Astros 1981: A strange brew season

The 1981 season was one of the worst for baseball labor relations, especially with its affect on baseball’s relations with the fans. The walkout back in 1972 had knocked out an average of three games per team that year… a pittance. The 1973 and 1976 lockouts of players and the player walkout in 1980 all occurred during spring training and were resolved before the seasons started.

But in 1981, the owners and the players could not agree on the meaning of “free agent” as the players thought that meant that a player could freely move to another team after his contract ran out and the owners thought there needed to be onerous compensation returned to the initial team tied to that movement. The players walked out on strike on June 11th and it was not resolved until two months later on August 10th.

The 1981 season had now been ripped into three almost, but not quite even thirds….pre-strike, wiped out by strike and post strike. The owners decided to try and make up for some of their lost income by adding a divisional round to the playoffs as a one-off. Divisional rounds would not be added permanently until 1995, after the 1994 work stoppage wiped out those playoffs.

Figuring out, who would play in the divisional rounds ended up being a headache. After a couple iterations they decided that whoever won the first half (pre-strike) in a division would play whoever won the second half (post-strike). If the same team won both halves, they would play the team that came in second place in the second half of the season.  This made a mess of things as the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds had the best overall records in the NL, but came in 2nd in both halves in the NL East and NL West respectively and missed the playoffs. Instead the Phillies played the Expos and the Dodgers played the Astros in the divisional round.

So how did the Astros get there? First of all they had made some tweaks to their 1980 team that had come within a few outs of the World Series.

  • Owner John McMullen fired GM Tal Smith, who had molded the 1980 playoff team and replaced him with Al Rosen from the Yanks.
  • Ken Forsch was traded to the Angels for Dickie Thon (who would play part time, mostly at 2nd base).
  • The Astros needed to fill in behind Forsch and JR Richard after his stroke in 1980. They traded Enos Cabell to the Giants for LHP Bob Knepper.
  • They signed veteran RHP Don Sutton as a free agent.
  • They also released 2B Joe Morgan
  • They moved 1B Art Howe across the diamond to take Cabell’s spot at 3B.
  • They moved Cesar Cedeno, who had been battling injuries, in to 1B in place of Howe.
  • A few days before the strike they picked up CF Tony Scott from the Cards for Joaquin Andujar.
  • A few weeks after the strike they picked up IF (and future Astros manager) Phil Garner from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Johnny Ray. Note: I don’t think this was “The Little White Cloud That Cried” singer….but I could be wrong.

This team was a little worse at bat than the mediocre hitting team from 1980 as they came in 9th in runs scored and 11th in HRs in the NL. Cedeno (.271 BA/.321 OBP/.704 OPS slash), Terry Puhl (.251/.315/.670) and Jose Cruz (.267/.319/.745) were all down a notch from 1980, Alan Ashby (.271/.356/.725) was improved and Art Howe (.296/.365/.770) continued his solid contributions.

The pitching again was excellent as the staff led the NL in a number of categories such as 2.66 ERA, 13 shutouts, most strikeouts, least walks and least home runs. Their 5 starters all had ERAs under 3.00 – Nolan Ryan (11-5, 1.69 ERA), Knepper (9-5, 2.18 ERA), Sutton (11-9, 2.61 ERA), Joe Niekro (9-9, 2.82 ERA), and Vern Ruhle (4-6, 2.91 ERA). The bullpen was again led by Joe Sambito (5-5, 10 sv, 1.84 ERA), Dave Smith (5-3, 8 sv, 2.76 ERA)  and Frank LaCorte (4-2, 5 sv, 3.64 ERA), but it was slim pickings after that. Amazingly, the Astros only used 12 pitchers all year (granted it was a 110 game season….but still).

The Astros dug a 3-12 hole to start the season and in April they were shutout 4 times and 4 other times only scored 1 run. They dug all the way out to 28-25, but then lost he last 4 games before the strike and finished the first half at 28-29 and 3rd place in the NL West. In the second half, they played very well including throwing 6 shutouts in September and they finished the second half at 33-20 and 1.5 games ahead of the luckless Reds. They would move on to play the Dodgers in the divisional.

Game 1 against the Dodgers in Houston was a Nolan Ryan – Fernando Valenzuela pitcher’s duel as Tony Scott knocked in Terry Puhl for the first run in the 6th and the Dodgers tied it with a Steve Garvey solo shot in the 7th inning. Nolan gave up only the one run on two hits through 9 and with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, Craig Reynolds sliced a single to center off Dave Stewart and Ashby followed with a dramatic walk-off homer down the line to take the first game 3-1.

The 2nd game in Houston featured more hitting and less scoring, and Joe Niekro, Dave Smith and Joe Sambito allowed the Astros to head to the bottom of the 11th tied 0-0. Phil Garner and Tony Scott both singled leading off the 11th and the Astros had runners at 1st and 3rd. But Terry Forster and Tom Niedenfuer sandwiched outs around an intentional walk, before Denny Walling ended it with a two out walk-off single, 1-0.

Moving back to Los Angeles with the Astros just one win away from taking the series, the Dodgers “exploded” for 3 runs in the first against Bob Knepper and added 3 more in the 8th off Sambito as they cake walked to a 6-1 win behind Burt Hooton.

In Game 4 Vern Ruhle pitched very well, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, but Valenzuela pitching on 3 days rest was better. The Astros did rally for a run in the ninth behind Puhl’s double and Scott’s two out single, but Jose Cruz popped up to end it 2-1 Dodgers.

Game 5 featured a Nolan Ryan / Jerry Reuss matchup, which was 0-0 heading in to the 6th. The Dodgers scored 3 runs (2 earned) on a walk, 3 singles and an error. They added a run off Dave Smith in the 7th and that was all she wrote. The Astros best shot was probably in the 6th where the Astros put their first three hitters on, but were short circuited by Tony Scott’s caught stealing.

As good as the Astros’ pitched in this series, they lost because of pitiful hitting. If you had told them they had a shot at winning a 5 game series where they scored 6 total runs, I’m sure they would have wondered how. Their collective slash was .179 BA/ .240 OBP/ .475 OPS with only 3 doubles and 2 HRs.

The Astros suffered through 3 games where they had a shot to end the series in their favor and fell short. It would be five more seasons before they had their next shot at the elusive ring.

 

 

81 comments on “Astros 1981: A strange brew season

  1. I hated the trade of Johnny Ray for Phil Garner. I think back then, the “old school” thinking was that you need veteran players with experience to win in the playoffs.

    Yes, Garner did well in 1979 with the Pirates, batting .417 in the NLCS and .500 in the World Series. He did score a run for the Astros in the 1981 NLDS, but only hit .111 (2 for 18).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was not my favorite year for the Astros. I was aggravated by the strike and not happy about losing Forsch.
    I did keep up with the team because of Ryan but I did lose interest though the year.
    Did Nolan throw a no-hitter that year or was it 80? I remember listening to one on the radio during that time.
    Listening to a no no on the radio is sheer torture. You find yourself holding your breath just waiting. By the time it was over I was a wreck.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. On AT&T Sportsnet they are showing Game 1 of the 1980 NLCS against the Phillies. The announcers are…. Howard Cosell and Don Drysdale!

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    • They are doing a feature on JR Richard from the time and they showed sportswriter Kenny Hand looking about 25 with a Bobby Sherman hair cut.

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    • I think Will Harris deserves to be on the list. He had 3 great years of WHIP under 1.0 and 2 very good years of WHIP under 1.1.

      For the Honorable Mentions, I would put Ryan Pressly on the list.

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      • I’m not arguing against Will Harris – his numbers here were top notch – just surprised they were recognized

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  4. A few items here ….
    – The MLB draft begins tonight at 6 PM Central time. It will cover the first round and the Competitive Balance picks after the first round tonight.
    – The rest of the draft – rounds 2-5 will occur on Thursday starting at 4PM Central time. The Astros first pick is #72 – between rounds 2 and 3 as compensation for Gerrit Cole.
    – I read a comment from a fan on mlbtraderumors.com that for some reason I had not thought of before. Basically, the standoff between the owners and the players is doubly dumb, because they would have a great chance to pull sports starved fans over to their game. Not just us fanatics returning, but folks who want a sniff of anything live. They could earn some fans long term, if they would just think big picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning to you Dan. All is good in my household. I hope yours is as well.

      The wife and I are avid cruisers and have four already purchased between August and January. Cannot wait!!

      I am reading a lot about D. Watson and he seems to be moving towards becoming a rabble rouser.

      Baseball is my only rock solid sport now and I cannot wait to see it live again. I am not positive, though, that it will be played this season. Your comment about the standoff, above, is a solid one and I see your point. Whereas, I was in the owners’ corner on this, I am now against both sides. Billionaires arguing with millionaires over money. Ugh!! At least take care of the minor leaguers who earn a mere pittance.

      Liked by 2 people

      • We are doing OK here – my father-in-law is in the hospital (non-COVID) – I would say it is not serious, but he’s 86 and everything is serious.

        Neither side in the baseball situation have my sympathy – my sympathy is with the minor leaguers and the folks who make a living working hard each game – ticket sellers, concessioners, ushers, etc.

        If I hear another owner claim how little they make in profits – I will urf. They may be able to show on paper how little they make but when it includes 10s of millions in things like depreciation I can’t buy into it. Plus the fact the teams are worth 5, 10, or more times what they bought them for….if it was such bad business they would not be in it.

        The players, if they have played any time at all, have made more money than 99% of the fans will make in their life times.

        It is a tough time for everyone – there are no tears left for either side. Figure it out or end up living with the fall out of it.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Just some baseball thoughts:
    -If you think that it is mere coincidence that the new Astros GM comes in from an organization that develops and then utilizes their own pitchers, take a deep dive into the Astros Top 30 prospects list. There are new and detailed evaluations on all of the Astros pitching prospects.
    -No Way do I want the players to accept the owners new proposal! This proposal follows the Astros having their top two picks over the next two years taken away and it would also deprive the Astros of getting any draft compensation for the loss of their free agent outfielders. Hell no!
    -This new proposal also gives a glimpse of what MLB is willing to give up in the new CBA: Draft compensation! Meaning we would also probably not get anything for losing Correa after 2021.
    -I’m hoping the deal the Astros have with Pedro Leon holds up. This guy’s
    batting numbers as a 19-20 year old in Cuba were amazing. And his best tool is his arm as an outfielder, which some scouts have given as high as an 80 rating.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I haven’t given it enough consideration, but really dislike the compensation plans we’ve seen for losing free agents. I don’t mind a team receiving compensation when a player leaves, but never liked the loss of the draft pick. When we started seeing reasonably good players sitting until June because no one would pay them AND lose the pick we should have known a change was needed. The MLBPA would likely reject my ideas because they would be too closely tied to salary control, but off the top of my head I’d change the system such that there are no sandwich/competitive balance picks. Instead, teams could lose their second round pick for various actions taken during the offseason, but the pick would just be forfeited. However, what would happen is a team signing a player from another team would have the option of paying a competitive balance fee directly to that team equal to to the difference in the average of salary and signing bonus commitments per year made to that free agent signee and his previous year’s salary with the team losing him or paying a flat fee determined each offseason based on previous season’s revenue plus their second round pick to the losing team. In the event a team has already lost their second round pick they would have to pay either the flat fee or that average money amount I mentioned – whichever was larger.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. MLB has pretty much lost my attention. I don’t care at this point. Neither the plight of owner nor on field employee concerns me in the least. But so many other jobs have been lost. And playing baseball in empty stadiums is not going to help many of the part time people so reliant on that income. I just don’t think Major League baseball players or owners have a real pulse on the reality around them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear ya, Dave. I am back into the cow business as of this AM. Instead of just buying the feed-out calf I talked about last week I purchased the calf and it’s first-time momma as a pair. The owner is cutting back on his herd and we got a fair deal on a young cow that has actually been here on our place for the past year and has already been bred back to our bull.
      So, now I have an investment to look after and give me something else to do besides build a baseball team. (I hope James Click and I see eye to eye on a lot of things). By the way, this new cow, Rusty, has been my wife’s favorite ever since we let her come graze here as a heifer.
      I think baseball would be better off sitting this season out and starting anew next spring. Just my own opinion. Not saying I won’t watch, but I think there are going to be rough times getting a partial season done.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree 1OP. Glad you’re back in the cow business. I think that might help make you less reliant on others. Glad you have Rusty (Le Grand Orange)on the team. My little outpost here is almost fully tourism driven. And there is no tourism now. I’m in some pain today as word finally came down from above requiring me to lay off half my staff. I’m trying to find jobs for them in a market that does not exist right now. I could be back in Houston pretty soon myself. So I guess it’s fair to say that I don’t have much sympathy for folks in the baseball business right now.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I put this in towards the end of the last post, but will repeat it here for those who may not have seen it:

    I think the players will reject the latest counter offer from the owners.

    I agree with the following article by Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/06/08/mlb-owners-players-are-focused-wins-losses-what-they-need-is-save/

    In the article, he endorses many ideas proposed by Roger Ehrenberg, founder of a New York-based venture capital firm: https://medium.com/@infoarbitrage

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, there are good ideas here and yes, the owners should not be shirking everything, but Ehrenberg is completely on the players’ side and ignores a few things that should be factored in.
      – Most of us “normal” people are sharing in the economic heart ache of our companies. We are working at reduced pay (like me) or reduced hours or not at all.
      – Most of us know that a big chunk of the money the owners will bring in is based on ticket sales and game day concessions.
      – The players should give in something here – even if it is getting paid 80% of their prorated salaries over 80 games.

      The bigger point that I do agree with is that this should not be a win-lose situation. Because in the longer run this could be a lose-lose for baseball.

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  8. I may be off-base here, but it seems to me that the time for opening every game [in any sport] with the playing of the National Anthem has passed. Too much controversy. In place of the Star Spangled Banner, from now on, I vote we play ‘Who ya Gonna Call?’ [the Theme from Ghost-busters]. And instead of ‘God Bless America’ playing during the 7th-inning stretch, perhaps we should just sing: ‘the Hokey Pokey Song’

    Liked by 1 person

    • So while Old pro is mating cows and bulls, Mr. Bill is drinking early and often today….
      Those would both be a kick, Mr. B, but don’t hold your breath on those (or shake it all around)….

      Like

  9. I saw a TV interview with the Commish….Rob Manfred in front of the draft coverage. I must say I was amazed that he was more uninspiring live than his lame written pronouncements on things. What a Zero!

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  10. Pretty excited, 6 months work in this draft!

    Logan Allen went #46, btw, Sarge. So, if fact, we never even had a chance to draft huim, much less our 2nd pick.

    If we have a shot at Kyle Nicolas, or Harold Coll, I’d select them at 72.
    Luke Little, as well.
    Some think Trei Cruz is still a good pick, but I’ve lost that lovin’ feeling in light of these others.. (cont)

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      • Well, Astros fans! We got a gem!

        We literally took the best available, because Alex Santos should have been taken #54 range. This means we were intending to sign and make a splash, instead of underslotting, saving for 4th, 5th. Astros must be so surprised he fell to them

        Liked by 1 person

    • High school pitcher out of the Bronx – right hander was ranked 56th overall by MLB – is he as good as Whitley, gostros?
      (That was a joke question)

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      • It will be interesting to dig into the Top 30 after tonight. Santos will probably be in the #23-range, as a current 45+ Future Value (with the potential for 55+). Whitley is still 60-65. It’s still a good question.

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    • I’ll get some video and a write-up. Frankly, I never thought we could get him, never did a deep dive because of that. It’s wonderful news we’re on the same page of pitching, though. Spells confidence in position players in-house, and for bargains yet to come.

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  11. With the 72nd pick the Astros get the #56 ranked player. 18 year old pitcher from the Bronx. 2019 HS All- American.
    Alex Santos II.

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  12. Well he’s somewhere between 6’3” and 6’4” and weighs 185 to 215. He might look like Roger Clemens when he fills out. From all accounts, it seems we got some pretty good 18 year old talent for that 72nd pick.

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    • I was off on Cam Brown (big time!), and the two I thought might go 101 near the wire weren’t picked.

      It appears we were going underslot with Brown, to save $ for 4th, or 5th round. A 4th year Junior, we can pay him les than $577K, Brown was ranked #133.

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  13. Well, there goes Dabovich, and Luke Little.

    Astros up in 10 more picks 14 more picks, and I can only think they’re targeting someone. If it’s a position player, like the OF, it will be intriguing, since we plan on prospects to fill that area; and Springer.

    We passed on a very talented 3B in Coby Mayo, who went 103, so that should say something about wanting to keep Toro, perhaps?

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    • Daniels has loud tools: plus-plus raw power, plus speed.

      Teams had hoped to see him for a full season this year, though, to ease production concerns.

      “Coach (Josh) Elander definitely helped me a lot (with my hitting),” the 21-year-old said. “They brought in Coach (Luke) Bonfield as well and he definitely helped me. They worked together and just being able to talk to them as power hitters in college and later in the pros How they went about each at-bat, how they made adjustments. … I’m definitely more comfortable hitting off speed pitches and taking my walks now. I’m definitely better at pitch recognition along with a better approach.”

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  14. I’m okay with the results of this mini draft. Santos already looks like a pitcher and has multiple tools, even at 18, even hardly playing the past two years, even coming from a cold weather season. Brown, if he stays healthy will figure out a way. He’s certainly not going to cheat the Astros with a lack of effort. Daniels seems to me the longest shot of the 4. But high risk, high reward. An excellent athlete. Can he learn to hit? I’m already envisioning Whitcomb as a utility guy.

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  15. I’m not a scout. Not even close. But the Astros don’t scout much. They evaluate based on performance and stats. So what do I like about this draft?
    – Our last pick, Shay Whitcomb, has a beautiful swing, which is something you don’t hear often about a RH hitter. He reminds me of a right-handed version of Abraham Toro’s left-handed swing. Whitcomb is big, for a SS and doesn’t seem to have the arm for SS. However, he seems sure handed, has good acceleration and his arm and his bat might play very well in the outfield. His bat will determine if he will be a regular or a super sub.
    -Our first pick, Alex Santos reminds me of Schroeder, the guy we got out of Washington a few years ago. The Astros have spent the last two seasons revamping Schroeder’s delivery to try and make him into a successful major league starting pitcher. Schroeder’s journey is similar to Whitley’s, in that they don’t care about his path to the majors, they care about what he is capable of doing when he gets there. I see the Astros trying to rework Santos’s high leg kick making his delivery more classic while letting him keep his excellent array of pitches.
    -I love the Astros’ third pick. For fifty years we have enjoyed Jack Daniels from Tennessee.
    Anyway, the Astros saw something in Zach Daniels. Let’s hope that what he showed in this spring was truly a JD Martinez type ahah moment for him.
    -Tyler Brown was the closer for the 2019 NCAA National Champs. He’s got the right stuff. The Astros drafted him as a starter, becuse they think he would have been a starter on any other college team. He has four solid pitches. If it doesn’t work out, then they already know he can be an effective reliever.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hopefully the union rejects MLB’s new proposal because it eliminates free agent compensation, which is bad for the Astros.
    Rejecting the proposal will, hopefully lead to a 54 game regular season, which is the fairest way of paring up teams and games in a 3-division season.
    Each team would play the other 9 teams in their division a total of six times, three each at home and 3 each on the road. Each team would carry 30 players for the first two weeks, 28 for the next 2 weeks and 26 for the remainder of the seasons.
    This plan would give MLB plenty of time to pull off a short season and a longer playoff schedule. It would get more teams into the playoffs and get more money from TV.
    And the Astros would not get robbed of more draft picks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1OP, I agree with not eliminating free agent compensation.

      Your proposed schedule would be the fairest way to do things, but I think owners care about $$ more than they care about fairness.

      I think if there is a season, the owners want to have the teams play in (or near) their own time zones to cut down on travel costs and possibly better TV ratings. (e.g. AL East teams would play the 4 other AL East teams and the 5 NI East teams; Central plays against Central; West plays against West).

      I think maybe 8 games against the other 4 league division teams and 6 against the other 5 opposite-league teams = 62 games.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I believe Houston native son, Curt Flood, would have a problem with the elimination of the free agent compensation. However, I do agree with your premise.

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  17. Game 3 of the 1980 NLCS against the Phillies is on AT&T Sportsnet
    Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell and the third guy….Jim Palmer? Can’t tell – I’m getting old

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  18. Good evening everybody…..I haven’t posted for a while because I’ve been dealing with my health. I had a pretty bad compression fractures of my T8 vertebrae in April 11th and I had surgery on May 6th I never really recovered from that, and about a month ago I bent down to pick up a cherry pit, and I was in excruciating pain. After another MRI, a CT scan and countless x-rays I finally got the news that I had another compression fracture of T7. I will have another surgery next Wed at 7:00.
    I feel like I’ve been living in the Twilight Zone….the pain has literally been unbearable. I’m sooo glad I have this wonderful husband who has had to do EVERYTHING in our house, along with putting me to bed inch-by inch. I told him I don’t hate anyone enough to wish this on them. I would appreciate your prayers for me on Wed, that I will feel like my old smart mouth self again.
    I haven’t even THOUGHT about baseball so far this year. Becky⚾

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  19. Happiest guy around may be Shay Whitcomb, the Astros 5th round draft choice and the last person picked in the MLB draft. Though he may not sign for exactly this amount – his draft slot is worth over $320,000. If he was not drafted… the biggest bonus an undrafted player can receive is $20,000.

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    • Talks with and signings of non-drafted players for $20,000 are allowed to be done starting Sunday morning at 9 am, central time. Teams have not been allowed to talk to undrafted players up until that time. Teams are allowed to offer scholarships to players for college in addition to the $20,000 signing bonus.

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      • Watch for Flower Mound, Tx., Cam Brown to stick close to home??

        I’d love to see the Astros swoop in, and still cannot believe he wasn’t drafted.

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      • That clears up my questions about why he didn’t sign, thank you.

        One reason I thought he’d fit the profile, however was that most Texas kids would want to stay close to home during the travel issues surrounding the virus.

        It appears that ex-Astro Saarloos has been loyal to Cam, and he’s rewarding them with honored commitment. Even so, there’s no better team than the Astros to come as a pitcher, and that is well-known among players.

        “There will be times when I just call up [Kirk], the pitching coach there, and we’ll have a chat about a pitch I’m trying out or different tips he’s been giving me,” Brown said. “They’ve helped me so much and I’m not even playing for them yet.”

        This just goes to show how much teams have to do before the pick to get assurance the propsect/prep will sign!

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  20. I think we all knew sign stealing was rampant.

    And now we all know for sure, Rob Manfred deliberately hid evidence the Yankees stole signs.

    Isn’t it kind of funny that light is shed at midnight on Friday, during a pandemic? Oh, and right after Cora gets headlines for blaming the WHOLE team. Which insinuates Altuve, even though Tony Adams research shows otherwise

    I do believe Rob Manfred should be fired immediately post haste, before they try to cover up further and compound their treacherous ways. The shame of allowing all that hate to come only Houston’s way is reprehensible. It was all I could do since the beginning to try and help others to know it was league-wide, where DK and Musgrove said we were “competing”.

    Imagine all those poor souls who riled against our beloved and loyal fans? The Shame Tour — where is it now? Will they retract?

    See headlines calling this a conspiracy. It never ends!
    This is the most disturbing thing about baseball today. they continue naratives to deflect the horrors inside; like child trafficking (LAD, Atl), and drug distribution (LAA), etc.

    https://www.nj.com/yankees/2020/06/judge-to-unseal-letter-that-allegedly-shows-mlb-hid-yankees-sign-stealing.html?fbclid=IwAR0Fq8JpOJ6s4dNOoA-6hpmu5l3cL_ik19Xl3mK7OaE58gvADzxDKXUMhm8

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      • Imagine the enormity of dispatching the minions at this point, Sarge? The’re writing furiously about “no proof,” and trying to figure out how to suppress evidence. Coordinating with lawyers. How in the world, like Girardi caught in his lie, will they shape this to make it go away?

        I find this a direct reflection of how all these people have been whipped into a frenzy (and hired to go from town to town) looting. How a story can run about sectioning off Seattle, then Ashville, NC follows suit the next day. Is there any real journalism anymore, or are those people pigeon-holed all as, “whistle blowers,” and conspiracy theorists? In fact, if two or more get together to do something illegal, that’s called conspiracy.

        Sad when the truth is so uncomfortable, when those perpetrating the lie cannot see what was obvious from the start. Taking the fans for granted will be the sport’s ultimate demise.

        Liked by 1 person

    • The Yankee fans have been the most obnoxious about this whole thing and if there is a franchise that needs to be bumped off its high horse – that is the one. But why do I somehow think they will slither through this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • They will manage to slither thru because now, three years later, it will be Girardi, the Phillies manager, who will be forced to resign and the Yankees will walk away without paying for anything.

        Like

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