Coppola: Does MLB Punishment of Astros Fit The Crime

By William Coppola: Contributing Columnist Bronx Chronicle Sports

Wow, MLB has come down hard on the cheating Houston Astros after a through investigation into their use of electronic devices, a bat and a garbage pail to steal signs during the 2017 season and World Series. They handed down suspensions of their manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one year, imposed a $5 million fine and forfeiture of its first and second-round draft selections for the next two seasons.

Sounds harsh enough.though you have yet to hear of any punishment of players and guess what, you won’t. Astros owner Jim Crane today said “The Astros will not suspend any players as a result of the investigation.” And neither will MLB, but Hinch and Luhnow were dismissed and the Astros now have to search for their new leadership.

Wow, what a surprise. Crane also stated that the 2017 World Series will not be “Tainted.” Is this guy delusional or just circling the wagons around his investment?

You won’t be hearing anything regarding the perpetrators of this cheating scandal, not because it would punish the loyal fans of Houston. No siree Bob. It’s all about the money. It will always be about the money. Fans will not pay to see anything but real big league players. So baseball has to keep that pot of gold coming through the turnstiles.

So here is my suggestion.

A $5 million dollar fine? Chump change to the Astros. They make that on hotdogs and beer alone on a weekend. Losing your GM and manager for a season. Those guys are a dime a dozen. The commissioners office stated that this scam was player inspired. You want to give these jerks an incentive to not cheat? Suspend everyone on that roster for a year with no pay.

Make the Astros and probably the Red Sox if they are found guilty of the same thing, have to bring up their triple A guys and prospects. Wait, too drastic? Well then, how would you like to be a Dodger fan knowing that these cowards knew every pitch Yu Darvish was throwing in game seven of the 2017 World Series.

We were all blaming it on the baseball. 

Funny that the most outspoken pitcher in that series criticizing the slippery baseball was Astros ace Justin Verlander. I truly believe he never cheated in his life as a pitcher. But he as well as anyone else in that dugout had to know what was going on. Was he throwing us all off track?

This is a black eye on the sport of baseball at any level. Will fans who attend games in the future look at the game with a bit of skepticism? Some will but the majority will put this behind them and just enjoy the games. One of our better traits as humans is that we get over things. Though there are still people in Brooklyn who will never get over the Dodgers….. No, I’m not going to go there.

And why not put it all to rest? After all, going to a major league baseball game is and always will be better than going to work, cutting the lawn or watching the news. Only 29 days till pitchers and catchers!

Sorry, I have to be honest, I will never forgive Walter O’Malley for moving the Dodgers to L.A.

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