It’s been almost 10 days since The Athletic broke the news of the Astros camera-based sign-stealing scandal, and we at Dodgers Digest haven’t really touched on it. It’s understandable, seeing as the 2017 World Series was probably the worst baseball-based pain we’ve ever experienced. I’m going to try to convey some of my thoughts. There’s every chance what follows isn’t going to make you feel any better, so I won’t be mad if you stop reading now. (Thanks for the click!)
Let me be clear: These are just my thoughts. I don’t speak for the other writers. They are more than welcome to chime in with their own articles.
I don’t want to rehash the whole scandal. I don’t want to bring up painful memories for folks. However, this is an unfortunate side effect of the Astros’ fuckery.
This hurts. This sucks. I’m still not over the 2017 World Series and probably never will be. But this scandal doesn’t change the fact that the Dodgers lost — even if they were at a competitive disadvantage because of the “alleged” (and I even hesitate to put that in quotation marks) sign-stealing using cameras. You’ve seen the Twitter and Reddit threads with video evidence — some of it against the Dodgers in the ’17 World Series — and it’s so painfully obvious what was happening, even if we didn’t notice it at the time.
No punishment the Astros receive will take away the sting of the Dodgers losing the best championship opportunity they’ve had since 1988. Vacating the championship (which is not going to happen) won’t make up for it, either. There is nothing that’s going to take away that sting. In the end, the Dodgers had plenty of opportunities and almost won. But they didn’t, and they didn’t solely lose because of the cheating.
The more important thing to take away from this whole scandal is that MLB gets the punishment right. This simply cannot happen, and shady practices like this probably aren’t limited to Minute Maid Park. But an example has to be made — something that will deter teams from circumventing the rules to gain a competitive advantage. There are, undoubtedly, other teams that have engaged in this kind of behavior or other ethically questionable tactics, so those teams might be in line for severe penalties, depending what happens with MLB’s investigation.
Make no mistake: The Astros profited immensely because of their championship. Eric Stephen, on the most recent episode of his podcast, hypothesized that the Astros probably made $100 million in revenue because of the win. That includes merchandise, future ticket sales and so on. I’m not saying they need to be fined $100 million, but the punishment must fit the crime and set the precedent.
As much as it’d be nice to own some Dodgers 2017 World Series Championship gear, it’d be better if they had won it outright. But tweets like this don’t really help.
It’s not Arash’s fault, honestly. I get it. At the same time, this is just salt in the wound and it upsets me.
We can joke about it on Twitter all we want, but the fact is, the Astros are the 2017 champions. But hey, at least the Dodgers lost without che … yeah, I can’t even finish that.
Much smarter people have written more eloquently about this topic than I have. No amount of schadenfreude is going to make Kenley Jansen not throw middle-middle cutter on 0-2; it’s not going to make Cody Bellinger‘s fly ball go 375 feet as opposed to 368 feet; it’s not going to allow Clayton Kershaw to protect 4-run and 3-run leads; it’s not going to make them score more than one run in Game 7. It’s not going to make any of us feel any better — that’s the shitty truth.