I wanted to stay away from talking about “it”. I even wrote a post about getting back to baseball. But it has been hard to do this with the dark cloud hovering over all our heads. And then reading the comments from some of our best and most loyal bloggers about leaving forever, if….. the unthinkable enters the thoughts of one Commissioner Rob Manfred, brought me back to the subject.
I think everyone could live with most potential punishments. Fines for the club? No money off our noses. Lose draft choices? Could hurt the team eventually, but maybe not too badly. Suspend the manager A.J. Hinch or his coaches? Would not be great, but could be worked around. Suspend the GM Jeff Luhnow? Would sting and obviously could set the organization back a bit. Hinch, Luhnow lose their jobs? This would be bad, but this is still a very talented ball club with the core mostly around for a while. Forcing Jim Crane out as owner might really hurt longer-term, but probably not on the short term. And who knows there might be another very good owner out there willing to spend bucks. It could happen.
But the unthinkable is what has forced a number of folks to the ledge and has many of us in a funk right now. What if…… baseball has the Astros vacate that 2017 title?
Your mostly faithful servant is here to try and talk you down from that ledge. Major League baseball will not do this.
Because it is a precedent they don’t want to set. It is a slippery slope they don’t want to breach. No other professional sport has ever taken this step and baseball is not a trailblazer that wants to be the first. Basketball had a referee, who admitted to helping fix games for gambling purposes. They never reversed the results of any of those games. Pro football had one of the worst non-calls in the history of the game keep the Saints out of the Super Bowl. Did they go back and reverse that decision? No.
Think of this. They take away this title based on the edge the Astros may have gained from using technology to steal signs. Then do they go back and take away the Yankees titles from 1998 – 2000 when they may have gained an edge from players like Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Jose Canseco, Jason Grimsley and even Mr. Astros Post-Game Mike Stanton, who have been linked to alleged steroid use?
Do they go back and vacate the NY Giants 1951 NL title when they reportedly stole the title along with signs down the stretch?
Do they vacate the wins that Gaylord Perry won with the help of outside substances in his cap, hair, glove and vacate his Hall of Fame election?
Should they go back and take away every game the Red Sox used their Apple Watches to steal signs?
Should they talk to disgruntled former players for every team that won the World Series over the last 30 seasons and find out what each and every one of them did that might have been against the rules?
Where does it end?
Major league baseball will punish the Astros and likely some head or heads will roll. But the chances of them judging that the title is totally tainted is a step that could lead them to a bottomless pit of never ending investigations. And that is the Pandora’s Box they don’t want to open.
So, come back off the ledge and back to this blog. Please.