MLB: Will 2020 Be The Most Bloody Year In Baseball?
With the cheating scandals of the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox still on the public mind, it becomes much larger in the minds of our favorite players. Of course on the surface, one can make the general argument that “it was just the 2017 and 2018 world series”. It may have been much more than that. For the cheating to have been perfected to the level it was, that takes time. Especially for players to be able to differentiate the sounds of when a changeup was on the way and whatnot. That aside, this affects more than just the fans and some butthurt politicians in Los Angeles. This alters the very integrity of MLB. A sport that all involved has grown up loving and participating in.
The thing about the league’s punishment is that it was swift, and sent a message at least at first. Then the more you think about it, you recognize that it was not even close to enough of what should have happened. All Bob Crane has to see is, well I only paid these guys for a season or so, and saw my team win a World Series and appear in another, and the only thing extra it cost me was five million dollars. The league should have vacated the titles, not given them to the Dodgers like that previously mentioned soft bunch of charlatans on the Los Angeles City Council want. The main reason for that is because this cheating scandal went extremely deep. There are videos from the regular season where you can hear the trash can being knocked when the changeup is called thanks to Jomboy. So how deep did this go exactly?
This whole thing has lit a fire under a lot of different players on Twitter coming out and skewering the Houston Astros for this. The players are extremely upset, and that’s only the ones that have become public. Then as a player to see that none of the players on the Houston Astros were even punished? That has got to light a fire under some of the pitchers. Let’s go down the ultra-extreme road for just a second. Assuming that the Astros have been doing this ever since the beginning of the 2017 season through the 2020 World Series against the Astros, then this is how they got used to being at the plate. Which would explain Jose Altuve during the 2017 postseason hitting .472 at home and .143 on the road?
Assuming for a second that with all of the change in the clubhouse and maybe some wide-ranging MLB rules they are sure to roll out (sarcastically). Then that is going to affect this Astros team and their approach at the plate. Here is the other part of it, with that “slap on the wrist” punishment the Astros received, other players and other organizations are not going to be too happy with that. Therefore putting the players in charge of “policing” the game and dulling out punishments.
It is interesting to think about how exactly this affects the players. If you think about it, put yourself in the shoes of someone like Cody Bellinger. Your entire life you have had this dream of winning the World Series. You stayed late, earned yourself a spot with one of the storied franchises in Major League Baseball in the Los Angeles Dodgers. Taken the time to work hard at your game, had an amazing year. Then your team finally gets to the World Series and even though they lost, that was an extremely hard-fought World Series that ended up going seven games. Years go by, and it comes out that the team that beat you, was…cheating? Do you think you would be just a little bit mad about that? To know that the number one thing you have always wanted was ripped away from you by some cheaters banging on a trash can? Imagine there’s at least one person on every club the Astros faced that season that now wants to take the game into their own hands against this cheating club.
Here is the reality, vindictive pitchers like that are few and far between, it would seem to me they would take the “let’s see if they are frauds” approach and study more and more about hitter tendencies when the Astros come to town and beat em over the diamond with some well-placed pitches. On the other hand to say there will not be some sort of “the game policing itself” approach is ignorant. Cheating affects a lot of different people and beaning batters are not the only way that a team can get back at another team. So it will be interesting to see the “revenge creativity” that comes out this year. There could be tripping on the basepaths, “misthrows”, comments under other player’s breaths, dugout bullying, all sorts of things. There is also still a high chance that the Astros can lead in HBP and still be beneath the top ten at the end of the season when it comes to RBIs.
The Houston Astros and possibly Boston Red Sox have created the possibility that every single road game will be an extremely hostile environment. Certain MLB Baseball games will now have a “Rage In The Cage” feel to them with the nets being from foul pole to foul pole. Naturally, their home fans are having trouble facing the facts and have decided to one of the wide-sweeping butthurt excuses. “well everyone does it”, “If you aren’t cheating you aren’t trying.” And other clichés that basically allow them to hide from the truth in a nice little bubble that is some times called their moms basement. Granted, there hasn’t been a ruling on the Red Sox just yet, but we’ll see.
All-in-all their cheating has made a game that will be filled with a level of aggressiveness that is usually found in the NFL. It should be an interesting regular season in Major League Baseball.
Are you looking forward to the 2020 MLB season? Leave a comment below.
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