Cheaters Never Win… Or Do They?

In 2017, the Houston Astros won the World Series. It was the first time they won the championship in their storied history. What a moment! The players went crazy, jumping up and down at the mound after they closed out the victory.

There was just one problem – they cheated. You see, the catcher on the team provides signs between his legs that tell a pitcher what pitch to make. After the pitcher sees the sign, he throws that pitch. The Astros set up video equipment in the stands behind center field to steal signs from the opposing catcher. The Astros then assigned people to decipher the catcher’s signs and relay it to the batter. Specifically, they used a bat to bang a trash can in the dugout – two bangs equaled a change up, 1 bang equaled a fast ball. When the batter knows the pitch, he is much more prepared to hit it. If a team does this over and over, they gain an unfair advantage. If a team does it during a World Series, it is enough to win a championship.

Punishments: As a result, Major League Baseball decided to suspend the manager and the general manager for 1 year. In addition, they took away their 1st and 2nd round draft picks and fined the team $5 million. Apparently, these punishments weren’t enough because the owner decided to fire their manager and general manager. However, the Houston Astros have been allowed to keep their World Series title.

Joe’s Perspective: Since the beginning of the game, teams have tried to steal signs to gain an advantage. Runners on second base attempt to decipher the signs and relay his findings to the batter. Baseball purists say it’s part of the game. However, using video equipment is considered cheating. Everyone knows it. So, when players were traded to other teams, these players began to spill the beans to their new teammates. Other teams told Major League Baseball and the investigation was on.

Every sport has their rules. They players knew this was wrong and commented as much during the investigation. If players knowingly breaks the rules, it is cheating, pure and simple. Since they did this during the World Series, I say they should vacate the championship. I believe Major League Baseball could have sent a powerful message, but didn’t.

Your Turn: Do you think this is cheating and, if so, what should the punishment be for the Astros?

 

Comments 103

  1. The Houston Astros definitely cheated. I know sign stealing is a part of the game, and it is fun when you can steal them from second base without the other team knowing. Then, when they do find out, they get uncomfortable and need to change their signs. However, using technology to do this is definitely illegal, and I agree with the punishments. Being able to steal signs is such an advantage, and being able to do it with a camera and the other team not knowing it makes hitting 10 times easier for the other team.

    1. I don’t know very much about baseball, but I definitely know that what they did was wrong. And I think the punishment probably wasn’t strong enough. I mean, they suspended the managers, but what does that do to the players? And $5 million I’m sure is nothing to them as a team. I also think by letting the Astros keep the title, that’s such a kick in the shins to the other team.

        1. They actively acknowledge that to some degrees it was cheating. Considering sign deciphering is part of the game the punishment shouldn’t have been so severe. 5 million but keeping the title is fair because the message comes across. They found the line and crossed it.

      1. I admit that what they did was wrong, but the punishment was severe enough. It served as a sort of warning to the team not to do it again. You have to have a warning before the real punishment. It was probably nothing to them, but it let them know not to do it again, or something worse will happen. It also probably ruined their reputation and painted them as the “cheating” team.

    2. I agree because it is an unfair advantage and they are a good team and don’t need to do that like every away game they won without that tech

  2. Yea it is cheating and I think they should lose the Championship for that. A 5 million dollar fine was nothing for the team.

  3. I believe it was right that they suspended the manager and the general manager. But I also believe that they should’ve gotten their World Series Title taken away. If they wanted to win they should’ve done so the right way.

  4. I believe it was right that they suspended the manager and the general manager. But I also believe that they should’ve gotten their World Series Title taken away. If they wanted to win they should’ve done so the right way. So yes, they did cheat.

  5. I don’t think it is right since they cheated like how the ball was flat for the patriots and they all weren’t in on it. They should just give up their title and give it to runner up.

  6. Yes I do think this was cheating considering the fact that they used video and had a code to determine the hit if the runners on second based just memorize them then that’s different. I think the punishment for the Astros should half been a half of season to a full season sit out without pay

  7. I think that they should have gotten their world series title taken away from them also. Because they didn’t use just their skill to win they had to revert to cheating. So everything should have been taken away.

  8. Yes I do think this was cheating considering the fact that they used video and had a code to determine the hit if the runners on second based just memorize them then that’s different. I think the punishment for the Astros should half been a half of season to a full season sit out without pay

  9. Yes , I do believe this is cheating they didn’t work hard at all to receive the ‘world series’ title they just cheated their way through it

  10. Them figuring out the hand signals wasn’t cheating, but bringing in cameras evolved it into cheating, as punishment their title should have been taken away and been forced to pay a bigger fine than 5 mil.

  11. It is cheating, but I think they should get their title taken away due to unfairness. If they cheated they didn’t really win the championships so they don’t deserve to keep it.

  12. I do think that this was cheating, they shouldn’t be able to play anymore and have the championship taken away. Because the fine won’t do anything.

  13. I think cheating is necessary some times but its not always good . You could get caught and doesn’t always end out good. But I think the Houston Astros should get their trophy taken away because they didn’t work for it.

  14. Yes is cheating although on their side of this perspective it was to win for the first time but it was still wrong to do and unfair. I think punishment they gave out was reasonable because they are in charge and shouldn’t let this happen

  15. I believe this is not fair at all, because everyone sees that they were let off easy, making others think it’s somewhat okay. The fact that only the managers are suspended meaning the team could potentially still play makes no sense, especially because everyone was involved, so they faced no consequences.

  16. Yes I do think it’s cheating because you have to play by your ability and know the play of the game. The punishment for the Astros should at least to take away the world title

    1. I dont know enough about baseball. I think some call it cheating, I call it smart. Though if it’s illegal to do in a game then yes it was cheating. But if it’s not banned then they used it to their advantage. If it is, they should’ve done more than got off so easily. Maybe lose their title. Though that won’t change much.

  17. Yes, I believe they should’ve just played the game as the others played. They had an advantage over other teams knowing their plays. Not only the managers but players should have been suspended.

  18. I believe that it is cheating and even though it got them the championship that they wanted, I think they don’t deserve it . Also the fine of $5 million alone was not enough because they still kept the recognition of winning the championship which may let others think they can do the same and just get away with a simple fine.

  19. I think this is unfair advantage, the team knew they were cheating. I think the punishment was fine except for the fact they still have the world series trophy.

  20. Yes, I believe they should’ve just played the game as the others played. They had an advantage over other teams knowing their plays. Only the managers Got suspended but players should have been as well because that’s only fair

  21. I think the Astros definitely cheated and I agree with the punishment. Kudos to the owner for going beyond the MLB punishment and firing his coach

  22. I do think this is cheating. It’s different when the players pick up the signs while on base than having them recorded. I don’t think the Astros should have been able to keep their title as champions because they played an unfair game.

  23. The Astros definitely cheated, no team should be setting should be setting up camera’s behind the pitcher to steal signs to provide to there team

  24. The team deliberately used technology in an unfair way, which is where I draw the line. It is cheating. In baseball there are many written and unwritten rules, but everyone knows it is cheating whether it was written or not. There should be an asterisk on their championship.

  25. yes I think this is cheating because the Astros were using video and code to determine the pitch. I think they should have taken away their championship title

  26. I do not believe what the Astros did was right. The manager being suspended was the right thing to do because the technology was used in a way that they knew was not right.

  27. I believe that this was definitely cheating. They knew the rules and knew what they were doing was wrong yet they still did it, so ultimately they should be punished. Furthermore they should have been punished by having their World Series Title removed in order to show other teams in the league that they will not put up with cheating under any circumstance.

  28. This was certainly cheating and was disrespecting the game of baseball and the others who put in the same work and work for the same thing as the Astros did and any Alex Cora coached team including the Red Sox should lose their title if significant evidence is found to support it

  29. I do feel that this was definitely considered cheating but if it was that easy to do it then why wouldn’t other teams do that and it’s not like they still wouldn’t have won because they are still a really good team and if it made it that much easier how come they didn’t win 4 straight and end the series right away?

  30. I think the Astros were cheating and knowing the pitches that are coming puts the batter at a huge unfair advantage. I don’t think that the punishments were enough though and the Astros should have probably been revoked their World Series.

    1. they did cheat i think that the mlb should take away there world series. I think that is i stupid and cheap that they banged on the trash cans for the pitch. I think that he might have had on a buzzer to tell what pitch was coming. And that is just wrong.

  31. They were obviously cheating and there’s no doubt about it. It’s ok if the runner on 2nd tries to steal the signs my baseball team even does that. But using cameras is just on another level. They should have taken away their title in my opinion.

  32. In my opinion I think that it was cheating and they should be punished for it. I think that it was a fair punishment but I think that the manager should have been suspended for a long period of time.

  33. I think they definitely cheated. I know somethings are part of the game, Being able to steal signs is an advantage, and being able to do it with a camera and the other team not knowing makes it easier for the other team

  34. I think this is cheating because the batter knows what pitch is coming and they can prepare and the World Seires should be given to the other team

  35. The Astros did something that was not fair for the other team and probably caused their fans to not lose faith in them because of it.

  36. I believe that the punishment for the Astros want fair. I believe this because, they already had been charged 5 million dollars. Then they had to stay out the whole season. What they did was wrong but not bad enough to have to be fined and stay out the whole season.

  37. The astros cheating scandal rocked the world i feel like the 5 million dollar fine was a slap on the wrist for such a huge organization and being suspended for a year is nothing for a coach and organization.

  38. I think they they got the correct punishment. I think this because they should not have cheated and it is unfair to the other teams. It was pretty smart of them but not right. It also puts the batter at an unfair advantage.

  39. I mean, there good and all that, but it was pure cheating. The punishment should be like not playing for 6 games straight. But they are my favorite baseball team. Also they should get charged.

  40. I think it is fair because they cheated so they got suspended however the got to keep the title and trophy which is unfair because they cheated.

  41. I think it should be considered cheating, because of the fact that they used modern-day technology for America’s pastime. By using this technology to cheat, it just makes it worse. Using your eyes, ears, and brain are one thing, but using video cameras is an entirely different story. However, you can’t take away a title like that, but you could reward the runner ups for their fight against the cheaters.

  42. the Astros did cheat and I saw this and pointed it out to my dad while we were watching this world series and he didn’t believe anything was happening but I do believe that the punishment should have included losing the victory

  43. Cheating is a bad thing, and they definitely cheated. This was actually a very sly way of cheating, but it was also very wrong. 5 million dollars is a lot, and they definitely deserve it, and it is a fair punishment. I think this punishment is enough, because that is a lot of money and they fired their managers and everything. They also banned them for one year, which doesn’t sound a lot, but it’s 365 days.

  44. I believe that the Astros did indeed cheat. Looking for signs is okay because it’s a strategy, but using video cameras crosses the line. The Astros were given an unfair advantage which would be enough to win a championship. I think that they made the right choice by firing the manager and general manager. I don’t believe that the Astros should have kept their title.

  45. I do believe its cheating because if you know what pitch its easier to prepare for the hit and if you know where to hit you can run bases easily.

  46. I don’t think they cheated. Sure they had the unfair advantage, but remember that it probably took hard work to do. And even if it was cheating, the punishment seems to extreme.

  47. I know cheating is a part of baseball. Stealing signs from second base or trying to decipher coaches signals, cheating has an intricate part of sports, but this kind of cheating takes it up to another level. The Astro’s deserve to have their title be stripped away, they cheated in a flamboyant fashion. They shouldn’t have the advantage, no one should, baseball and all sports should be a competition of skill and wit.

  48. I don’t think this is cheating because the other team could do the same thing and I think it’s a viable strategy to use.

  49. I think this is cheating because it is giving the team a competitive edge which gives them a large advantage over the other team

  50. The Astros definitely cheated. i know stealing is very fun in baseball because i personally play it to but that is no exception for cheating i hope they learned there lessons.

  51. I think they had a fair punishment because of how they cheated. I think they cheated because they knew that they were going to get beat because they aren’t that good.

  52. They did technically cheat and they should’ve been punished for that. If you cheat you really don’t win and you shouldn’t feel like you actually won.

  53. I don’t know very much about baseball, but I definitely know that what they did was wrong. And I think the punishment probably wasn’t strong enough because $5 million dollars, I’m sure is nothing to them as a team. I also think by letting the Astros keep the title, that’s such a kick in the shins to the other team.

  54. I believe that this was cheating. I think that this was cheating because it wasn’t fair to the opposing team because they were making signs that are illegal in the game. I think that they should be suspended from playing games for a while. This is because they should learn that cheating is an unfair move to play in any game. this is what i think a good punishment would be for the Astros.

  55. Yes I think that is cheating because its like football its like you are stealing someone play. But you are watching there hands you looking at there hands to learn there play. I think they should be disqualified.

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