Some have called it “the biggest cheating scandal in North American sports history” in reference to the Houston Astros’ saga of signal-stealing that marred the 2017 Major League Baseball season and the World Championships.
Now, nearly five years after the scandal and all but a handful of perpetrators still beg the question:
Is it time to move forward?
To answer the question, we need a little background.
The 2017 team used central field cameras and other technologies to steal signals from opposing teams, so the Astros could transmit information from the video room to the bunker with decoded signals.
These decoded signals would then be transmitted to the hitters in the batter’s box through various modes, perhaps the most famous of which was hitting the trash so that the hitters knew what kind of pitch he was about to throw.
This unprecedented advantage arguably gave Houston the indisputable upper hand against competing teams and throws.
When it came to a head, the team was fined $5 million, general manager Jeff Lono and manager AJ Hinch were both suspended and Houston lost first and second round picks in both the 2020 and 2021 MLB drafts.
Since then, Luhnow and Hinch are no longer with the organization and all but José Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel play elsewhere or are retired.
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The punishment was harsh, and Houston paid for it, and since then he has won five MLS Western Leagues and two MLS pennants.
New stars have appeared in Kyle Tucker, Framber Valdez, Jeremy Pena, lest we forget Jordan Alvarez. All of that wasn’t part of the organization at the MLB level during the time of the cheating scandal.
Their farm system thrived in the player development zone, while many believed that it would be devastated by the loss of draft picks. They continue to produce major league talent, and look no further than Pina who has replaced production Carlos Correa and more recently started bowler Hunter Brown.
Keep winning and succeeding. It is a testament to the organization.
Now during this MLB 2022 season, the Astros have once again held the AL West title and are all but a lock to secure the number one seed in the AL. They did it all without cheating, mostly without players tarnished by the 2017 scandal, and they have become one of the most professional sports organizations in the industry. Not just baseball, but all sports.
It’s hard to continue to point to the cheating scandal as the source of their success. It’s also becoming difficult to remain angry with the saga, especially given the speed with which those are forgotten in this space we call sports.
As the boos from opposing teams grow a little quieter with each game and the voices of rising stars rise on the lips of baseball fans everywhere, perhaps, it is finally time to move on.
More from SI’s Inside The Astros:
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- Report: Former Astros Pitcher Fiers contract terminated by CPBL Club
- Can the Houston Astros handle Jordan Alvarez’s loss?
- Is there any hope for Yuli Guriel’s old age?
- Houston Astros MLB business transaction classification deadline
- Jeremy Peña is not competing for the Rookie of the Year award, and that’s a good thing
- The Houston Astros are preparing for another World Series
- Mancini Mania: Behind the Houston Astros’ latest history streak
- Trey Mancini gives the Houston Astros a much deeper lineup
- Alvarez of Astros stopped striking and became the best hitter in baseball
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