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  • Writer's pictureDani Cipolla

Will this be the last of our commissioner?

It’s no surprise that a Yankees’ fan is saying to remove Rob Manfred. This off season has been one to remember, and not just for Yankees fans. Baseball has been hit hard with a cheating scandal that will shake you to your core.

It has come to light that the Astros have been cheating since 2017. They even admitted it. If you haven’t heard about this, my only question to you is… do you live under a rock? They used a camera in centerfield to steal signs in 2017 (their only world series winning year) and they did it this past year as well. If you’re one of those people who don’t believe the news, I suggest you go look at old games and look at the numbers. They went from having the 27th best strikeout rate in 2016 to number 1 in 2017… and that wasn’t due to getting new players. Watch old home games from 2017-2019, it’s obvious and it’s disturbing--from banging on trash cans to whistling; there is now speculation that guys were wearing buzzers under their jerseys. The disgrace this team has put on this beautiful game we love deserves the ultimate punishment; but the saddest thing is most of us didn’t believe they would be punished because of the bias the MLB has for their favorite team. And we were right.

Now you might be thinking, “Okay Dani, but what does this have to do with Manfred? He can’t control someone from cheating if he doesn’t know.” I agree; but it has come to light that the MLB did know about this and did nothing. They had people keep an eye out at games listen for trash can hitting (which now we can understand why Brett wasn’t allowed to hit the ceiling anymore) but until Fiers said something to The Athletic, nothing happened. The MLB sat idly by and let this go on. Now do you see why I believe this will be the end of our commissioner? Let’s go a bit further; the punishments.

     The Astros have put even more of a bad taste in my mouth about the MLB with how the MLB punished them. How do you only suspend Hinch and Luhnow for one year? Yes, it’s the biggest suspension in sports; but to me, for what they did, it’s not enough. I might be biased because of my love for the Yankees and how much this has screwed us, but I’m mad and they deserve to be banned for life. Though we all know they will never work in baseball again because what sane team would work with them after this? The other thing is, why are these the only two to get punished… what about the players?! Before you start, yes I know the MLBPA protects them but—A LOT--and I mean basically all the players in MLB are FURIOUS and I don’t see any of them protecting the Astros players. They want blood. (figurativley speaking)… until someone throws a ball at Altuve’s head that is.

Now for the Astros organization… a 5 million dollar fine, and only draft picks taken away feels like too little against them. THAT’S IT?! The Astros should be fined 50 million at LEAST; 5 million is like a parking ticket to a major league team (teams pay arbitration players millions more than that a year so fine them more.) Now again, before you start saying, “but Dani, that’s the league maximum.” I KNOW! But rules can change; so, change this one for this case (personal opinion.) Next, they take away 1st and 2nd draft picks for the next two years… this isn’t football or basketball, draft picks to the MLB aren’t as important! Yes, I know these past few years teams have focused a lot on draft picks. I understand, but I still believe this isn’t a harsh enough punishment for what they did. So, you take away possible trades in the non-foreseeable future…by taking draft picks… um HELLO they can still trade FOR DRAFT PICKS!!!! So that punishment does nothing! It hurts their scouting director more than anything. Oh, by the way, if you couldn’t tell by that last sentence, the Astros can still trade! They are allowed to be a part of free agency and trade their players; this is what should have been taken away. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like anyone will want their tainted players anyway; but we want to punish the team and make other teams see the drastic lengths the MLB will go to make sure this doesn’t happen again. But no, Manfred’s lack of punishment to the Astros organization as a whole is a disgrace to baseball.

The owner of the Astros smug interview was my tipping point from steaming to boiling. Watching him read off of his paper written by his speech writer irritated me to lengths I haven’t even seen myself at before--and I’m a Sicilian woman! We are known to be hot headed. This guy knew his team was cheating and needed someone to write a speech for him otherwise he would say something incriminating. His players should be fined, and suspended for a good chunk of games. The Astros organization as a whole should be SUFFERING to a point of no return, to the point of never seeing them close to the playoffs till 2060.

Yes, stealing signs is as old as the game…but in this manner it’s quite different. In this manner, it’s disgraceful. Now this not only takes away the integrity of the game, but It also prevents people like DJ and Judge from winning MVP by allowing cheaters into the mix instead of the hard- working guys who know how to play the game without a camera telling them the pitch. Now with that being said… Rob Manfred didn’t do his job to bring a solid punishment down on the Astros. If you don’t agree, I understand; but I’d like to let you know that as of 1/17/2020 congress has now gotten involved in this scandal stating that they will be doing their own investigation to see if the MLB handed out harsh enough punishments. As you can see, the MLB handing out this punishment is just sad. Manfred’s time is up and he needs to step down before all the teams make him--or even better, Congress.

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