While MLB commissioner Rob Manfred handed down discipline to the Houston Astros for their sign-stealing methods in 2017, many players are still upset about the league’s handling of the matter. Among them, former Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who called out Manfred for allowing the Astros to get away with it for years.
Rumors of teams electronically stealing signs have persisted for years across MLB. The Astros’ method of using video to record the signs and bang a trash can to alert the hitter about the next pitch was known across the league, including by the Dodgers.
Yet, MLB took little action to stop it. So, the Astros kept using it throughout the 2017 postseason and it helped pave the way to their World Series championship over the Dodgers in 2017. As McCarthy said, it impacted the standings, altered the postseason and changed careers of pitchers forever. Yet, teams were given a pass by Manfred.
MLB is still investigating the Red Sox for allegedly stealing signs using video in 2018. An issue that could have been addressed years ago was allowed to slip by and it changed baseball forever. While the league will try and recover from this stain on its image, it’s difficult to see fans or players completely moving past it anytime soon.