A different spring training is nearing. One in which players are going to be asked not just generally about sign stealing. But very specifically their feelings about the 2017 Astros – and not just by reporters.
In a report last week following a two-month investigation, the Commissioner’s Office detailed an extensive system the 2017 Astros deployed to illegally steal signs using a live camera in center field and monitors positioned near the home dugout at Minute Maid Park. The revelations led to one-year suspensions for GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch, who were subsequently fired by Houston. In the ensuing days the only other two people named in the report, Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Mets manager Carlos Beltran, also were fired.
But there will still be many players who were — at minimum — aware of the scheme who will be playing in 2020. That is going to lead to unusual and uncomfortable questions — particularly if they are now teammates with those who played against the 2017 Astros.
For example, Marcus Stroman has made multiple derisive references to the Astros on Twitter. On Monday, he referenced an Aug. 6, 2017 start in Houston in which enhanced audio…