It is an enduring part of baseball strategy: As a batter is at the
plate, his teammates carefully watch a catcher’s fingers to figure
out what pitch is about to be thrown.
And it’s all fair play as long as teams do not enhance the
abilities of the naked eye and clever minds with either cameras or
electronic devices that allow teammates to signal the batter
whether a fastball or a breaking ball is on the way.
But that is exactly what the Houston Astros did during their 2017
championship-winning season, clouding that World Series title and
causing one of baseball’s biggest cheating scandals in years,
Major League Baseball officials said on Monday in a scathing
report detailing the team’s scheme.
By the end of the day, Houston General Manager Jeff Luhnow and
Manager A.J. Hinch — the two men who helped propel the Astros
to the top of the sport — had been suspended and then fired,
while their club was left with severe penalties for deploying a
scheme involving cameras and monitors to decode the hand signals
of catchers and tip off Houston batters. One of their favorite
communication methods was banging on a trash can just outside
Put a big asterisk next to that 2017 World Series. What an embarrassing stain on the sport.