It’s been a while since we dusted off the ol’ Fanpulse machine, but with the league losing its mind over the last week or so, it seemed like the perfect time to warm this bad boy up and get it ready for the season. Those of you who participated last year remember that there were always local questions as well as one more nationally focused. For this particular exercise, we only concerned ourselves with the national questions. We asked four relating to the sign-stealing scandal and the fall out, and the answers are below.
Was the Astros’ punishment for cheating harsh enough?
We start with the basic question: Did the league do enough. The overwhelming majority here said they did not. I talked a little bit about this when the punishment was first handed down, but I think I am more satisfied with the punishment than most. My feeling is that the league was more concerned with stopping this moving forward than actually punishing the Astros, and they were trying to really hammer the people in charge like A.J. Hinch, Jeff Lunhow and Alex Cora. Whether or not they are actually toxic in the league now remains to be seen, but I think that was the goal. That being said, I do think international money should have been affected here as well, and I will admit that having no players punished feels weird, even if I get the complications.
Should those involved in the cheating scandal be allowed to work in baseball again?
I sort of got into this above, but I think this was the goal from the league. Clearly they are allowed to work in the league again — at least Hinch and Lunhow — because their suspension ends after this season. After that, teams will be allowed to hired them. I don’t really have a good answer for this. I lean towards no, but I might be able to be convinced otherwise. I will say that I think Hinch is the only one out of those two and Cora who will be back in the majors, though I’m not sure it will be as a manager.
Should the Astros’ World Series win be vacated?
This one is absurd. I will never understand the logic behind stripping titles. I’ve never understood it in college sports and I don’t understand it here. I know that Reggie Bush USC team won the championship. I saw it. Even if the records don’t reflect it, I know it happened. The same thing is true here. I saw the Astros win. Their fans felt the feelings of a championship and celebrated with a parade. That all happened, and that is the best part of a championship. Fans like winning mostly because of what happens in the moment and then looking back at that moment. If you hand the championship to the Dodgers or just get rid of it altogether, unless you have that Men in Black device you can’t take away what actually happened in the moment. It makes no sense.
What’s the worst cheating scandal of all time?
Maybe I’m picking nits here, but are the Black Sox and Pete Rose really cheating scandals. The Black Sox intentionally lost which seems like the opposite of cheating, and Pete Rose bet on his team to win. Don’t get me wrong these were and are both stains on the game and with Rose in particular, I know he has his defenders and I am not one of them. That said, I’m not sure they’re “cheating” scandals. If you want to just focus on scandals, I think those are the top two, and honestly I don’t know how Black Sox wouldn’t get 100 percent of the votes. If you want to focus on the cheating aspect, I’m conflicted. On the one hand, steroids are actually harmful in a meaningful way to the human body, which seems less than ideal. On the other hand, this Astros thing (and possibly the Red Sox, to a lesser extent) seems to be team-endorsed. I lean towards the sign-stealing, but I don’t feel strongly either way about either being particularly more egregious than the other. But again, if you are going to include gambling the Black Sox are far and away the worst. It’s not close.