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Dirty Rotten Cheaters Newsbeat

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Does Cheating Matter?

“It’s hard for me not to look at my own numbers against them and be pissed,” a retired major league pitcher said. “Everyone involved deserves to be seriously punished because it’s wrong.”

– a retired major league pitcher on the Astros, quoted in ESPN, January 2020

Cheating is serious business. We know this, almost instinctively, from earliest childhood — the righteous anger one feels when you catch someone sneaking a peek at your cards, dropping a rock only after seeing you put down scissors, sticking out a suspiciously well-placed foot preventing your escape in a game of tag. That’s not fair — cheater! You appeal to others around you, trying to get them to see, to mete out justice. Something has been disrupted here; something is wrong that can only be righted with punishment. You entered into a contest with agreed-upon rules, and those rules were broken in favor of cheap victory. It is self-evidently outrageous, self-evidently cruel, and even if justice is not done — even if the false victory is upheld through deception, lack of witnesses, or negligence of investigation — the hurt is indelible. You will never play rock-paper-scissors with that particular kid again. You will tell all your friends, too, not to engage in contests with them. A cheater is a cheater is a cheater.

And yet we know, too, an instinct coming from a similarly primal place, that cheating, when executed for one’s own benefit, and especially when executed without detection, can be valuable, if a little guilt-inducing. When the value of the prize claimed outweighs the guilt, it can even feel better than a straightforward win. After all, the other party, if they were smart enough, would have cheated, too, or at least cheated better than they did; and really, when you think about it, isn’t outsmarting the opposition part of the competition? Haven’t you, in the successful execution of your subterfuge, put in more effort than the loser now sulking about your victory? Isn’t this all just part of the game — a part of the game that you happened to be better at? You are not a cheater, no; that word doesn’t apply to what you’ve done. To call the means of your success cheating would be to demean the skill involved in said success, you think. One might almost consider the loser who is accusing you of cheating to be the real cheater — trying to steal away, through non-competitive, extrajudicial means, the victory you earned through your own ingenuity. Cheating is bad. And you, what you have done, isn’t bad.

So, how would all of you answer this question?

 

QLE Posted: April 25, 2020 at 01:01 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters

David Ortiz says Red Sox sign stealing penalties were unfair: ‘It’s what everybody’s doing in the le

David Ortiz wasn’t happy with the punishment Major League Baseball handed down to the Red Sox for stealing signs in 2018.

Appearing on FOX with Kevin Burkhardt and Alex Rodriguez on Friday, Ortiz said he believed MLB’s decision to strip the Red Sox of a second-round draft pick and suspend video assistant J.T. Watkins was too harsh.

“They were searching trying to find out if anything that happened in Houston happened in Boston,” Ortiz said. “Basically, it wasn’t even close to a similar situation. What happened in Boston is what everybody’s doing in the league right now. I think the punishment was not fair, to be honest with you.”

In January, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred found that the Astros used a center-field video camera to relay signs to players during games in 2017 and punished them harshly, handing one-year suspensions to then-manager A.J. Hinch and then-general manager Jeff Luhnow, stripping four draft picks and fining Houston $5 million. This week, Manfred found little in the way of wrongdoing by the Red Sox but did determine that, at least on some occasions, Watkins broke MLB rules by using the video replay room to relay signs to players during game.

Taking a shovel and digging yourself into a hole, I see…..

 

 

QLE Posted: April 25, 2020 at 12:24 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, dirty rotten cheaters

Friday, April 24, 2020

The Red Sox Got Slapped on the Wrist for Their Illegal Sign-Stealing

Tonight, on As The Red Sox Turns:

If you were hunkered down under a stay-at-home order waiting for Major League Baseball to release its long-awaited report on the Red Sox’s illegal sign-stealing efforts, then we have good news for you: the wait is over. On Wednesday, the league announced the conclusions of its investigation and the punishments handed down by commissioner Rob Manfred. If you were expecting the discipline to be comparable to that received by the Astros in January, you may want to get back to binge-watching Tiger King, because according to the report, there simply isn’t a lot to see here.

In the case of the Astros, when Manfred issued his report on January 13, he found that the team illegally stole signs during the 2017 regular and postseason and into the 2018 regular season. He suspended president of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch for the 2020 season (both were fired by owner Jim Crane within hours), fined the team $5 million (the maximum allowed under MLB’s constitution), and stripped them of their first- and second-round picks in both this year’s and next year’s amateur drafts. When it came to disciplining the Red Sox, however, Manfred only found evidence that the illegal sign-stealing occurred during the 2018 regular season; suspended only J.T. Watkins, the team’s video replay system operator; stripped away only its second-round pick in this year’s draft; and did not fine the team. As with the Astros, no players were punished.

The baseball world waited 3 1/2 months for this? A previously unknown backroom employee has taken the fall for an entire organization while those above him escaped without punishment — it doesn’t get much more anticlimactic than that, nor does it make a whole lot of sense, given the need for intermediaries between the video room and the dugout. And it certainly isn’t a severe enough punishment to act as a deterrent. There isn’t a team among the 30 who wouldn’t trade a second-round draft pick and a single baseball operations employee for a world championship.

Per the report, both former president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who was fired in September, and current general manager Brian O’Halloran were found to be not at fault, having complied with MLB’s mandate to communicate league rules regarding sign-stealing to coaches, players, and non-uniform personnel. Former manager Alex Cora, who was implicated as being central to the Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing efforts in his role as the the team’s bench coach, was suspended through the 2020 season, the same penalty that Hinch and Luhnow received; however, he was not additionally disciplined for infractions in Boston.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Worth It? Does MLB’s reaction to Astros, Red Sox tainted titles mean cheaters can prosper?

And now, some commentary on the major baseball news of the day:

The 2017 World Series champion Houston Astros are cheaters. We already knew that.

The 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox cheated a bit too. Less than the Astros, but enough that MLB on Wednesday docked them a draft pick and suspended one of their staffers for the year.

And for the second time, no players were suspended.

So much for the sanctity of the game, right?

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2020 at 12:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dirty rotten cheaters, red sox

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Nationals virtually assemble for World Series Game 7 rewatch ... and one of them brought a trash can

As you might remember, the Washington Nationals won the World Series, and it feels like it happened much more than six months ago.

With all MLB games shut down for the coronavirus pandemic, the Nationals’ television affiliate MASN has been re-airing the team’s championship run over the last few weeks. Tuesday marked the arrival of Game 7 of the World Series, in which the team topped the Houston Astros for the first title in franchise history.

To mark the occasion, several members of the team assembled for a Zoom meeting to commentate on the game and raise money for Nats veteran Ryan Zimmerman’s Pros For Heroes COVID-19 Relief Fund to benefit healthcare workers.

Between the reminiscing and drinking, one of them brought in a trash can, the now-infamous device used by the Astros during their 2017 championship season. The culprit: singing and shirt-removing enthusiast Brian Dozier, now a member of the San Diego Padres.

At a time like this, why not go back to the stand-by targets of yesteryear?

 

QLE Posted: April 15, 2020 at 12:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dozier, dirty rotten cheaters, nationals, trash can, world series

World Series MVP Steve Pearce officially retires, says 2018 Red Sox did nothing wrong

It’s now official.

After telling WEEI.com he was “unofficially retired” in December, Steve Pearce took the next step when appearing with Mike Mutnanksy on WEEI’s replay of Game 1 of the 2018 World Series.

“You know what? It has been a good run. I have 10 years in there. Right now I am officially retired,” said Pearce, who turned 37 years old Monday.

It marks the end of a major league career that spanned over 13 seasons with eight different teams. His shining moment, of course, was winning the 2018 World Series MVP after belting three home runs against the Dodgers. The 10th-round pick in the 2004 Draft finishes his career having played in 766 games, compiling a .254 batting average and .772 OPS with 91 home runs.

Somehow, the former is making me have doubts about the latter…..

 

QLE Posted: April 15, 2020 at 12:32 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters, retirements, steve pearce

Thursday, April 09, 2020

New York Mets announcer Gary Cohen pokes fun at Houston Astros in ‘virtual’ broadcast

To make up for the lack of baseball, Sportsnet New York (SNY) — the television home of the New York Mets — is simulating the team’s regular season on the MLB The Show 20 video game.

On Tuesday night, with virtual Jacob deGrom toeing the rubber against the Houston Astros and their ace Justin Verlander, SNY added a wrinkle by having its broadcast team of Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez on the call.

Around the middle innings, Cohen — the play-by-play man — couldn’t help himself and made a joke alluding to the Astros’ scandal-ridden offseason.

“You can hear very little from the crowd tonight. It almost feels like you’re playing in a library,” Cohen said, setting up the punchline. “Which would mean that any sound that might be emanating from the dugout, say, the sound of a trash can being banged, would be quite formidable.”

Quite a bit to unpack here, isn’t there?

QLE Posted: April 09, 2020 at 12:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters, gary cohen, virtual games

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Judge nixes fantasy players’ lawsuit over sign-stealing scandal

A federal judge in New York has dismissed a class-action lawsuit brought against Major League Baseball by a group of daily fantasy sports players, who claimed to have been harmed by the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox sign-stealing scandals.

In a 32-page opinion issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff lambasted the Astros and Red Sox for “shamelessly” breaking baseball’s rules and “the hearts of all true baseball fans,” but he denied the claim of the named plaintiffs: Kristopher Olson, Christopher Lopez, Warren Barber, Christopher Clifford and Erik Liptak.

Investigations by MLB found that the Astros and Red Sox used electronic devices as part of sign-sealing schemes during recent seasons. Former Houston manager AJ Hinch and an ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for one season due to their roles in the schemes, and the Red Sox were fined an undisclosed amount by MLB in 2017 for sign-stealing allegations.

Olson, who participated in daily fantasy baseball contests on DraftKings, filed the initial complaint in January, claiming that MLB, the Astros and Red Sox engaged in fraudulent practices that violated consumer rights and created “corrupt and dishonest” fantasy contests.

For those who want to read Judge Rakoff’s ruling:


https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.nysd.530695/gov.uscourts.nysd.530695.55.0.pdf

 

QLE Posted: April 04, 2020 at 12:46 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters, fantasy sports, lawsuits

Friday, April 03, 2020

AJ Hinch, Jeff Luhnow suspensions fulfilled in 2020 even if MLB season canceled

Former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow will fulfill their one-season suspensions for the team’s sign-stealing scandal even if no baseball is played in 2020, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney on Thursday.

Hinch and Luhnow were given the one-year bans and subsequently fired in January following an investigation by Major League Baseball that confirmed the Astros had cheated by using a camera-based sign-stealing system during the regular season and playoffs of their World Series-winning 2017 season and during part of the 2018 regular season.

According to the wording from commissioner Rob Manfred’s decision, both punishments end “following the completion of the 2020 World Series.”

Sources told Olney that, because the suspensions are tied to the end of the 2020 postseason rather than a specific number of games, MLB will view Luhnow and Hinch as having served their discipline this year.

This isn’t going to backfire in the slightest at all…..

 

QLE Posted: April 03, 2020 at 12:33 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. hinch, dirty rotten cheaters, jeff luhnow, suspensions

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Astros owner Jim Crane says MLB ‘exonerated’ him in sign-stealing investigation

Astros owner Jim Crane claims MLB’s investigation into the team’s sign-stealing “explicitly exonerated” him. Crane made the claim in a legal filing in response to a lawsuit brought by former MLB pitcher Mike Bolsinger against Crane and the team. Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic reports that Crane’s filing is an attempt to avoid being deposed and either dismiss the case outright or move it to Texas from California.

Per Kaplan, the relevant part of Crane’s filing reads: “I was not involved in any alleged rules violations by the Astros. Major League Baseball conducted an investigation into potential rules violations by the Astros. That report explicitly exonerated me and stated that I was unaware of and had no involvement in any rules violations by the Astros.”

In MLB’s report, commissioner Rob Manfred wrote in part: “At the outset, I also can say our investigation revealed absolutely no evidence that Jim Crane, the owner of the Astros, was aware of any of the conduct described in this report. Crane is extraordinarily troubled and upset by the conduct of members of his organization, fully supported my investigation, and provided unfettered access to any and all information requested.”

Jim Crane then claimed that wearing a tin-foil hat could keep his many enemies from reading his thoughts, and that he had a right to wear that everywhere he went…..

QLE Posted: April 01, 2020 at 12:31 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters, jim crane, lawsuits

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Houston Astros 2017 World Series Champ Evan Gattis Takes Shot at Mike Fiers With Twitter Photo

Mike Fiers knew he’d face criticism from his former Houston Astros teammates, but he just couldn’t continue living a lie. This winter, Fiers revealed to The Athletic that the Astros illegally stole signs via cameras and trash cans during the 2017 season. As everyone knows, that was the very year Houston won the World Series. The end result saw the MLB find the Astros guilty of these claims, and those very players go on the defensive against Fiers.

Take Evan Gattis for example. The retired MLB catcher was on the 2017 Astros team that netted him his first ever World Series ring, albeit tainted.

On Friday, Gattis posted a photo of a Fiers-inspired Pilsner glass he purchased from Houston sports bar, The Flying Saucer. That glass had Fiers’ likeness on it with the quote “Snitches Get Stitches” underneath.

Charming fellow, isn’t he?

 

QLE Posted: March 28, 2020 at 12:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: code of silence, dirty rotten cheaters, evan gattis, mike fiers

Friday, March 27, 2020

Astros request a new judge to hear lawsuit filed by pitcher Mike Bolsinger

Before Mike Bolsinger could ask a court to decide whether the Houston Astros played fair with him, the Astros claimed the judge could not play fair with them.

Bolsinger, a former Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays pitcher, sued the Astros and owner Jim Crane in Los Angeles County Superior Court last month, arguing the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme resulted in a pitching performance so poor that he has been unable to find another job.

The Astros have not yet filed a response to Bolsinger’s claim. But Harry Mittleman, one of the defense attorneys, this week submitted a declaration saying the Astros did not believe Crane and the Astros could have a “fair and impartial trial” before Malcolm Mackey, the judge assigned to hear the case.

Mackey, 90, was first elected to the Superior Court in 1988.

Makes their comments of the other day sound rather hollow, doesn’t it?

 

QLE Posted: March 27, 2020 at 12:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dirty rotten cheaters, lawsuits, mike bolsinger

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hoping for a Better Baseball Future

Remember when the whole world was angry at the Houston Astros for stealing signs? They wanted them to give back their World Series title, their championship rings, their postseason money.

One day in spring training, I watched the Astros play in a half-empty ballpark against the Marlins on what was senior day, sponsored by a local hospital. Even then, the fans were all over José Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer: profanity, snark, outrage. It seemed to me this was a mini dress rehearsal for what the Astros would face in the regular season.

That gantlet was scheduled to begin on Thursday. First in Oakland against the A’s and whistleblower Mike Fiers. Then in Anaheim against the Angels, where thousands of angry Dodgers fans had bought tickets. By June 3, the sideshow would have gone through Texas, Boston and New York, each place trying to outdo the last in terms of public outrage–or just trying to do something that goes viral.

And then, the pandemic happened.

 

QLE Posted: March 24, 2020 at 12:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, dirty rotten cheaters, verducci

Astros Cite ‘Sincere Apologies’ in Response to Sign-Stealing Lawsuits

Lawyers for the Houston Astros said members of the organization expressed “sincere apologies and remorse” after the sign-stealing scandal.

According to Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, this is part of the argument presented to try to dismiss three different lawsuits from season tickets holders against the organization.

The lawyers argued the plaintiffs have no legal standing to recover damages, but first noted how contrite the organization has been:

“The ‘sign-stealing’ controversy has been a source of great disappointment to Astros fans as well as to the Astros organization. On several occasions, members of the Astros organization—including individual players and its Owner, Jim Crane—have expressed their sincere apologies and remorse for the events described in the report by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.”

That’s not how I remember it…..

 

QLE Posted: March 24, 2020 at 12:34 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dirty rotten cheaters, lawsuits

 

 

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