Right now I am not sure if I am more like Joe Pesci in Home Alone or Darren McGavin in A Christmas Story. All I know is that I want to cuss up a storm like both of those gentlemen did in those two movies without actually saying the words I am thinking. As Ralphie (Darren’s son in the movie) would say this is an “Oh Fudge” moment, but I’m not thinking of Fudge.
My son, Thomas hit this on the head when he texted about the Red Sox – “Cover Up for sure. They (the Sox) saw how badly the Astros got slammed so they had time to get their ducks in a row. Find a less important fall guy and move on unscathed. ” And then he texted “Not unexpected though.”
No, there are a lot of things that are not unexpected here…
- The Commissioner making more poorly backed up and stated decisions – check
- The Red Sox, a premier team as sargeh called them, get off with a love pat – check
- MLB gets to bury this scandal as a mostly Astros scandal and can move on while announcing this in the middle of the coronavirus situation – check
- Astro fans get riled up again – check
Is Bud Selig giving Manfred advice on how to run things?
This is not to say that the Astros shouldn’t have been punished for what happened. They should have and they were. But cheating is cheating except when the commissioner of baseball wants to put a particular spin on it.
- “The information was only relevant when the Red Sox had a runner on second base (which was 19.7% of plate appearances league-wide in 2018), and Watkins communicated sign sequences in a manner that indicated that he had decoded them from the in-game feed in only a small percentage of those occurrences.”
- “I do not find that then-Manager Alex Cora, the Red Sox coaching staff, the Red Sox front office, or most of the players on the 2018 Red Sox knew or should have known that Watkins was utilizing in-game video to update the information that he had learned from his pregame analysis.”
- “I find that the Red Sox front office consistently communicated MLB’s sign-stealing rules to non-player staff and made commendable efforts toward instilling a culture of compliance in their organization.”
So we are supposed to believe that unlike the Astros, none of the Red Sox managers or front office knew or were supposed to know what happened here. This guy would sneak off to the video room and nobody knew it? And he would change sign sequences in the middle of the game and nobody knew why he was doing it? And everyone accepted the changes he infused into the strategy and nobody questioned it. And Alex Cora who was with the Astros when they had the best hitting team in baseball and were cheating went to lead the Red Sox, who became the best hitting team in baseball and were not cheating.
So what happened? Here is a totally hypothetical description of what could have happened.
- MLB got the big tip from Mike Fiers that overturned the Astros turnip cart.
- They investigated the Astros with the ability to tell players – “Because of Fiers we know what happened. So if you lie to us we will know and we will punish you. If you tell the truth we will punish others.”
- The truth from the players led them to Cora and Beltran leading it, Hinch knowing it and ignoring it and Luhnow likely knowing or should have known.
- The Luhnow / Hinch suspensions and firings and the Astros occurred.
- This forced them to investigate Cora further with the Red Sox.
- There was no “Mike Fiers” among the Red Sox or former Red Sox. Even ex-Sox who might have been disgruntled did not want to talk because they saw what happened with Fiers when he talked.
- The team dumped Cora and went into total defense mode.
- Someone decided that they could roll it onto this lowly person in the organization.
- It would not take too much money, when you consider the consequences, to get this guy to roll over and take it on the chin for everybody. (I think they should check his bank account and the accounts of all his loved ones like he was a 5 star football recruit).
- Red Sox turned around to the Commissioner and negotiated the terms of this to get the blame off of the organization as a whole and limit the damage to this “premier” organization.
- The Commissioner sat on this and then released it on a Wednesday afternoon way later than he needed to do it.
I am bitter about this. “$%^#&&&^& Manfred!! **&&^^%ing Commissioner!! $^%&^% Major League Baseball!!”
I’m still bitter about it. Oh well.