TAMPA — The paranoia about the Astros seeps well beyond the illegal sign stealing for which they admitted culpability and incurred penalties.
Once opponents think you are wearing buzzers under uniforms, it is pretty much open season. And theories have abounded regarding other areas in which the organization was pushing legal boundaries.
One common complaint within the game is that Houston had mastered a more undetectable sticky substance that helped with baseball grip, allowing their pitchers to elevate the spin on their pitches to gain greater velocity and movement.
Reds starter Trevor Bauer, a gadfly to MLB in general and the Astros in specific, resurfaced his complaints that both the majority of major league pitchers use illegal sticky substances such as pine tar to improve the effectiveness of pitches and that Houston was at the vanguard of using a sticky substance and teaching how to maximize spin rate. Bauer made these observations most recently in a first-person account on The Players’ Tribune and in an interview for HBO’s “Real Sports.”
Bauer did not directly implicate any Astro of recent vintage, including Gerrit Cole. But the two have had an…