This case is not an episode of “Law & Order,” wrapped up in a nice tidy hour of television.
The evidence is murky and inconclusive. Then again, maybe the evidence — such as it might be — doesn’t matter.
The Houston Astros, after all, have admitted to cheating in 2017, offering apologies for their actions if not exactly contrition for their sins. The commissioner’s report on the sign-stealing scandal found the Astros, even after the September memo sent to all teams reminding them of league regulations prohibiting the use of electronic equipment for stealing signs, “continued to both utilize the replay review room and the monitor located next to the dugout to decode signs for the remainder of the regular season and Postseason.”
The public has rendered its verdict. Case closed, World Series trophy forever tarnished.
One thing we still don’t know, however: How much did the Astros actually benefit from stealing signs? One popular piece of supposed confirmation that has become widely quoted is that in Game 5 of the World Series — that wild 13-12 win for the Astros over the Dodgers — the Astros didn’t have a single swing-and-miss against Clayton Kershaw‘s breaking stuff. The great…