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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Sign stealing in baseball is nothing new. The punishment now being meted out is absurd.

No one had the foresight to expect problems before the video systems were installed in the locker rooms? If the violations are so serious that you need to hand out year-long suspensions, you’d better be investigating every team with a hint of suspicion. Otherwise people will think the severity of the punishments are more about face-saving for the Commissioner than justice.

This is an extreme overreaction. Baseball, more than any of the other major professional sports, has cheating baked into the core of its existence. Cheating is as integral to baseball as sunflower seeds and older men in children’s uniforms screaming at umpires. Baseball losing its mind to this degree is just asinine. Sign stealing, like basically all the cheating in the game, is only marginally helpful, at-bat for at-bat. It seems the league has overlearned the lessons of the steroid era and is desperate to seem like it takes policing cheating seriously lest those dark days are revived.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2020 at 03:04 PM | 109 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sign stealing

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   1. shoelesjoe Posted: January 16, 2020 at 04:46 PM (#5916701)
Sign stealing, like basically all the cheating in the game, is only marginally helpful, at-bat for at-bat.


There are about 300 pitchers in MLB that would beg to disagree.
   2. Srul Itza Posted: January 16, 2020 at 05:04 PM (#5916709)
There are about 300 pitchers in MLB that would beg to disagree.


If those 300 pitchers would just throw the damn ball right after they got the sign from the catcher, the sign stealers wouldn't have time to look at the feed, relay it to the garbage can banger, and have the signal go out. Or it would be so close, that the batter would have to split his attention between trying to get the information and reacting to the pitch coming in.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 16, 2020 at 05:19 PM (#5916713)
If those 300 pitchers would just throw the damn ball right after they got the sign from the catcher, the sign stealers wouldn't have time to look at the feed, relay it to the garbage can banger, and have the signal go out.
Pitchers: [shake heads]
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 16, 2020 at 05:33 PM (#5916716)
An impostor posing as "Carlos Beltran's niece," on Twitter:
I'm told to stay quiet but sorry I refuse sorry Tio
Jose Altuve and Bregman wore devices that buzzed on inside right shoulder from hallway video guy.
Let's get it all out now.
I have pictures from locker I will keep for a rainy day.
Altuve didn't want shirt torn off if I remember maybe I misspoke but Chapman gave up HR in game



Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer, posing as Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer:
I’ve heard this from multiple parties too, for what it’s worth...



Fox Sports video following Altuve's ALCS home run:
https://twitter.com/ezraklein/status/1217910353717149696
   5. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 16, 2020 at 05:43 PM (#5916719)
I tend to agree that the benefits of cheating are overblown. Despite that I'm pleased about these sanctions being handed down. Teams were told not to do it, then did it anyway, it's their own damned fault.
   6. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: January 16, 2020 at 05:45 PM (#5916720)
how many times have the patriots been caught spying on opposing teams?

- there was the time roger goodell destroyed "all" of the evidence, prior to any meaningful investigation.
- there was time mangini caught them.
- there was this last time with the bengals.

and then there's the pattern of digital communication disruption that happens at key moments during patriots home games, when the patriots appear to benefit.

there was also the saggy balls thing.




which is to say:
the way to stop cheating isn't to punish the act; it's to get rid of the cheaters.
   7. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: January 16, 2020 at 05:48 PM (#5916721)
the way to stop cheating isn't to punish the act; it's to get rid of the cheaters.
the cheaters are a metaphor. the cheaters are bret stephens.
   8. Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: January 16, 2020 at 06:16 PM (#5916732)
[quoteThere are about 300 pitchers in MLB that would beg to disagree. ]

These are the same pitchers who put foreign substances on the ball in order to get a "better grip". Believe us when we say that we are doing this, not to make the ball react, but to ensure that the ball doesn't slip out of our hands and hit the batters in the head.
   9. Itchy Row Posted: January 16, 2020 at 06:21 PM (#5916733)
Everything that happens in baseball is only marginally helpful.
   10. Zonk Hasn't Learned his Aspirational Lesson Posted: January 16, 2020 at 06:32 PM (#5916736)
Only a generation of Ohtanis can bring peace to the land.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2020 at 06:32 PM (#5916737)
There are about 300 pitchers in MLB that would beg to disagree.

The other 500 have no problem with it?

only marginally helpful, at-bat for at-bat

Baseball is a game of very small differences. As we all know from Bull Durham, 1 hit a week (every 33.3 ABs) is the difference between a 270 hitter and a 300 hitter. Three extra HRs a year is 20+ points of SLG. Multiply those tiny differences out by 8-9 batters and 81 home games -- call it just .5 extra IP hit allowed per game, 8 extra HR a year and you're up to about 25-30 runs or 2.5-3 wins. That ain't trivial.

Classic player-only sign stealing can only occur when there is a runner on 2nd so is limited to just a few PA a game. This or something like what Toronto was supposedly doing years ago with the white suit guy is every pitch of every PA. It's one thing to be able to crack the code "2-1-3-2-4" ... it's pretty easy to crack the code "1."

PS The "other 500" isn't a joke. Per P-I, 831 pitchers made an appearance in 2019, I assume a good chunk were position players so somewhere around 800 (750?) should be about right.

   12. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 16, 2020 at 09:10 PM (#5916792)
Baseball is a game of very small differences. ... That ain't trivial.
Not only aren't they trivial, these impacts have cascading effects. Even in single-game samples, an extra hit here or there can force other teams to go to their bullpen early, to burn pinch-hitters in low-leverage situations, etc. A few games of that in a row, and you can create a problem in your rotation or the pen that could last weeks or months.

Beyond that, we need to consider that when an entire organization decides to circumvent the rules, it's much, much, much worse than just some guy deciding to needle up. If entire organizations decide that the rules don't matter, if there's no meaningful discipline, then why bother having rules? The Astros were warned about this years ago. Whatever they've got coming, they earned it in spades.
   13. bbmck Posted: January 16, 2020 at 09:25 PM (#5916798)
56 typically a position player pitched in 2019 so 775 pitchers. 718 with 5+ IP including Stevie Wilkerson and Jared Walsh.
   14. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 17, 2020 at 09:36 AM (#5916847)
Sign stealing, like basically all the cheating in the game, is only marginally helpful, at-bat for at-bat.


There are about 300 pitchers in MLB that would beg to disagree.

Astros' runs scored at Minute Maid, 2017: 395
Astros' runs scored on the road, 2017: 501

Astros' runs scored at Minute Maid, 2018: 373
Astros' runs scored on the road, 2018: 424


Part of that 2017 gap might be attributed to the Minute Maid park factor. But in 2018 Minute Maid's park factor was neutral.

Oh, and then there's this:

Astros' W-L at Minute Maid, 2017: 48-33
Astros' W-L on the road, 2017: 43-38

Astros' W-L at Minute Maid, 2018: 46-35
Astros' W-L on the road, 2018: 57-24


With numbers like that, I don't see how anyone can claim that sign stealing gave the Astros any big advantage. That's not to say that the punishments were unwarranted for reasons of deterrence, but the reaction to the revelations has been grounded much more in emotion than reality.
   15. Traderdave Posted: January 17, 2020 at 09:46 AM (#5916849)
Has any pitcher been suspended an entire season for scuffing or spitting the ball?
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2020 at 10:02 AM (#5916853)
Has any pitcher been suspended an entire season for scuffing or spitting the ball?


Has any hitter been suspended an entire season for sign stealing? Or, just one day?
   17. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 17, 2020 at 10:16 AM (#5916859)
...but the reaction to the revelations has been grounded much more in emotion than reality.
This is from the guy who wanted to literally brand the homerun balls during the PEDs era.
   18. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 17, 2020 at 10:47 AM (#5916868)
...but the reaction to the revelations has been grounded much more in emotion than reality.

This is from the guy who wanted to literally brand the homerun balls during the PEDs era.


You're talking about exactly one (1) ball, the so-called "Asterisk ball", which was bought at auction and then marked with an asterisk by its owner before he donated it to the Hall of Fame. I found that to be a nice little bit of performance art that helped viewers of the ball to remember the context surrounding the event it commemorated. I never once advocated any sort of "asterisks" or other annotations to the records of any steroids user, let alone voiding them.

I also repeatedly spoke out against the sort of guilt-by-association or hearsay that was leveled against players like Sosa, Clemens, Piazza, IRod, Bagwell, etc. Whatever you think about my opinion on steroids, it was the farthest thing from indiscriminate. And it's the indiscriminate nature of some of the rhetoric surrounding this latest scandal that's similarly leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth.
   19. wjones Posted: January 17, 2020 at 10:50 AM (#5916869)
I tend to agree with a lot of this. The new branding teams for sign stealing is a repeat of the 'evil witchcraft' of PED's. Why is it that baseball is intent on destroying itself with negative publicity, and continuing to beat the dead horse until the blood is long gone?

Take for instance Monday. One one station, you had college football being celebrated in the most positive fashion, with a matchup for the ages, two great colorful coaches, two high impact quarterbacks, just a love fest. Then on another you had baseball being pounded for hours and hours by the very people who make a living reporting on it, making sign stealing basically on an equal footing with the 1919 throwing of the World Series. Other sports, has been mentioned above, have 'sign stealing', and other sports of course have PED's. But you don't continue to hear those sports taking a hammer to their reputations with the same fervor that baseball does. And when it isn't a scandal, it's a public hand-wringing of what is wrong with the game, i.e., games too long, not enough action, too many collisions, too many roster additions, etc. My God, it's disgusting at times.
   20. Sunday silence Posted: January 17, 2020 at 11:58 AM (#5916902)

With numbers like that, I don't see how anyone can claim that sign stealing gave the Astros any big advantage.


This is way too early to make any sort of sweeping pronoucement like this. Not 24 hours ago we just had more revelations (new?) about the Astros using buzzer/telephones to signal directly to the batter w/o the need for audible signals. When and where this took place we have no idea.

ANd how many other teams were cheating at home as well?

Its like you're not even paying attention to the story or what the implications are.
   21. Sunday silence Posted: January 17, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5916904)
Then on another you had baseball being pounded for hours and hours by the very people who make a living reporting on it, making sign stealing basically on an equal footing with the 1919 throwing of the World Series


THe 1919 series is kind of the opposite of what we have here, and yet after thinking it over for a few days, I think this event is going to be remembered as right on par with 1919.
   22. wjones Posted: January 17, 2020 at 12:11 PM (#5916909)
THe 1919 series is kind of the opposite of what we have here, and yet after thinking it over for a few days, I think this event is going to be remembered as right on par with 1919.


Ugh. So I guess we need to start retroactively kicking all the sign stealers out of the Hall of Fame? Starting with John McGraw?
   23. Sunday silence Posted: January 17, 2020 at 01:04 PM (#5916936)
Do you not believe in fair play?

Isnt that what this is about? You're OK with cheating on a wide spread scale? You dont really care who's the best one really?
   24. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 17, 2020 at 01:13 PM (#5916941)
Let's be clear: this wasn't about stealing signs, it was about using off-the-field tech to steal signs, breaking rules explicitly written to prevent such actions. And it wasn't just a player or three, but an organizational effort to subvert those rules, even after being warned about it. If we're not going to punish that, why bother having rules? Just let everyone do anything, and brand the stuff you don't like with a hot iron for performance art purposes.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5916944)
Ugh. So I guess we need to start retroactively kicking all the sign stealers out of the Hall of Fame? Starting with John McGraw?


Baseball didn't need to retroactively punish the people thought to have gotten mixed up with gamblers before 1919. But when did Pete did it, after the rather unambiguous ruling involving the Black Sox, he was gone.

Manfred, in a rare moment for Manfred, made it clear that this type of #### wouldn't be tolerated back in September 2017. Then he went ahead and didn't tolerate it. That doesn't mean all of the previous alleged instances have to be treated the same way.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 17, 2020 at 01:17 PM (#5916945)
Its like you're not even paying attention to the story or what the implications are.

No, it's more like I'm not letting the implications and hearsay jump ahead of the facts. And the numbers I posted in #14 above weren't taken from InfoNews.

Again, I'm fine with punishing known violators with massive financial penalties (players) and/or suspensions (managers/GMs), and I'm also in favor of banning all monitors and phones from every dugout, bullpen and clubhouse in organized baseball. And if necessary, I wouldn't even oppose some sort of metal detector or other screening device that all players would have to pass through on their way from the dugout to the batter's box, silly as they may seem.

But talking about voiding championships is crazy, and I say that as a fan of one of the two teams (the Yankees) that arguably suffered from sign stealing the most. The point should be prevention, not some sort of blanket condemnation of players based on hearsay. Harping on this makes about as much sense for baseball as the current food fight in the Democratic party about what Bernie may or may not have said to Liz in 2018. Who benefits from it?
   27. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 17, 2020 at 01:24 PM (#5916948)
There's evidence that the Astros may not have benefited from this as much as many people think. They haven't been particularly good at home the past couple of years.

But you don't punish violations of the rules based on how much benefit you derived from your cheating. I sign on completely to El Hombre's sentiments in post 24.
   28. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 17, 2020 at 02:20 PM (#5916972)
With numbers like that, I don't see how anyone can claim that sign stealing gave the Astros any big advantage. That's not to say that the punishments were unwarranted for reasons of deterrence, but the reaction to the revelations has been grounded much more in emotion than reality.
This exact conversation got rehashed ad infinitum from McGwire to Bonds. For every McGwire, Bonds, and Sosa, there was a Manny Alexander, yet there was a certitude to the efficacy of PEDs that was not reflected in the data. I think what the Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees did was/is much worse.
   29. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 17, 2020 at 02:33 PM (#5916977)
There's evidence that the Astros may not have benefited from this as much as many people think. They haven't been particularly good at home the past couple of years.


How sure are we that the Astros (or anybody else) were only doing this at home? Isn't the alleged mechanism here the video feed from the replay room where the manager calls to decide whether or not to challenge plays? Don't visiting teams have these things too?
   30. Zonk Hasn't Learned his Aspirational Lesson Posted: January 17, 2020 at 02:55 PM (#5916986)
There's evidence that the Astros may not have benefited from this as much as many people think. They haven't been particularly good at home the past couple of years.


I haven't looked up what I imagine are easy to find on bbref, but is this W-L record based evidence?

I imagine it goes without saying, but operating under the assumption it was just *some portion* of Astros hitters that benefited, W-L would be somewhat meaningless. We can't just take pure home/road slash lines either, but if the Astros pitchers simply got shellacked worse at home which led to a subpar W-L despite the performance of the batters, then...

OMG.... Wait a minute...

HOW DEEP DOES THIS THING GO!?
   31. Moeball Posted: January 17, 2020 at 03:10 PM (#5916993)
We have mentioned on other threads that it is possible some writers will punish Beltran by withholding votes for the HOF when he becomes eligible, citing the character clause.

What about Verlander? I would think he'd sail into the HOF fairly easily, based on his numbers, but will his association with the Astros lead to a significant percentage of voters deciding to keep him out?
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 17, 2020 at 03:11 PM (#5916994)
With numbers like that, I don't see how anyone can claim that sign stealing gave the Astros any big advantage. That's not to say that the punishments were unwarranted for reasons of deterrence, but the reaction to the revelations has been grounded much more in emotion than reality.

This exact conversation got rehashed ad infinitum from McGwire to Bonds. For every McGwire, Bonds, and Sosa, there was a Manny Alexander, yet there was a certitude to the efficacy of PEDs that was not reflected in the data.


Funny how you yourself lump Sosa with Bonds and McGwire.

I think what the Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees did was/is much worse.

Beyond the fact that you're assuming by association that the Yankees did what the Astros did, what exactly should we do about it? Find out (beyond a doubt, of course!) who all the culprits were and suspend all those players, thereby ruining the 2020 season just to make a point of moral virtue? And /or should we make a big show of voiding the 2017 and 2018 World Series results just to please Dodgers fans?

OTOH if you could (if you could) first determine which players participated in these schemes, and then want to hit them with major financial penalties without suspending them, that would hurt the players in a very public way, but it wouldn't be punishing the innocent (not to mention the fans) along with the guilty, and it wouldn't disrupt the 2020 season.

Of course if you decided to keep going and going along those lines of suspensions guided by hearsay, you're likely to incentivize false accusations by players who think that misery should have company. Bottom line is that you're going to wind up severely damaging the 2020 season in ways you seem not even to be aware of. Maybe you could get some BernieBots and other Democrats to advise you as to how to do this even more efficiently.
   33. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 17, 2020 at 03:13 PM (#5916995)
zonk,

Forget the Astros' W-L records, and just scroll up to #14 above and look at the number of runs they scored in Minute Maid and on the road.
   34. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 17, 2020 at 03:17 PM (#5916997)
I haven't looked up what I imagine are easy to find on bbref, but is this W-L record based evidence?

I imagine it goes without saying, but operating under the assumption it was just *some portion* of Astros hitters that benefited, W-L would be somewhat meaningless.


We're not looking at W-L record (or slash lines) to determine whether or not the Astros cheated. We KNOW the Astros cheated.

If we're wondering how much they benefited from their cheating, then W-L records are relevant.
   35. Howie Menckel Posted: January 17, 2020 at 03:19 PM (#5916998)
Washington Post story from 1987

"One day after a rain delay left the diamond muddy, players from another team noticed that the Philadelphia Phillies third base coach was, inning after inning, standing with one foot in a deep puddle of water. They also noticed that their pitchers were getting killed.

Why would a man deliberately stick his foot in a shoelace-deep puddle? Between innings, the suspicious players dug around in the mud. And unearthed a block of wood with a buzzer button. Next they tore up the underground wire connected to the box to see where it led. To the center-field scoreboard.

There they found a Phillies’ player with binoculars, stealing signs, then relaying them to Cupid Childs, the coach who could feel the tipoff signal in the sole of his wet foot.

Actually, this incident happened in 1899 and is related in a book called “Pitching in a Pinch,” written by Christy Mathewson. As Heywood Broun put it, writing in the New York World in 1923, “The tradition of professional baseball always has been agreeably free of chivalry. The rule is, ‘Do anything you can get away with.’ ”

............

NOTE: That is indeed as Mathewson described it, but with a key error: Mathewson confused beloved Hall of Merit member Cupid Childs with a ne'er-do-well named Pearce Chiles (you can look it up).
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2020 at 03:22 PM (#5916999)
What about Verlander? I would think he'd sail into the HOF fairly easily, based on his numbers, but will his association with the Astros lead to a significant percentage of voters deciding to keep him out?


I don't think so, at least not until we find out with certainty the Astros pitchers were also cheating.

I suspect some time next week.

   37. Blastin Posted: January 17, 2020 at 03:23 PM (#5917000)
e have mentioned on other threads that it is possible some writers will punish Beltran by withholding votes for the HOF when he becomes eligible, citing the character clause.

What about Verlander? I would think he'd sail into the HOF fairly easily, based on his numbers, but will his association with the Astros lead to a significant percentage of voters deciding to keep him out?


I mean, I wish, because he's a tool. But probably not. That said, that team has been so openly antagonistic to the press that I can see them all getting Schilling'd, where they might have to wait if clearly qualified, and Sheffield'ed if they're borderline (or seen as borderline).

Altuve was on his way but 30s are really where HOFers are made, so he has to be great for a while longer to be a slam dunk in the first place.

I don't think anyone after 2017 will be really dinged unless this buzzing thing is a thing.

And also, we need to stop lumping all the other accused teams in. The trash can thing is on its own level, and specifically proven after the 9/17 memo.

As others have pointed out though, as mad as a Kershaw, Darvish, or a Judge (literally got money taken out of his arbitration without that award) might be, it's the fringe pitchers who maybe only had a few chances in 2017. Someone check the fringe AL West pitchers who pitched at Minute Maid poorly that summer?
   38. Zonk Hasn't Learned his Aspirational Lesson Posted: January 17, 2020 at 03:33 PM (#5917004)
Forget the Astros' W-L records, and just scroll up to #14 above and look at the number of runs they scored in Minute Maid and on the road.


Andy, if you're going to force me to read before I bloviate, this becomes a lot less fun :-)

Anyway, though -- I would say that runs scored doesn't work either. For one thing, we don't yet know if EVERYONE on the Astros was in on it.

I'll let one of the math guys lay out a better metric... but off the top of my head? I might want to know something like say.... bases empty ISO splits home vs road (with appropriate normalization).

As others have noted in other threads - and has been true for all time... baseball is a game of inches.

We need to find the right inches, so I'd argue we need a really good spotlight to find the right ones.
   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 17, 2020 at 04:14 PM (#5917022)
Zonk, you're raising lots of good points. The problem is that the answers to the questions those points implicitly raise are likely to be impossible to determine.

For instance, you write:

Anyway, though -- I would say that runs scored doesn't work either. For one thing, we don't yet know if EVERYONE on the Astros was in on it.


So now what? How can we know for sure which players were in on the deal, and which players weren't? And what about players who were told of the signs, but (like Joe Dimaggio Way Back When) chose to ignore them? Are they just as guilty as Buck Weaver? And this only scrapes the surface of gray areas.

All of which is another way of saying that MLB should be more concerned about future sign stealing than trying to find out every last sign stealer from seasons past. Just ban all monitors, phones and other "devices"** from dugouts, bullpens and clubhouses and likely the problem would quickly go away.

** That word has always seemed faintly corporate and ridiculous, but I hear it 100 times a day and I can't fight progress.
   40. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 17, 2020 at 04:48 PM (#5917027)
Beyond the fact that you're assuming by association that the Yankees did what the Astros did
I'm not doing that at all. I'm assuming the Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees all did their own unrelated thing. My point is that they DID do a thing.
what exactly should we do about it?
Punish the crap out of the organization, of course. You want to make the consequences so punitive, it just wouldn't make sense for an organization to tolerate that sort of thing. Individual players are always going to try to sneak an edge, and that's just how it's gonna be, and there are rules and punishments in place to address that, but management and entire organizations conspiring to violate rules is an entirely different animal. I think Houston's gotten off easy, and Boston's wrists were barely touched, much less slapped.

Of course if you decided to keep going and going along those lines of suspensions guided by hearsay
No one's been punished based upon hearsay.
   41. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 17, 2020 at 04:56 PM (#5917031)
So now what? How can we know for sure which players were in on the deal, and which players weren't? And what about players who were told of the signs, but (like Joe Dimaggio Way Back When) chose to ignore them? Are they just as guilty as Buck Weaver? And this only scrapes the surface of gray areas.


Exactly. Are people going to start clamoring for Willie Mays to be booted out of the Hall of Fame for being a rookie on the '51 Giants? (I know that's overstating the case, and no-one is actually advocating that, but I'm just making a point).
   42. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2020 at 06:16 PM (#5917056)
You're never going to be able to use the numbers to establish any notion of guilt there.

The Astros didn't score a lot of runs at home ... and would have scored even fewer without cheating. They scored a ton on the road ... and would have scored even more if they'd been cheating there too. Clearly nobody in their right mind would claim that cheating at home cost the Astros 100+ runs.

   43. Sunday silence Posted: January 17, 2020 at 06:45 PM (#5917062)
not sure where to ask: When is Manfred's report on ALex Cora due? Did his office suggest a date?

I just wonder how busy they are in damage control right now. The ink is barely dry and I dont think that report is going to be the last word on any of this.
   44. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 17, 2020 at 06:50 PM (#5917063)
Altuve was on his way but 30s are really where HOFers are made, so he has to be great for a while longer to be a slam dunk in the first place.
Altuve’s MVP Award should probably carry less weight with the Hall voters now, and if he were to have a less than stellar 2020, there might be some wholesale discounting of his prior performance. Still, it’s a long way until Altuve will be on the ballot, and he’d probably have to end up on the cusp for an illegal sign-stealing discount to make the difference.
   45. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 17, 2020 at 06:54 PM (#5917064)
When is Manfred's report on ALex Cora due? Did his office suggest a date?


I haven’t seen anything about a date. Take this for what it’s worth but the beat guys covering the Sox are saying that ownership and the FO are carrying themselves like they don’t expect the same level of sanctions the Astros suffered. Whether that is justified or not, hell if I know.
   46. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 17, 2020 at 07:26 PM (#5917066)
Ryan Buchter was apparently on Howard Stern’s show yesterday, and if the summaries online (e.g. here) are to be believed, he said some interesting things. Most notable is that as per Fiers, the Astros have been cheating since 2014 and continued to do so in 2019. Buchter also said that Fiers said that if Astros players are suspended, he’d be happy to have the suspension also applied to him and have his own World Series ring and share of the World Series money taken away.
   47. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 17, 2020 at 07:32 PM (#5917067)
I'm assuming the Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees all did their own unrelated thing.
There’s actual evidence that the Astros & Red Sox engaged in improper in-game video sign stealing after Manfred’s September 2017 Directive clearly prohibiting it. Nothing like that has surfaced with regard to the Yankees. This isn’t even guilt by association - since there’s no know association to date - it’s guilt by whim, or rooting interest. Need it be said? Not a good look.
   48. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 17, 2020 at 07:42 PM (#5917069)
Take this for what it’s worth but the beat guys covering the Sox are saying that ownership and the FO are carrying themselves like they don’t expect the same level of sanctions the Astros suffered. Whether that is justified or not, hell if I know.
That could be the case, but logically, after Cora had such success with the Astros, winning the World Series, why would he do less when he moved on to the Red Sox? The only thing that comes to mind is thinking that the trash can drum solos were too crude and would cause them to get caught. Not sure that being more stealthy should be considered mitigating.
   49. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 17, 2020 at 07:47 PM (#5917071)
Nothing like that has surfaced with regard to the Yankees.


The “Beltran’s niece” twitter account has made some claims about the Yankees. YMMV as to whether or not they’re credible.
   50. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 17, 2020 at 07:56 PM (#5917073)
   51. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 17, 2020 at 07:56 PM (#5917074)
That could be the case, but logically, after Cora had such success with the Astros, winning the World Series, why would he do less when he moved on to the Red Sox? The only thing that comes to mind is thinking that the trash can drum solos were too crude and would cause them to get caught. Not sure that being more stealthy should be considered mitigating.


True. Like I said it’s just reports so far. Sunday Silence asked for info, I shared what I have read.
   52. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 17, 2020 at 07:57 PM (#5917075)
What is “Incarcerated Bob?”
   53. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 17, 2020 at 08:12 PM (#5917080)
Nothing like that has surfaced with regard to the Yankees.
Right. The Yankees were guilty of something different.
   54. Howie Menckel Posted: January 17, 2020 at 08:20 PM (#5917083)

BBTF SPECIAL ALERT

"Former pitcher Jack McDowell accused Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa of orchestrating an illegal sign-stealing scheme while managing the White Sox in the 1980s."

..................

(in other news, Yahoo Finance blithely announced that Mike Trout/HGH claim by Trevor Bauer ("thyroid condition" excuse, Bauer said) as if Bauer was a completely reliable rambler. Bauer has since walked his wild claim back. but it's Wild West Day, Special Baseball Edition, on Twitter)
   55. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 17, 2020 at 08:45 PM (#5917089)
What is “Incarcerated Bob?”

Seems like he’s a gambling tout and a regular presence in NY sports talk radio, who dabbles in sports rumors as a social media gadfly and alleged sockpuppeteer? Some context here from ESPN’s David Purdum.
   56. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 17, 2020 at 09:16 PM (#5917090)
what exactly should we do about it?

Punish the crap out of the organization, of course. You want to make the consequences so punitive, it just wouldn't make sense for an organization to tolerate that sort of thing. Individual players are always going to try to sneak an edge, and that's just how it's gonna be, and there are rules and punishments in place to address that, but management and entire organizations conspiring to violate rules is an entirely different animal. I think Houston's gotten off easy, and Boston's wrists were barely touched, much less slapped.


From MLB's POV, this is much like destroying a village in order to save it.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "punish[ing] the crap out of the organization", or "consequences so punitive, it just wouldn't make sense for an organization to tolerate that sort of thing", but you'd have to be crazy to think that MLB is going to essentially destroy the AL East and AL West division races and kill attendance all over the league, by suspending multiple players on a handful of teams. If half the Astros or Red Sox lineups were suspended all at the same time, who in the hell would ever want to see any of their games? You might as well fold their franchises.

And talk about asterisks. There'd be a much bigger unspoken asterisk next to the names of the winners of those two divisions than there'll ever be over the Astros' World Series championship.

Of course if all you're talking about is punishing management, or taking away future draft choices, that's another thing altogether, and I wouldn't disagree with that. (Or, as I wrote earlier, levying massive fines on any players proven guilty.) But for Christ's sake, don't ruin the 2020 races in order to make a point about what happened in 2017 and 2018.

(And once again, ditch the MGM Casino partnership. Baseball doesn't need this. Talk about the worst possible time to send the worst possible message about opportunities for compromising the game's integrity.)
   57. Howie Menckel Posted: January 17, 2020 at 09:43 PM (#5917095)
once again, ditch the MGM Casino partnership.

I have mulled this issue over the past decade at both the Caesars Club and Foxwoods Club at CitiField.
   58. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 17, 2020 at 11:02 PM (#5917105)
What is “Incarcerated Bob?”
Alex Trebek: “This Kevin Smith character refused to speak in his own defense against charges of possession with the intent to distribute.”
   59. AstrosOldTimer Posted: January 17, 2020 at 11:27 PM (#5917110)
This is a stupid take. Punishments have been too light. The entire team was using electronic devices to cheat, and the manager was in on it, even if reluctantly.

Players receive suspensions for corking bats, which is far less effective than stealing signs, but NO PLAYERS will be punished for this.

Management officials should have been banned and fired, so that worked out.

Players should be receiving suspensions at least equivalent to corking bats or using foreign substances on the ball.

If players were indeed shown to be "wired" while playing, they should be getting lifetime bans from the game.

-- Speaking as an Astros fan
   60. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 17, 2020 at 11:40 PM (#5917111)
So Astros fan, if the heart of your team gets lifetime bans, how many games would you plan on attending in 2020?
   61. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 18, 2020 at 02:37 AM (#5917125)
Of course if all you're talking about is punishing management, or taking away future draft choices, that's another thing altogether, and I wouldn't disagree with that.
That's exactly what I'm talking about. Right now, rules limit the amount a team can be fined for any reason, which makes things tough. Losing two first and two seconds in the draft is painful. What would be really tough would be to tell a team that they lose a year's worth of draft picks, and can't sign any international players for that year as well, all that on top of the $5 million max fine. If that seems excessive, well, that's the point. If the organization is going to conspire to cheat, then the organization can suffer, from head to toe.

But for Christ's sake, don't ruin the 2020 races in order to make a point about what happened in 2017 and 2018.
Kneecapping the Astros wouldn't ruin the 2020 races. Other teams are trying to win, too, and I suspect that there would be little griping from fans if the Astros didn't end up playing in October 2020.

And talk about asterisks. There'd be a much bigger unspoken asterisk next to the names of the winners of those two divisions than there'll ever be over the Astros' World Series championship.
I'm surprised you haven't suggested that we actually brand the players.
   62. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 18, 2020 at 08:24 AM (#5917135)
But for Christ's sake, don't ruin the 2020 races in order to make a point about what happened in 2017 and 2018.

Kneecapping the Astros wouldn't ruin the 2020 races. Other teams are trying to win, too, and I suspect that there would be little griping from fans if the Astros didn't end up playing in October 2020.


My point about ruining the 2020 races would only apply to player suspensions, not to the offending teams being stripped of draft choices or international signings. That'd punish the entire organization, but the effect would be gradual and long range, and not disruptive to the coming year's races. All player suspensions (as opposed to massive fines) would do would be to punish fans all over the league who want to see the best players. They aren't likely to thrill to seeing their team beating up on a baseball version of the Washington Generals.

And talk about asterisks. There'd be a much bigger unspoken asterisk next to the names of the winners of those two divisions than there'll ever be over the Astros' World Series championship.

I'm surprised you haven't suggested that we actually brand the players.


Heh. That Barry Bonds "asterisk ball" that I found amusing and appropriate sure seems to have lodged in your memory, but that was strictly a one-and-done affair.
   63. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 18, 2020 at 12:08 PM (#5917161)
It lodged in my memory because I found that uniquely disgusting, and still do.
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: January 18, 2020 at 12:30 PM (#5917166)
Ben Boyd
@BenBoydKMOX
[Cardinals manager] Mike Shildt told me he knew teams were cheating for years, but #STLCards chose integrity: “I sleep well at night .... I don't have to worry about anything coming out about us because I know we competed hard, but we competed fair.” @KMOXSports @kmoxnews
   65. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 18, 2020 at 12:40 PM (#5917171)
[Cardinals manager] Mike Shildt told me he knew teams were cheating for years, but #STLCards chose integrity: “I sleep well at night .... I don't have to worry about anything coming out about us because I know we competed hard, but we competed fair.” @KMOXSports @kmoxnews


Just wait until we see those texts between Shildt and Lev Parnas.
   66. Dock Ellis Posted: January 18, 2020 at 01:03 PM (#5917177)
thanks vlad
   67. AstrosOldTimer Posted: January 18, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5917185)
#60, I live out of state now, so the same amount as last year... 0

It's good to know there are still people willing to overlook cheating in the name of ticket sales, though
   68. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 18, 2020 at 02:31 PM (#5917193)
Of course! Real Fans will excuse anything, if the laundry is right.
   69. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 18, 2020 at 03:55 PM (#5917200)
#60, I live out of state now, so the same amount as last year... 0

It's good to know there are still people willing to overlook cheating in the name of ticket sales, though


If MLB starts handing out suspensions to all the players who took part in sign stealing, the drop in ticket sales will just be a reflection of the depressed quality of the competition, which is all I care about when I decide to watch a game. If I didn't care about the level of play, I'd stick to watching our local high school team. As a Yankees and Orioles fan, it wouldn't mean much to me to see either of them beat up on an Astros or Red Sox team that'd been stripped of their best talent. Which is why I don't think MLB is going to take this suicidal route.
   70. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 18, 2020 at 03:57 PM (#5917202)
Of course! Real Fans will excuse anything, if the laundry is right.

Laundry's got nothing to do with it in my case, since the two teams that so far have been most prominently named are the ones that knocked one of my favorite teams out of the 2017 and 2018 postseasons.
   71. Sunday silence Posted: January 18, 2020 at 05:07 PM (#5917210)
If MLB starts handing out suspensions to all the players who took part in sign stealing, the drop in ticket sales will just be a reflection of the depressed quality of the competition, which is all I care about when I decide to watch a game. If I didn't care about the level of play, I'd stick to watching our local high school team


You're being totally silly Andy. As if there's only a binary: suspend everybody/suspend nobody solution to all this.

Clearly MLB is well aware of their audience and what might kill viewer interest. Of course they wont suspend ever single player on the Astors. But they could sure as hell suspend certain players to various degrees. Like everybody that wore a wire gets a season off. Everybody that lied to the COmm'r gets a month.

SUrely, there's a way to do it, however unfair it might seem, where a series of suspensions can be issued that cover a spectrum of terms. You're acting like the only way to do this is to suspend the entire Astro's and/or BOS for an entire long time, which is well.. silly like I said.
   72. Sunday silence Posted: January 18, 2020 at 05:09 PM (#5917211)
Thanks for update on whatever the Comm'r next report is due, Jose.

It seems to me that the steady dribble of leaks is probably outpacing whatever investigation Manfred is doing. That really puts him in an embarassing position if that's true.

Part of it is that he didnt hire an independent investigator which would have prudent in retrospect.
   73. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 18, 2020 at 05:48 PM (#5917225)
Clearly MLB is well aware of their audience and what might kill viewer interest. Of course they wont suspend ever single player on the Astors. But they could sure as hell suspend certain players to various degrees. Like everybody that wore a wire gets a season off. Everybody that lied to the COmm'r gets a month.

SUrely, there's a way to do it, however unfair it might seem, where a series of suspensions can be issued that cover a spectrum of terms. You're acting like the only way to do this is to suspend the entire Astro's and/or BOS for an entire long time, which is well.. silly like I said.


And what if it turns out that (say) Altuve and Correa and Springer and Bregman were all wired? Are you seriously talking about suspending them for a full season? Sorry, but that's beyond silly. It's madness.

Fine the hell out of the players, suspend the non-players and take away draft choices and international signings. That punishes the hell out of the team, but in a way that won't completely #### up the 2020 season. Of course if that's your objective, or if that doesn't matter to you, then there's not much more I can say.
   74. Sunday silence Posted: January 18, 2020 at 06:05 PM (#5917232)
Q: ANdy: Do you think its possible for the Comm'r to meet out suspensions for the current scandal on a continuum?

Yes or no.
   75. Sunday silence Posted: January 18, 2020 at 06:07 PM (#5917233)
Are you seriously talking about suspending them for a full season?


Im not suggesting any specific length of time. It should have been clear when I wrote that that was an example (see the use of the word: "like."

But sure you could suspend 4 players for an entire season and not many fans would be lost.

Or you could suspend these for 100 games. do you not understand what I am saying?
   76. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 18, 2020 at 06:24 PM (#5917240)
Thanks for update on whatever the Comm'r next report is due, Jose.

It seems to me that the steady dribble of leaks is probably outpacing whatever investigation Manfred is doing. That really puts him in an embarassing position if that's true.


I think the problem is now that the Astros story has broken and of course the focus followed the ringleader to his next gig so everyone is circling. I don’t think it’s possible to plug the leaks now. The reports of course are just that, they could be 100% wrong.
   77. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 18, 2020 at 06:38 PM (#5917243)
Sunday Silence.- What happens if every player on the Astros was involved (which is not a ridiculous theory I don’t think).

I agree with you that the players probably deserve punishment. I think you have a couple of issues. One is the fundamental issue that Andy is raising that it can quickly get out of control with the number of players who could be on the list. The second issue is a PR one and I think MLB wants this to be wrapped up and done as soon as possible. Obviously it won’t go away completely but having the Astros playing the entire season short-handed is just going to drag it out in a way I suspect MLB doesn’t want. Lastly of course is the MLBPA is going to put up a fight if players start getting punished and MLB definitely doesn’t want that particularly with the CBA lingering.
   78. Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: January 18, 2020 at 07:14 PM (#5917249)
I would like to see the players punished since they were an integral part of the scheme. I would suggest something like 10 games (same as corked bat) for any position player on the Astro's 25 man roster for more than 100 games, games if they were on the roster for 50-100 games, and 3 games if they were on the roster for 10-50 games. The minor league call-ups that were only on the roster for less than 10 games get nothing (since they might not have known about it and had no way to stop in anyway). Stagger the suspensions so that only one player is suspended at a time. If the player cooperated in the investigation, then their suspension gets cut in half.

MLB them can send out a warning that any future violation will incur more drastic penalties. They did something like this with PEDs which went from 25 games to 50 games to the current penalty. This allows at least a token penalty to the players with the ability to give bigger penalties in the future.
   79. Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: January 18, 2020 at 07:23 PM (#5917250)
#3 is right, and solves 2 problems: techie sign stealing and pace of play.
   80. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 18, 2020 at 08:24 PM (#5917260)
Are you seriously talking about suspending them for a full season?

Im not suggesting any specific length of time. It should have been clear when I wrote that that was an example (see the use of the word: "like.")


But that "like" was in this sentence: "Like everybody that wore a wire gets a season off." That sounds pretty specific to me. And what if all the major stars on a team were found to have been wired?

But sure you could suspend 4 players for an entire season and not many fans would be lost.

Or you could suspend these for 100 games. do you not understand what I am saying?


I understand it completely, but with all respect, that's simply delusional, not if the players were the core of the team. Take away Altuve, Springer, Bregman and Correa, or Betts, Martinez, Bogaerts and Devers, and you'd reduce the AL West and AL East to a farce. And who knows what other teams might turn out to be implicated?

Cleveland fan's suggestion isn't nearly that draconian, but I'd much rather stick with heavy fines on the players and the other punishments I mentioned above, along with removing all the monitors and phones from the dugout, clubhouse and bullpen. As for the effect of removing monitors on managers' challenges, who cares? Let all replays be instigated by the umpiring crew in New York, which will have the added benefit of speeding up the game.
   81. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 18, 2020 at 08:51 PM (#5917262)
Take away Altuve, Springer, Bregman and Correa, or Betts, Martinez, Bogaerts and Devers, and you'd reduce the AL West and AL East to a farce.
You keep saying that, but it's just not true. The A's won 97 games last year. The Red Sox didn't even make the playoffs. Baseball will be just fine if Houston and Boston aren't good in 2020.
   82. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 18, 2020 at 09:06 PM (#5917263)
And what if all the major stars on a team were found to have been wired?


I find it really offensive that a cheater should receive a lighter punishment just because he happens to be a major star and his team would suffer greatly without him.
   83. Barnaby Jones Posted: January 18, 2020 at 09:15 PM (#5917265)
If those 300 pitchers would just throw the damn ball right after they got the sign from the catcher, the sign stealers wouldn't have time to look at the feed, relay it to the garbage can banger, and have the signal go out. Or it would be so close, that the batter would have to split his attention between trying to get the information and reacting to the pitch coming in.


Did you watch the videos of this scheme? The banging was coming out almost immediately after the sign, at some points. It's just a guy watching a live feed and hitting a trash can. It takes about as much time to execute as it does for the pitcher to come set.
   84. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 18, 2020 at 09:25 PM (#5917266)
The banging was coming out almost immediately after the sign, at some points. It's just a guy watching a live feed and hitting a trash can. It takes about as much time to execute as it does for the pitcher to come set.


It’s too bad there is no way to get the screens out of the dugouts, bullpens and clubhouses. Unfortunately it’s completely impossible, there is no way to do that.
   85. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 18, 2020 at 09:34 PM (#5917268)
Take away Altuve, Springer, Bregman and Correa, or Betts, Martinez, Bogaerts and Devers, and you'd reduce the AL West and AL East to a farce.

You keep saying that, but it's just not true. The A's won 97 games last year. The Red Sox didn't even make the playoffs. Baseball will be just fine if Houston and Boston aren't good in 2020.


That's a highly subjective judgment, but what makes you so certain that only those two teams will be stripped of their stars? What if Semien, Chapman, Olson and Laureano were also implicated? What if it turned that Trout, Ohtani, Simmons and Goodwin also had to sit out the season, or "just" 100 games? Maybe that sort of stripped down talent would be worth it to you to make your draconian moral point, but I seriously doubt if many fans would agree.

---------------------------------------

I find it really offensive that a cheater should receive a lighter punishment just because he happens to be a major star and his team would suffer greatly without him.

The best way to deal with that objection is to fine them big dollar amounts rather than suspending any of them. That way you're punishing the players.

And strip the team of draft choices and international signings. That way you're punishing the team without putting a thumb on the scales of the 2020 standings, based on who gets ratted out and who doesn't. It's as if the concept of collateral damage doesn't even appear on your radar.
   86. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 18, 2020 at 09:37 PM (#5917269)
It’s too bad there is no way to get the screens out of the dugouts, bullpens and clubhouses. Unfortunately it’s completely impossible, there is no way to do that.

Yeah, we mustn't interfere with the benefits of all that cutting edge technology! Just think of what would happen to the game without managerial challenges when a player overslid the base by a tenth of an inch! It'd be the end of baseball as we've known it!
   87. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 19, 2020 at 01:19 AM (#5917287)
That's a highly subjective judgment, but what makes you so certain that only those two teams will be stripped of their stars?
Well, I didn't pick those two teams at random. And if your great fear is that punitive actions actually have an impact on rule breakers, then baseball shouldn't chance punishing anyone for anything, ever.
   88. BrianBrianson Posted: January 19, 2020 at 02:54 AM (#5917292)
Suspensions comparable to corked bats or doctored balls seem appropriate. The idea that only truly debilitating punishments are punishments is nuts, of course. Cheating to win and cheating to lose aren't remotely the same thing.
   89. Sunday silence Posted: January 19, 2020 at 05:15 AM (#5917296)
What if Semien, Chapman, Olson and Laureano were also implicated? What if it turned that Trout, Ohtani, Simmons and Goodwin also had to sit out the season, or "just" 100 games? Maybe that sort of stripped down talent would be worth it to you...


Andy: You continue to be intellectually dishonest when you cant answer the question I just posed to you.

If your hypothetical includes many players, say dozens, or say 20, then MLB might have to go to some sort of tiered system. Where the greater offenders suffer more and some of the lesser one suffer less.

Are you not going to acknowledge this possibility at all? Cause all Ive seen from you in terms of thinking is this idiotic assumption that there's only a binary, one size fits all approach to this.

GO back to sleep grandpa.
   90. Sunday silence Posted: January 19, 2020 at 05:16 AM (#5917297)
The idea that only truly debilitating punishments are punishments is nuts, of course. Cheating to win and cheating to lose aren't remotely the same thing.


thats kind of what Im saying. Yes.
   91. Sunday silence Posted: January 19, 2020 at 05:17 AM (#5917298)

So now what? How can we know for sure which players were in on the deal, and which players weren't?


RIght we dont know at this. So how can you know that Astros werent also cheating on the road using some other means?
   92. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 19, 2020 at 06:19 AM (#5917304)
But you don't punish violations of the rules based on how much benefit you derived from your cheating. I sign on completely to El Hombre's sentiments in post 24.
In a narrow sense I agree with that first statement. But in the broader sense, I think it's obviously wrong, in that you define how serious the rulebreaking is by how much benefit it conveys. And you punish based on how serious the rulebreaking is.

Now, the fact that it doesn't seem to have helped the Astros does not prove that sign stealing in general doesn't convey a big benefit — but it at least calls it into question.
   93. Sunday silence Posted: January 19, 2020 at 06:35 AM (#5917305)
HOw much POTENTIAL beneefit or ACTUAL benefit?
   94. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 19, 2020 at 06:38 AM (#5917306)

I would suggest something like 10 games (same as corked bat) for any position player
Any reason you'd limit it to position players? (Unless you think the pitchers didn't know about it, the pitchers were just as guilty as the position players. They may not have taken advantage of the stealing on an individual pitch basis — but we don't know that a position player did either, just because he was on the roster — but they got the same benefit of a championship as the position players. This isn't like PEDs which (allegedly) help users on an individual basis and only incidentally help the team; this was primarily for the benefit of the team.

I still think all the hysteria is unwarranted; yeah, 10 games seems about right here.
   95. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 19, 2020 at 06:40 AM (#5917308)
HOw much POTENTIAL beneefit or ACTUAL benefit?
If I understand the question correctly, you define the offense by how much potential benefit it conveys. But we don't know for sure what the potential benefit is, and the actual benefit it conveyed on a particular occasion certainly speaks to the size of the potential benefit.
   96. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 19, 2020 at 08:32 AM (#5917313)
Andy: You continue to be intellectually dishonest when you cant answer the question I just posed to you.

If your hypothetical includes many players, say dozens, or say 20, then MLB might have to go to some sort of tiered system. Where the greater offenders suffer more and some of the lesser one suffer less.

Are you not going to acknowledge this possibility at all? Cause all Ive seen from you in terms of thinking is this idiotic assumption that there's only a binary, one size fits all approach to this.


But YOU were the one who first started throwing out the idea of suspending players for an entire season. That's primarily what I've been reacting to.

I've stated and re-stated what I think should be done to punish both players, teams, and others, along with proactive measures to prevent future sign stealing. You've yet even to weigh in on any of them, other than implicitly suggesting that they don't go far enough.

As for your personal attacks ("dishonest", "grandpa"), take it to Reddit or to a Trump rally. I hope that was just a momentary lapse.

---------------------------------

Suspensions comparable to corked bats or doctored balls seem appropriate. The idea that only truly debilitating punishments are punishments is nuts, of course. Cheating to win and cheating to lose aren't remotely the same thing.

That strikes a balance that seemed to elude Sunday silence when he first raised the draconian suggestion of suspending wired players for the entire season. At least confining suspensions to short and staggered periods wouldn't have the same disruptive effects that would force fans of all teams to suffer by being forced to watch (or not watch) a severely diminished attraction.

---------------------------------

I still think all the hysteria is unwarranted; yeah, 10 games seems about right here.

That sounds like a reasonable compromise.

   97. Sunday silence Posted: January 19, 2020 at 09:12 AM (#5917317)
If a guy was wired for an entire season or two i dont have a problem with suspending him for a year.

Ive pointed out that MLB might need to go to some sort of tiered system of penalties depending on how widespread this turns out to be.
   98. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 19, 2020 at 09:41 AM (#5917324)
Looks like it comes down to one basic disagreement, which is about the length of any suspensions of wired players, the potential disruption any lengthy suspensions would cause to the 2020 season, and whether that disruption should be an overriding factor in determining the length of those suspensions. Since we've both made our points clear on that issue repeatedly, I'll just leave it at that. I think that David's suggestion in #94 takes the right tone.
   99. Sunday silence Posted: January 19, 2020 at 09:44 AM (#5917325)
I think your summary is fairly clear, Andy. What pissed me off was I asked you the same damn question at least two times. and you just kept dodging it. If you want to debate something you should at least attempt to answer questions people put to you. Assuming the questions are fair which I thought that was a fair question.
   100. . Posted: January 19, 2020 at 09:51 AM (#5917327)
Like Brooke Shields and her Calvins, nothing comes between Andy and his entertainment.

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