November 20, 2019

Manfred Wants Everyone To Believe Sign-Stealing Scandal Does Not Extend Beyond Astros

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated on Tuesday that he sees "no reason to believe" the sign-stealing scandal extends beyond the Houston Astros. So the other 29 teams should be as clean as a whistle. Whew. That's good news for MLB.

There may be one little problem, however. Manfred's statement is contradicted by numerous media reports, as well as common sense, the entire history of sports, and a rudimentary understanding of human beings.
Any allegations that relate to a rule violation that could affect the outcome of a game or games is the most serious matter. It relates to the integrity of the sport. In terms of where we are, we have a very active – what is going to be a really, really thorough investigation ongoing. But beyond that, I can't tell you how close we are to done. ... Right now, we are focused on the information that we have with respect to the Astros. I'm not going to speculate on whether other people are going to be involved. We'll deal with that if it happens, but I'm not going to speculate about that. I have no reason to believe it extends beyond the Astros at this point in time. ...

I'm not going to speculate on what the appropriate discipline is. That depends on how the facts are established at the end of the investigation. The general warning I issued to the clubs, I stand by. It certainly could be all of those [past disciplinary actions], but my authority under the major league constitution would be broader than those things as well. ... I certainly would hope that we would be done [with our investigation] before we start playing baseball again.
That's what Manfred said. What he meant (knowing some serious labour-related shit will be hitting the public fan when the current CBA expires after the 2021 season) was: "I have no desire to believe it extends beyond the Astros."

[I have four words for Manfred re his first sentence: Inconsistent. Incompetent. Biased. Umpires.]

The original article, written by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich and published eight days ago at The Athletic, stated quite clearly the Astros' system was created by a player who had been stealing signs (presumably in a somewhat similar manner, not with his keen eyesight) with his previous team.
Early in the 2017 season, at least two uniformed Astros got together to start the process. One was a hitter who was struggling at the plate and had benefited from sign stealing with a previous team, according to club sources; another was a coach who wanted to help.
The article includes three mentions in the first four paragraphs (and before the word count passes 95) that "illegal sign stealing, particularly through advanced technology" is everywhere in MLB.

There is a broad story about this era of baseball that has yet to be told.

To this point, the public’s understanding of sign stealing mostly rests on anonymous second-hand conjecture and finger-pointing. But inside the game, there is a belief which is treated by players and staff as fact: That illegal sign stealing, particularly through advanced technology, is everywhere.

It’s an issue that permeates through the whole league,” one major league manager said. “The league has done a very poor job of policing or discouraging it.”

Electronic sign stealing is not a single-team issue.
MLB's investigation will be a worthless whitewash. I don't think anyone expects anything else. But, at the very least, it may distract Manfred from coming up more shitty ideas that will only alienate long-time fans and create more problems for the game.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Didn't Selig "hand-pick" Manfred to be his replacement? The old used car salesman probably smelled someone who could make his tenure look a little better.