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Thread: MLB 2020 Season

  1. #16
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    I mean if people are up in arms about "using technology to steal signs and cheat" (and using a pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses when stealing signs the traditional way is still using technology to steal signs) imagine what's going to happen in 5-10 years when MLB inevitably goes with roboumps to call balls and strikes and some team finds a way to hack the system to affect the calls, and it will inevitably happen because every time new tech is introduced in the game, teams race to figure out how to best exploit it until some outside force causes them to pull back on the throttle. No one cared about players using amphetamines during games to enhance their abilities in game (and a lot of records were set/broken by players using them but no one was screaming for asterisks on those records), but PEDs were a bridge too far and people lost their crap because it "negatively impacted the image of the game" and it's the same here. I think more teams are upset the Astros figured out how to do it and got their first than are actually upset they did it at all, but the negative reaction has "impacted" the perception of the integrity of the game, so now it becomes an issue.

    It's a cycle that's been a part of the game since its inception. It's only when the blowback becomes too hot that things get reigned in and everyone acts like it's the worst thing that ever happened to game. In a few years it will be something else. What will be a tragedy is if some Astro players gets killed or seriously injured affecting their life and career because someone decides a beanball (i.e. assault with a deadly weapon) is an appropriate response to the whole situation.

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  2. #17
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    My opinion is that the Astros' Wold Series should be vacated. Their cheating stole a pennant and WS and hurt the careers of many.
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  3. #18
    Astonishing Member Joker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    (and using a pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses when stealing signs the traditional way is still using technology to steal signs)
    Dumb take, dude.

  4. #19
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    Dumb take, dude.
    Every team uses technology to get an edge. The field of sabremetrics is based on using technology to get an edge. Every team steals signs, if they didn't we wouldn't have catchers changing signs every game when someone is on base and constant trips to the mound to get on the same page with the pitcher because they changed the signs. Scouts sat in the stands using binoculars and telephoto lenses to read/steal signs signs long before the there were television cameras and video equipment at every game. Technology has always been used to steal signs and always been used to get an edge in the game of baseball. Denying that simple fact is the dumb take. Acting like what the Astros did is unprecedented is foolish. Was it wrong, yes. No question. But it's not unprecedented and it's not out of line with what every teams advance scouting and front office analysts do every day from the first workout of spring training to the last pitch of the world series every season. The Astros got there first and got caught. 29 other teams were using tech any way they could to get every advantage they could in as close to real time as they could. But everyone is now acting like it's unprecedented and that using tech to get an advantage is unheard of in baseball. It's not. They crossed a line, but the entire league has had their toes over that line forever.

    Was the punishment appropriate? I don't think so. I would have done more to punish the organization as a whole starting with the following:

    -Lose international slot singing pool for 2 seasons.

    -Not be able to make qualifying offers and get draft picks for other teams signing your free agents for 3 seasons.

    -team pays the highest tax penalty as if they were over the tax threshold for 5 seasons, the money is added to the pool split among all the teams for tax penalties.

    -Astros forfeit their portion of the MLB television contract revenue for 2 seasons, the money is divided among the remaining 29 teams.

    -Astros forfeit revenue from merchandise sales (hats, jerseys, pennants, bobbleheads, etc.) except those sold in the Astros ballpark itself for 1 season. The revenue is divided among the other 29 teams.

    -Astros players forfeit their playoff and world series shares from 2017 and the money is donated to MLB charities including the RBI youth baseball programs in the cities of the teams they faced in the 2017 post-season.

    -Astros cannot appear on nationally televised games during the regular season for 2 seasons (no ESPN Sunday night baseball, no TBS game of the week, no Fox Saturday games, etc.)

    The Astros crossed a line to get a competitive advantage. The punishment should put them at a competitive disadvantage. Limiting revenue, enforcing tax penalties, losing signing pool, and removing tools used to limit other teams chasing their free agents all put them at a competitive disadvantage.

    Stripping them of a title or a trophy is symbolic at best, but does nothing to actually punish the organization moving forward. Hit them in their ability to acquire and retain talent and hit the team in its ability to generate revenue for a few years. This is what would provide the kind of disincentive that would prevent other teams from crossing the line in the future. The punishment we got was a joke, and stripping the title would be as much a joke. You have to make the punishment a burden on the team and its owner if it is going to be meaningful in any way. Suspending GMs and managers, token fines, and other symbolic gestures will do nothing to deter other teams from continuing to pursue whatever competitive advantage they can through whatever means (technological or otherwise) they can.

    However, the reason we did not see that type of punishment handed down is because the use of technology and the constant seeking of any and all competitive advantages teams can get are ingrained into the very fabric of baseball now (and has been for a long, long time now) and all 30 teams have built front offices, rosters, scouting departments, analytics departments, and invested billions of dollars into doing just that, and they are not about to stop doing that or throw away all that infrastructure and investment just because one team crossed the line and got caught. The owners didn't want that, so their commissioner wasn't about to do that.


    Hell, 15 years ago when I Was still involved in coaching high school sports I would see high school baseball games where parents were videotaping innings looking for catcher signs then coming to the dugout in between innings and relaying that info to the coaching staff and then third base coaches would try to tip the batter as to what was coming during the next inning, etc. That was 15 years ago in high school baseball where hundreds of millions of dollars were not at stake, so to think it wasn't being done at a major league level in some fashion long before that where the resources and stakes are that much higher is naive at best. So again, what the Astros did was not unprecedented and out of line with what has been happening in baseball forever, but they took it too far, made it too obvious, crossed a line and got caught.

    -M
    Last edited by MRP; 02-18-2020 at 10:02 PM.
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  5. #20
    Astonishing Member Joker's Avatar
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    The dumb take is equating the use of eye glasses to what the Astros did.

    It’s apples and Chevrolets.

    What people are upset about isn’t the use of technology to gain an advantage. People are upset because the Astros knew that what they were doing was wrong. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have lied. For years. They’re liars, who cheated and won cheating. That’s what people are upset about.

    Now they’re turning themselves into the victims. It’s gross. They’re gaslighting the whole world now that they got caught doing something they knew was wrong the entire time. This is what abusers do. It is a tactic and they are using it to try and turn the heat off themselves. It is an abusive tactic. It’s appalling.

    If you want to write 15 paragraphs about the history and fine art of stealing signs, by all means. No one is going to debate that it’s a part of the game. Always has been. Doesn’t change that what the Astros did was wrong, and their handling of the entire situation has been a fucking disaster filled with years of lies, and meaningless apologies from a club that can’t seem to avoid catastrophe after public catastrophe, learn nothing from any of it, and then turn around and try to gaslight an entire org, every other team, and all the fans.

    So go ahead and tell me agin how this is the same as using fucking eye glasses.
    Last edited by Joker; 02-19-2020 at 01:29 AM.

  6. #21
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    The dumb take is equating the use of eye glasses to what the Astros did.

    It’s apples and Chevrolets.

    What people are upset about isn’t the use of technology to gain an advantage. People are upset because the Astros knew that what they were doing was wrong. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have lied. For years. They’re liars, who cheated and won cheating. That’s what people are upset about.

    Now they’re turning themselves into the victims. It’s gross. They’re gaslighting the whole world now that they got caught doing something they knew was wrong the entire time. This is what abusers do. It is a tactic and they are using it to try and turn the heat off themselves. It is an abusive tactic. It’s appalling.

    If you want to write 15 paragraphs about the history and fine art of stealing signs, by all means. No one is going to debate that it’s a part of the game. Always has been. Doesn’t change that what the Astros did was wrong, and their handling of the entire situation has been a fucking disaster filled with years of lies, and meaningless apologies from a club that can’t seem to avoid catastrophe after public catastrophe, learn nothing from any of it, and then turn around and try to gaslight an entire org, every other team, and all the fans.

    So go ahead and tell me agin how this is the same as using fucking eye glasses.
    it its most basic form both are technology that let you see things you cannot see with your naked eye unaided (in cases of people who are near or far sighted for eyeglasses) and enable people steal signs when used when they couldn't otherwise because they couldn't see it. Both are tolos making it easier to steal signs, which as you conceded is part of the game. And people are upset the Astros cheated and lied about it. Sure. And if sign stealing is a part of the game and it's not using technology to do it that is the part that is wrong, then why are people upset the Astros used technology to do something that has been part of the game forever. And teams have covered up cheating and lied about it forever, usually when they knew what they were doing was wrong but gave them a competitive advantage (everything from PEDs to amphetamines, to corked bats, to foreign substances on gloves, sleeves, necks, etc.) all of which were done when teams were aware of it or condoned it and then lied about to cover up until someone went too far or got caught and then everyone was up in arms about it (usually blowing things way out of proportion) and talking about how it would destroy the integrity of the game, until in almost every case it blew over or was replaced by the next worse thing to ever happen to the game that will destroy the game's future. Ans the Astros apology was about as sincere as that of many of the PED users who apologized for cheating but didn't mean it either and tied to turn themselves into the victim (look at say Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa or Jose Canseco for PED users playing the victim card to turn the heat off themselves).

    I have said repeatedly that the Astros did wrong and punishment did not fit the deed, but people are blowing this whole thing way out of proportion as we as a society have turned outrage into a fine art. What the Astros did was a result of the systemic problem of the way MLB is currently constructed and the analytics driven behaviors team relentlessly pursue-all 30 of them, not just the Astros. It is not an aberration but the culmination of the path MLB as a whole has been on for decades.

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  7. #22
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Hate on the Astros crossed borders into other sports, case in point:

    LeBron James Weighs in on Astros Cheating Scandal, Rips Rob Manfred

    Listen I know I don’t play baseball but I am in Sports and I know if someone cheated me out of winning the title and I found out about it I would be F*^king irate!
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  8. #23
    Astonishing Member Joker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    it its most basic form both are technology that let you see things you cannot see with your naked eye unaided
    Wow. Thanks for breaking that one down.

    I now understand how it is the same as cheating, lying, and gaslighting.
    Last edited by Joker; 02-19-2020 at 11:04 AM.

  9. #24
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    Why Rob Manfred should reconsider stripping the Astros World Series title

    Rob Manfred is, by trade, a labor lawyer. Harvard-educated. Years of experience.

    He isn’t, you could argue at least, a baseball guy, despite the fact he’s worked full time for Major League Baseball since 1998 and been its commissioner since 2015.

    Maybe that was the issue. Maybe that was the blind spot.

    Faced with a massive cheating scandal that involved the 2017 World Series champion Houston Astros, Manfred thought like a lawyer — reacting cautiously, limiting exposure, setting the terms of the investigation and then finally doling out sanctions that leaned heavily on precedent (both established and future) rather than punishment.

    He didn’t act like someone with his finger on the pulse of baseball. Now he is paying the price.

    On a seemingly hourly basis, Manfred’s decision to spare individual Astros from any punishment and his refusal to strip Houston of that World Series title is getting blasted by the players themselves. The response has been overwhelming, both in volume and vastness.
    And this has me concerned and Astros new skipper Dusty Baker going DEFCON 1 before the first pitch of spring training has been thrown:

    The players want their peers punished, humiliated, called out. Or worse.

    “I feel like every single guy over there needs a beating,” Atlanta outfielder Nick Markakis said.

    The commissioner didn’t dole out justice. So now it may go vigilante-style, beanballs and spikes-up slides.
    This season has the potential to be plenty damn messy, definitely NOT what baseball wants, or needs.
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  10. #25
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    The players who cheated should be suspended, at the least. This has pervaded at Houston for at least three seasons! Stripping Houston of the title does nothing to the players who willingly chose to strap on buzzers and cheat that way. Those guys are just like the Black Sox in my book.

    On to bigger and brighter things - my A's are set to go, first spring training game this weekend against the Cubbies!
    Last edited by Scott Taylor; 02-20-2020 at 11:32 AM.
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  11. #26
    Astonishing Member Joker's Avatar
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    I'm just imagining the Astros lead off batter any time a team uses an "opener".

  12. #27
    Fighting Injustice on CBR SUPERECWFAN1's Avatar
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    Lets put this comical perspective...Pete Rose bet on MLB games and himself to win ...and he has a life time suspension from baseball. Meanwhile these guys openly cheated , was proven and they suffered nothing from it. Hell they still get to call themselves World Series champions.

    If only Pete Rose had done this.
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  13. #28
    Mighty Member babyblob's Avatar
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    I know Pete Rose sent a letter to the commish asking that his ban be lifted and pointed out the Astros as a reason he should be. Nothing will come of it because no matter what you do in Baseball nothing is worse then gambling for some reason.
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  14. #29
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    The reason it is different is because Baseball had no formalized rules for this type of cheating, and Manfred gave the players immunity if they talked. Every club house had the rule that gambling on baseball meant being banned for life when Rose did it.

    I am not saying one is worse than the other.
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  15. #30
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUPERECWFAN1 View Post
    Lets put this comical perspective...Pete Rose bet on MLB games and himself to win ...and he has a life time suspension from baseball. Meanwhile these guys openly cheated , was proven and they suffered nothing from it. Hell they still get to call themselves World Series champions.

    If only Pete Rose had done this.
    Its individual versus a team thing. Pete Rose chose to bet on games and then fixed those games so he would win money. The Astros gave themselves a big advantage but this was a team thing done by management as well as the players - all of them knew about it except maybe the bat boy. Plus the immunity thing as has been mentioned. The fact that we know so much is precisely because of the immunity. Same as in a courtroom where a witness is given immunity for spilling the beans against a mob boss.

    Rest assured, though, the Astros players are going to get theirs. Cleats in the face, balls on their shoulders and heads, a little tripping here and there - its going to be one ugly season for them, especially in away games.
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