May 14, 2021

Why the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal could be worse for MLB than the steroid era (ESPN)


Do Damage. That phrase emblazoned across sweatshirts during baseball’s postseason the past few seasons came across as a longing, desperate attempt by marketing sloganeers to find some way, any way, for baseball to return to the cool, Madison Avenue merchandising game now dominated by the NBA. After Reggie, Fernando and Junior, this was a space baseball had left behind. Months removed from the disaster of the previous three Octobers — at the hands of the Houston Astros, the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox via the Alex Cora-Carlos Beltran Houston connection — the milky, homogenized Do Damage catchphrase has acquired an accidental urgency. It is suddenly true. So much damage has been done.

I arrived in Arizona in late February eager to hear embattled Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred attempt for the third time to explain and defend his office’s handling of the game’s scandal du jour. The Astros had employed an electronic sign-stealing operation using replay cameras and a trash can to signal to the dugout what pitches were coming next. In 2017, the Red Sox and Yankees had been fined — the Red Sox for using an Apple Watch to steal signs and the Yankees for…

Read “Why the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal could be worse for MLB than the steroid era” at ESPN