June 25, 2021

The five biggest victims of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal (ESPN)

The grumbling around the game was thick after MLB commissioner Rob Manfred rendered discipline in the Houston Astros‘ sign-stealing case Monday, because while two individuals got hammered, the institution that stood to glean enormous benefit from the systemic illicit behavior was mostly left untouched, the players who participated left unscathed.

The Astros are still 2017 World Series champions, a title won with cheating. They still possess the financial benefit from their on-field success — the additional revenue pulled in during and after October runs, with the dollar magnets attached to ratings, sponsorships, memorabilia, swag and the consumer enthusiasm that spilled over into the following seasons.

The $5 million fine of the franchise, the most allowed under the rules, is inconsequential — and, as one staffer noted, more than offset by the salaries of manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow that won’t be paid. The loss of two draft picks in each of the next two years is mitigated by Houston’s stature in the standings: The Astros will pick near the back of each round. There is sentiment in the sport that the commissioner should’ve taken at least one more step to affect…

Read “The five biggest victims of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal” at ESPN