Along with “How can we get young people to put down their phones long enough to watch our product?” and “What are we gonna do about the Rays’ location?” a third conundrum has more recently enveloped Major League Baseball:
“How can we prevent illegal sign-stealing?”
This might very well rank as the top concern now, in light of Rob Manfred’s report condemning and convicting the champion 2017 Astros for committing this baseball crime in the postseason; another Manfred report, on the champion 2018 Red Sox, should be coming any moment now.
Manfred said on Thursday, at the conclusion of baseball’s owners’ meetings, that additional rules would be instituted for the 2020 season regarding the real-time usage of video. And the penalties — already to Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch, arriving imminently for Alex Cora — should act as deterrents to misbehave and as incentives for authority figures to police their own clubhouses for wrongdoing. It wouldn’t surprise me to see players — so many of them angry at those Astros — take the initiative with their union in negotiating harsher penalties, just as players led the way for harsher penalties on those who use…