30 years after being served a lifetime ban from baseball for betting on his team, Rose loves bragging about winning two World Series in the 1970s with the Big Red Machine and another with the 1980 Phillies after “Mike Schmidt went from being the best player four days a week to seven with me in Philly.” Baseball’s all-time hits leader also will detail why he believes Dave Parker and Steve Garvey belong in the Hall of Fame, and how he’s still hoping to get in before he’s “10 feet under.”

“All I do is talk positive about the game of baseball to customer after customer after customer,” Rose told NJ Advance Media on Monday during a lengthy phone interview. “I don’t badmouth the game, so now I’m going to have to try to defend the Houston Astros for the next two months on what they did.“

Rose was kidding.

Mind you, his commentary here would be a lot more meaningful if we had any confidence in his integrity…..

 

QLE Posted: January 15, 2020 at 12:34 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters, pete rose

Alex Cora out as Red Sox manager following sign-stealing scandals

Alex Cora, who won the World Series in 2018 in his debut season as manager of the Boston Red Sox but has been linked this offseason to two sign-stealing schemes, has mutually agreed to part ways with the team.

Cora, 44, led the Red Sox past the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games in 2018, one year after he won the World Series as the Astros’ bench coach.

He is awaiting discipline from MLB for his role in a sign-stealing scheme by the Astros and is still under investigation for a different sign-stealing scheme that is said to have occurred with the Red Sox in 2018.

In MLB’s findings on Houston announced Monday, Cora is described by commissioner Rob Manfred as being “involved in developing both the banging scheme and utilizing the replay review room to decode and transmit signs. Cora participated in both schemes, and through his active participation, implicitly condoned the players’ conduct.”

Well, that was quick….

 

QLE Posted: January 15, 2020 at 12:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, dirty rotten cheaters, firings

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

MLB’s punishment for Astros was both harsh and not enough

After an investigation into allegations of the Astros stealing signs and relaying them to hitters during games, Major League Baseball suspended GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch each for one year. In a press conference this afternoon, Astros owner Jim Crane announced that Luhnow and Hinch had been dismissed. The Astros’ punishment also includes a $5 million fine and the loss of their first- and second-round draft picks in both 2020 and ’21.

MLB’s report on the Astros’ cheating scheme was damning. Commissioner Rob Manfred wrote, “But while no one can dispute that Luhnow’s baseball operations department is an industry leader in its analytics, it is very clear to me that the culture of the baseball operations department, manifesting itself in the way its employees are treated, its relations with other Clubs, and its relations with the media and external stakeholders, has been very problematic. At least in my view, the baseball operations department’s insular culture – one that valued and rewarded results over other considerations, combined with a staff of individuals who often lacked direction or sufficient oversight, led, at least in part, to the Brandon Taubman incident, the Club’s admittedly inappropriate and inaccurate response to that incident, and finally, to an environment that allowed the conduct described in this report to have occurred.”

There is no question that the punishment handed down to Luhnow and Hinch was harsh. Both have been fired but cannot work in Major League Baseball until their suspensions are over following the completion of the 2020 season. They will not be paid for this season, and their careers have each been tarred by the cheating scandal enough where it may be difficult for them to find work in the sport in 2021 and beyond. Losing four high draft picks will also hurt; it is likely the aspect of the punishment that stings the organization the most.

That being said, the punishment did not go far enough to make the Astros regret having pulled off this caper. Crane, for example, was more or less exonerated by Manfred in the report, not that we should have expected anything more. Manfred wrote, “Jim Crane was unaware of any of the violations of MLB rules by his Club. In fact, Crane told Luhnow after the Red Sox discipline was announced that Luhnow should make sure that the Astros did not engage in similar conduct.”

A commentary on the meaning of today, and of various aspects associated with it.

 

QLE Posted: January 14, 2020 at 01:29 AM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dirty rotten cheaters

Red Sox should fire Alex Cora to save face in baseball’s cheating scandal

There’s a good chance Alex Cora won’t be managing the Boston Red Sox in 2020 — and perhaps not ever again.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced his punishment Monday for the Houston Astros in their sign-stealing scandal and the harshest penalty yet might be looming for Cora, who was the Astros’ bench coach when the cheating scheme happened in 2017.

Cora was spared for now, as Manfred noted the league’s department of investigations was next turning its attention to sign-stealing allegations against the Boston Red Sox that surfaced last week. Those involve the 2018 season, when the Red Sox won the World Series with Cora as their first-year manager.

The Red Sox are alleged to have, according to The Athletic, used their video-replay room to decode signs and pass them along to teammates. This wasn’t as sophisticated as the Astros’ system, but it was still illegal, particularly after MLB issued a warning to teams against doing this very thing.

And, should John Henry have concerns about appeasing the fan base, there’s a gentleman in Cleveland he may want to get in touch with, and my home team might offer someone who’d be an instantly beloved player in exchange for some considerations on players in return…..

 

QLE Posted: January 14, 2020 at 12:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, dirty rotten cheaters, red sox

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Sources: MLB near decision on discipline for Astros

Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Houston Astros’ illegal use of technology is in its final stages and members of the organization expect commissioner Rob Manfred to decide on the severity of discipline within the next two weeks, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.

With witnesses admitting that the Astros used a system to relay pitch types to batters before they were thrown, according to sources, MLB’s coming decisions are twofold: whom to discipline and how harshly to do so.

The targets for discipline will be employees of the team, including the front office and on-field coaching personnel, but will not include the players involved in the scheme, according to three players who have been interviewed. Those who could face discipline include Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, Astros manager AJ Hinch and other front-office members, sources said. The team also could face a record fine.

An MLB spokesman declined to comment.

Given how much sign-stealing has been on our minds today, I’m surprised we hadn’t linked to this before- something of interest to follow in the coming weeks…..

 

QLE Posted: January 08, 2020 at 12:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dirty rotten cheaters, sign-stealing

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Report: Investigation into Astros’ alleged cheating likely not completed until 2020

Major League Baseball is currently investigating the Houston Astros over 2017 cheating allegations, but it still has a long way to go.

According to The Athletic, MLB likely won’t finish its investigation into the Astros until the new year. That’s a pretty wide span of time — it could mean January 2020, it could mean April 2020, it could mean November 2020 — but it’s hard to imagine MLB starting the new season with this hanging over their head.

As for what’s taking them so long, commissioner Rob Manfred told the media on Wednesday that it’s the “most thorough investigation” the commissioner’s office has ever done, with 60 interviews already conducted and more to come. In addition to that, Manfred also said that they are looking through over 76,000 emails and instant messages related to the case.

An update, with aspects that aren’t surprising- perhaps the biggest news to me is at the end of this, in ways that may explain certain aspects of a certain major story during the World Series….

 

QLE Posted: December 12, 2019 at 12:39 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dirty rotten cheaters, investigation

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Hero or snitch: Baseball has mixed feelings toward whistleblower Mike Fiers

Guardian or snitch, depends on the lighting.

Mike Fiers, the 34-year-old journeyman pitcher whose two career complete games are also no-hitters, one of those as a Houston Astro, nearly four weeks ago blew the whistle on a technology-driven, sign-stealing scheme allegedly run by those Astros. Major League Baseball has questioned dozens of potential perpetrators, accomplices and witnesses (including Fiers) in an investigation that threatens to expose the finest era in Astros history as, at best, suspicious.

Fiers pitched for the Astros for 2 1/2 seasons, the last in 2017, during which, he told The Athletic, the team devised and integrated a system that identified catchers’ signs and relayed them to hitters in the batter’s box. The Astros won the World Series. Fiers, whose ERA that season was 5.22 (and nearly 10 in the final two months), was not on the rosters for any of their three postseason series. He was non-tendered a month later. And, he told The Athletic, he spent the next two seasons warning teammates with the Detroit Tigers and Oakland A’s of the Astros’ deviousness.

This October, the Astros returned to the World Series. In November, Fiers went public. The league and the Astros might never be the same. Fiers, too.

An article of interest in considering the psychology concerning the reactions to whistleblowing- there are certain aspects to this that seem universal, as I’ve witnessed in my profession first-hand…..

 

QLE Posted: December 08, 2019 at 11:16 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dirty rotten cheaters, mike fiers, whistleblowers

 

 

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