The Ridicuous Rulings of MLB
The hypocrisy of baseballs rulings with the Astros "cheating" Scandal
So apparently stealing signs in MLB is worse than using steroids now. Yes, sign stealing which is a part of every game, in every level is more frowned upon than juicing up to the gills the way they did in the '90s and the way some players are still doing today. Now I get it, the reason the Astros, and Red Sox are in so much hot water is because they used technology to steal the signs, and for that, the General Manager of the Houston Astros and their manager, and the Red Sox manager has been fired.
So let us reflect on something real quick: Use steroids, get juiced up, put up big numbers and sign multi-year, a 200 million dollar contract and possibly get elected to the Hall of Fame, when steroids have been made illegal. Then use technology to steal signs from the opposing team and have sanctions placed on you and ridiculous proportions. Before A.J Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were fired by the Astros, they were given a one year ban. Before the league threw down sanctions on the Red Sox, manager Alex Cora decided to step down as the team's skipper. So you don't get suspended for a whole season when using steroids until you fail a second drug test, but meanwhile, get caught "cheating" by stealing signs, and you get banned for a year. So you can fail two steroid tests, get suspended for half a season for the first one, a full season for the second one, but yet still you get your millions of dollars that was based on inflated numbers. Seems fair and just, right? Well, I completely disagree, I think it is ridiculous and Major League Baseball ought to be ashamed of themselves.
So the MLB rulebook states that stealing signs itself isn't illegal, but using a camera, or binoculars or other objects foreign to the game is illegal. Here is the thing, the camera angle baseball uses on television is a perfect angle for someone to steal signs. The runner on second base if there is one, can steal signs. So not only that, players are allowed to get scouting tapes and watch tapes of a pitcher and catcher to study the pitcher and his pitches. That isn't illegal but yet if you have someone sitting in the outfield with binoculars, it is illegal. You can watch the replay of a game in which that pitcher threw, and see the signs a catcher throws down, and what the pitcher throws and that is ok, but if you have footage from one of your cameras at the stadium, it is illegal.
Here is the problem with baseball and other teams being mad about this whole deal about sign stealing. You can steal signs by watching the game feed on the television channel the game is on, you can steal signs by having a runner on second, and you can steal signs by watching the other dugout. Quite honestly, if you ask most hitters they don't want someone trying to feed them signs because they will be relying on the sign being relayed as opposed to what they see from a hitters perspective. But the issue is why make it illegal to electronically steal signs when you plaster it all over television with the camera angles you show. To take it even further, all the highlight shows, have the experts go in-depth about when a pitcher throws what in whichever particular situation and it isn't illegal for the players to watch that and use it to their advantage, so why make "sign stealing" illegal?
Then we go to the hypocrisy of MLB, the league just absolutely hates steroids and steroid users. They say it cheats the game and makes the playing field uneven. But yet, players use steroids to gain an advantage and artificially inflate their numbers. This leads to greater player success, which in turn leads to bigger contracts. A player can go from a $70 million contract over 5 years to an 8-year contract worth over $250 million. So you get popped on a test once, you lose half a season but you get to keep your millions that signed for when you cheated, you get popped a second time and lose a season but still get to keep your millions. Now granted while you're suspended, you don't get paid, but as soon as you're active again, you get your $30 million contracts that start over. But yet, get caught stealing signs which every team does, then you get suspended for a year.
So that being said baseball needs to make it clear. Do they want steroids out of the game, or are they going to worry more about the stealing of signs? Is it cheating when you can watch TV and steal signs, or is it worse when you are enhancing yourself using illegal drugs? If you ask baseball, they will tell you the steroids. But given this situation it will show you that they are more worried about the perception people will have, and quite honestly if the Astros hadn't beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the league's biggest markets, would it even be an issue?
Until Next Time,
Make everything legal, or don't ban it all
Baseball is declining for a reason.
Why is it we care if baseball players cheat but don't care about football players being juiced up to the gills?