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GM Jeff Luhnow and Manager AJ Hinch Fired Amid Astros Cheating Scandal | The Ringer MLB Show


Hey Kelly welcome to the ringer podcast network. Winging it with Vince Carter and Anthon Berg is back in full swing for its second season catch up. On recent episodes bestowed with guests like wycliffe. John Talks about growing up in Haiti hip hop as a teacher and performing with a goat. And you can hear from tennis Vietnam. Cocoa Gov on beating Venus Williams at at fifteen years old. You can listen to winging it on apple spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Oh friends welcome to the ringer. MLB Show my name. Is Michael Bowman. And I'm a staff writer the ringer and we promised this off season that you would come to you with new podcast gas content whenever. There's a significant breaking news and here on this Monday afternoon. Precisely that has happened. Detroit Tigers have signed right handed pitcher von Nova over a bed Lindbergh. I think this really gives the Tigers a significant edge. And they're like this is a scary lab like a pretty sickly good rotation out and you look at Bat boy and Spencer Turtle they've got Casey is in the pipeline. What's your what's your thoughts on? How the tire rotation shape now? Yeah they really needed that rotation indefinite. How long are we sticking with this We could stop now. So I've got two of us are joined by Zach Cram to discuss the Shocking shocking inappropriate word. Yes well a I think it all would have been mind blowing a few months ago and we were kind of conditioned to expect something like this by reports in the interim so I guess the specifics. Of course we're talking about the punishment of the Astra Science doing here. A A lot of little details came to light that surprised me. The punishment is harsh and severe. But I was sort of expecting it to be harsh and severe. So it's simultaneously any asli as expected and yet also still somehow shocking to see it actually happened as opposed to being rumored to happen and I think maybe the firings firings that followed the NLP report might be the most shocking aspect of it all. Yeah I agree with you on that. So let me before we get too far into this. Actually run down the the line items from the punishment these headlines Asher general manager. Jeff Liu now And Field Manager. Aj hinch have both been suspended for one year uh-huh and were both fired by the Astros. Shortly after within like an hour and a half of the of the report going up the astor's will lose two first round and two second round picks wchs a likely the report essentially laid out. It will be their next two picks in those ran so they signed a free agent lose pick. They don't get out of the punishment and we'll just shift And they've been fined five million dollars by Major League Baseball. which is the maximum allowed by? The Commissioner's Office. More discipline is coming for former ashes bench coach now the Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora was identified in the report is one of the ringleaders of the science sealy operation Also saying gladness report is former Astros. General Astros Assistant General Manager Brandon Taubman. who was most recently in the news for Berating a female reporter in the clubhouse after the Ayrshire won the pennant He's since been fired by the Astros suspended for the twenty twenty and by Major League Baseball and rob Manfred said had If he was essentially said if he wasn't suspended already you'd be suspended for this may be the most. I don't know if this surprising by the only place where rob Manfred takes his hand off the gas on this is he says there will be no discipline against mets manager. Carlos Beltran who supplier Involved in the science dealing scheme Or any other Astros player So Zach Cram. We have not heard from you yet. You wrote a nine takeaways from From this report why don't you lead us off with maybe one or two highlights for you. What are what is the big picture here so I think the the number one takeaway for me? That was new. You know because we learned a lot of this information in the athletic report that kicked off the whole scandal two months ago is that The scheme that the astor's us being the trash can as still signs went through the two thousand seventeen postseason. The initial athletic report was conflicted. They had some sources saying they use it through the playoffs and some sources saying they didn't and this was important. Because if you remember back in August twenty seventeen. The Red Sox had gotten a slap on the wrist with a fine because they were caught using smart watches in the dugout. which you're not allowed to use electron ix there to steal sign? So Ah Manfred. Basically a reiterated the rules at that point and said all right. Here's the line in the sand if you've been stealing signs before now then you'll probably be able to get away with it. It don't do it anymore. And the astor's continued use it. Of course they won the world series in two thousand seventeen so now That title was not taken away. I don't think that was ever an option. Because there's no precedent for it. But this report gave convincing and conclusive evidence that the Astros First Championship in franchise franchise history came as they were stealing sides. And by take away from your call. Is You have in bowl. Type the phrase banging scheme and it was very interesting to see that phrase in a baseball context without pat burrow being bald so in that paragraph so new ground for everybody Ben What what stands out here to you. Well I think that the very thorough reporting of Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal Khuda into a lot of this. And really if you think about it. It's somewhat shocking shocking. That we would not have known about any of this if they had not blown. The whistle whistling is now part of the science dealing but I think given the rules changes that. MLB already implemented to try to prevent science doing in in the past couple of seasons. It's clear that they knew something was going on that. They had heard heard rumors and they weren't really moved to investigate any of it until these reports surfaced until Mike fires came forward arguably belatedly. I suppose pose but still he did come forward and this was reported by the athletic. And that's really what started this whole thing so I think. MLB must have had some inkling that something was going on. I mean Japan had previously reported that something was going on. Although he didn't have players on the record cooperating it and so I think we can conclude the MLB probably would have been happy to just let this go and change the rules and it does seem as if maybe some of these abuses have been incur tailed or prevented. There's no corroborating evidence in this report that anything was going on in two thousand nineteen you can choose to be skeptical about that if you like but MLB UPI did institute some new policies that made it harder to do what the Astros and reportedly the Red Sox were doing. So it's possible that this is all in the past but but I think there should be some healthy skepticism about that just because the history of science dealing dates back to the beginning of baseball basically and so my real question is well. What are we going to do to prevent this in the future? And what sort of schemes can we put in place to make it impossible to steal signs. But that's maybe a a subsequent conversation. Yeah we'll we'll get to that later. I do want circle back to an Zach singled this out As well as the September twenty seventeen directive essentially saying we. We know something's happening knock it off and this whole this whole thing strikes me as something that Major League baseball would have been perfectly happy to disorder. You're not sweep under the rug but to deal with quietly zone and not have to go through this kind of public relations. Crucible that they've they've had to door were so far this off season And this is not necessarily a punishment for the crime of stealing signs. This is a punishment For essential for for years and years of bullshit and this is just the the straw that broke the camel's back. And I think if you read the report and by the way Kudos to whichever ever of Rob Manfred staffers Put together that report. Because it's really like as things go. This is really nice piece of writing But he's unsparing When it comes to Jeff Luna he echoes a lot of speaking about Evan Drellich and And Ken Rosenthal reporting the the rotten culture of of essentially anything goes win at all costs to the detriment of of essentially like humanity That that the astor's stirs had going on that seem to bother the commissioners much as this actual specific sin and the failure to get that under control You know if somebody nobody with the squeaky equally team with squeaky clean reputation Had come forward or he had had this. Come out about them. I don't think we'd be seeing the punishments we have now at which is not to say that the MLB singling out the astros and they haven't in for the astor's I think for everything we've seen reported. They absolutely deserve this kind of special special attention. But I think that raises. The question of whether this punishment is commensurate for the the gains that the Astros had from the scheme and I think ban. You've done some statistical analysis that showed it's kind of unclear how much stealing signs affected the astor's offense and even in the report itself MANFORD quotes a couple players Anonymously of course who say that They found the scheme not effective and in fact distracting. So it's unclear whether it worked but it's certain that the Astros cheated when they won the world series and sure they're losing draft picks and the owner is find manager and and GM are gone but the Astros still one that world series. And I think it goes to show that there's no real way to punish this level of cheating That can take away the joy in the memories of Houston winning in seven games in the AFC s against the Yankees when coincidentally or not all four wins came at home and winning in seven games against the dodgers when a big FEM- of that series was the astros decoding the dodgers pitcher signs. And I think whether being on a trash can was the reason for that we'll never know but like it was kind of worth it right. Yeah I mean it's hard to say whether they won because of that but there is some chance that they did and if there was any onfield benefit if that unfilled benefit made the difference between them winning the world series of not it. Then yeah one would think that Astros fans probably take it. I mean certainly some Astros fans out there probably feel terrible about this and the title title is tainted for them and maybe they can enjoy it anymore but they. I'm sure enjoyed it at the time and it is hard to retroactively. Take away the pleasure. Winter is from one team winning. And I guess the only way that you could really do it is to meaningfully affect the future performance of that team and and it's difficult to do that without suspending the players and of course there's there's no discipline for the players here and I think we all understand why that is a I guess partly they wanted to get the info from the players and so they had to give them certain promises about not prosecuting them but I think more than that. It's hard to establish which players did. What and when and they benefit from it and it's also the fact that you know some of the players from that team or on other teams now and what do you do that? And then of course if there were disciplined for the players than the players association would have to be involved and they would just want to protect their your players and defend them and so it would take a very long time to establish penalties and this would drag on and on and the story would be very bad for baseball so I I don't really fault. MLB for not punishing players. Although it does seem somewhat strange that the players who probably had a big hand in instigating this and certainly unleash perpetuated and perhaps benefited from it are the ones who are sort of getting off scot-free here I agree with you that it's just that I find it a a little suspicious that Not suspicious but unsatisfying. We're not seeing for all intensive purposes. From what the report says that you know as much which is Alex Cora was involved. This scheme needed the players. Like they were the ones who actually Did a lot of stuff and they're not getting punished but at the same time time I understand that I'm okay with Major League Baseball. Sort of making the making unilateral decision that that is just more trouble than it's worth than try to figure out ex player. Have ten games worth a culpability Does another one have twenty minutes just makes my head spin. So we we we could do without that But in terms of so this is what Zack's point is sort of what my media column was based on. which was the idea date? If these are the punishments for doing what the Astros did Duh. It absolutely seems worth it. This doesn't seem like it. Deterrent I certainly. Not at the organizational channel because while Major League baseball or the the MANFORD report singles. Out that Luau and enhance. Even if they weren't the people who we were doing this or culpable because they were in charge didn't do anything to stop it like that mess. I think that's a really good message to descend but at the same time at turnaround around turns around and exonerates Jim Crane and the rest of of Astros ownership outside of baseball operations as if as if they're completely separate as if the culture of one doesn't influence the and so I find that a little bit too convenient that they Luau can't pin this all on on Taubman or hinge. Can't pin this on Cora and then get away with it but now jim crane is doing that. Slow down and so. That is a little bit unsatisfying satisfying but at the same time. The point like you can't vacate a championship and even at even organizations that do are one that like UNC AA the IFC organizations that had the lease legitimacy in popular support because they're run by buffoons like this is not what competence sporting organizations do. But by getting the truth out there as best as we understand it through the reporting At the athletic now this Major League Baseball Report You can can determine the legitimate the legitimacy of this title on their own and so I- on some little. I actually really liked that. And I think that that's how these like that is an appropriate punishment that this is gonNA turn a lot of people off. This is going to make people think differently that that there is as a reputational hit that I think is an appropriate punishment going forward for the Astros and now the the people who've been suspended. Yeah what's missing from this report and the previous reports is any clear link between the front office and the scheme in in terms of a top down directive a real orchestration of what was happening in here. which doesn't mean that that link doesn't exist it just means that it hasn't been documented yet and I think that is part of the punishment that we're seeing here the MLB? It'll be report alleges. That Luneau was aware of the replay. Room Monitor sign stealing scheme or at least that he was copied on emails where it was referenced. He has denied in a subsequent statement being aware that any rules were broken and it is sort of hard to believe if that someone who was around the team always and fully invested in the team and talking to everyone on the team could be completely unaware of something that everyone on the team. Let me say it. Hard to believe particularly someone that detail oriented who's made his entire career out of squeezing the. I'm not going to say the phrase but making making those those marginal gains like that's the astros are just a little bit better. Misses the whole the whole miss. Is there a little bit better. Because they pay attention to these little new ways that they can that they can Use to add up to a larger advantage so like I just simply don't believe that Eddie didn't know the rules will be broken. Yeah we'll so. What Luna was punished for here is negligence essentially? He didn't inform the field staff. The players I according to this report of the directive from September. Two thousand seventeen. That said they can't do this. That reminded them that the penalties would be harsh. He just sat on that. It sounds like there's no other evidence directly linking him to the so. I understand why you can't hold him accountable for that beyond just well. He's the boss the buck stops with the GM at least in baseball operations and so he has held responsible for. I think one of the things that I was most curious about coming into this was the row of Aj Aj hinch and we were just discussing this off air a little bit but that was I think one of the mysteries that was still lingering. What did hinch no and what did he do if anything to stop this because of course you know we're just talking about how it strains credulity to think that we might not know about the scheme? Well obviously if you're the manager of the team and you're sitting in the dugout every day you have to hear the trash can banging and this report does established that hinch was aware of it and I think the most bizarre detail in the report art is that in multiple occasions sabotaged the video room. Replay Monitor in an attempt to stop this temporarily and and yet never told anyone to stop doing it. This was just like his silent protest which is very odd like on the one hand. He's remorseful call and so okay. Maybe he has a conscience. Maybe he feels bad about this. Maybe he'd disapproved of it at the time but if anything I think that lowers my opinion of him that he objected to this so strongly and yet didn't lift a finger to stop it. And there's there's something in the report players are cited as saying with hinch had said even once that you have to knock this off that they would have immediately now who knows if that's actually true but the point is it. Sounds like he never said anything about did he is really. I think the person most responsible for clubhouse conduct I mean Yeah Leno is putting the team together and he's hinch his boss but inches the man on the spot every day and the fact that he knew about this and and really strenuously objected about it and yet did nothing other than I'm trying to break the Monitor that stands out to me as I think the most surprising part of this report. Yeah that does strike me as bizarre that like you said that I could see him Tacitly disapproving and not doing something to stop it. But if you feel strongly enough to to sabotage the equipment that the players are using to do this then and certainly feel strongly enough to issue a direct order to your bench coach in your players will knock it off that there'd be a team I don't I really have no idea to fly a situation or something. I don't know what was going on I. I offer no excuses for that because I find that behavior justice justice bazaars as you it baseball club adsence are weird place. It does strike me as strange that that he'd go so far as to to do that without actually really putting a stop to it but it seems like with the report saying that Jim Crane wasn't involved and it was unclear if Luna was involved. volved in that hinch disapproved of it. It's really piling. The bulk of the blame at Alex feet painting him as the mastermind. I noted in my piece that Alex Cora even though he wasn't punished here His name appeared eleven times in a nine page report which is more than once per page. That's Salat and Manfred wrote that. He was involved in multiple different attempts to steal signs and that he quote participated in both schemes and through his active participation implicitly condoned the player's conduct. And that Kinda gets out what we're talking about here that the players themselves aren't punished. It's the people blah blah them because they are the one setting the example for the players and it seems like this report is saying that Alex Cora set the worst example. The report says that Alex Cora was the one who oversaw the installation of the Monitor in the tunnel which allowed for the entire scheme to take place at all so chorus punishment? Event is coming When this other investigation into whether the red sox stole signs when they won the World Series in twenty eighteen is completed and I don't know what his punishment is going to be? The athletic noted that there's only been one occasion in MLB history in which a manager was suspended for more than a year. That was when Pete Pete Rose was banned for life for gambling. So is there a middle ground can will they just say well what core did was twice as bad as hint so we're going to suspend him for two years or will he get got the death penalty Jobs Job Wise. And I'm not really sure what's going to happen with that. But it seems like his punishment has to be more severe than what what hinch got given their respective portrayals this report yeah and you'd think that he probably wouldn't be employable for the next few years at least regardless Elissa whatever the punishment is one would think that he will be the next to the let go and I guess there's a larger conversation about will will we see any of these guys again and if so when and where and how long is the appropriate time to wait and punish them beyond an obese punishment punishment. That's a conversation that we could have as well but it is striking because you have these guys who are revered as leaders of men right. I mean Alex Cora was as soon as he got the Boston. It was every story was about how he was so inspiring and and I guess he was inspiring. But you know if if you're a leader of men and you're leading them into sign stealing that's one way you can lead also. Yeah let's have that conversation because that is sort of the conversation that we we're having 'cause I might inclination is to say that again Luna's punishment here is not like this. This just doesn't strike me as being about out the science deal. This is the Taliban thing. This is the The the way that that the organization handle that it's it's the messy pr about all the The press they've got about his his ties to McKinsey. I think he's just become sort of an Avatar for toxicity and I think he makes an easy scapegoat. Go for Major League Baseball instead of actually going back and addressing a lot of the issues within the League's incentive structure that caused people to act this way Although I can hear cry Goldstein's voice in my head saying well. This is why we have ethics by. I think just the shit that ship has sailed frankly that To a certain extent that in the short term at least we've got a treat these you know we got to treat these people like they're just acting their own Rational self interest I to these collusion while other things. It's it's disappointing. That can be anyway so because of that because this comes on the heels of so many things stay that have come out about Jeff. Liu Now mine clinician is to say that he doesn't work again baseball whereas Hinch I think he can come back from that. I think up until honestly up until the I started really thinking about be. Why did he why did he sabotage monitors without actually delivering the order to stop? I would have said he was the best manager in baseball and that I think he can come back from this And the ways portrayed in in the report is that are you. Can you explain that behavior away so I think someday maybe not next season maybe the season after that he comes back and manages in the Big Leagues Scanner. Coach in the Big Leagues Works in front office again I am less optimistic for Jeff Luna. Oh Yeah I mean I think you could make. He seemed to think the opposite though when we were talking earlier. Well I mean first of all. I don't know that there's that strong case for hiring either of them anytime soon because there are a lot of qualified fight candidates for the jobs they do and maybe Luneau and hint sherve among the very best at those jobs I think they probably are. But what's the difference between in them in the next best available candidate. It's probably not that huge and given that the next best available candidate doesn't come with this baggage doesn't have your team immediately being branded as okay with employing assigns dealers or someone who presided over signs dealing and all the other reputational hit that comes with Luneau. I mean I think in the sense that Luneau built the best team in baseball and I think did that regardless of the sign stealing. I think there might be other owners out there who might say. Well we really WanNa win and will our fans be that upset if he gives us another world series. They'll probably forgive us in the long run so I could see that happening happening. I just don't know. I think that the upside you get from hiring one of the best GM's is higher than the upside. You get from hiring one of the best managers just because because the rules are different and GM can make more of an impact in that role so in that sense. It's like well. What are you getting from hints your getting? Maybe a few wins in either direction. Is that sort of the range. Were talking about with even the best manager so then is that worth it. I think we've certainly seen people rehired after doing bad things in baseball. And I think probably people are less inclined to Rehire someone if they did something that negatively impacted impacted the team's performance or prophets. Right not just that they overstep some moral boundary or broke some ethical code or something. I think baseball employers will will forgive that if you're still making the baseball team better and you could argue that in this case well if anything the science dealing probably made the Astros Astros better and I guess the the counter case would be well. They're paying for it now. Just because they're taking this hit to their reputation and the title is tainted and they're losing. Traffics fix all that. Although as we were just saying they still have that world series. And that's not going away so wouldn't be shocked if either of them got rehired but not sure you could could make that stronger case to hire them over the next best available person either. Yeah well I think if this entire scheme proves was anything about MLB teams. It's that bad to whatever it takes to win. And if there is an ownership group for instance that thinks that hiring glue now to oversee a player development overhaul or a tank or whatever else they think Luna would be able to do they would hire him. I think When I saw this punishment the first analogy that came to mind was the bounty gate scandal in the NFL? which for those who aren't familiar? Basically the New Orleans saints about a decade ago no Had A secret slush fund that they used and paid defensive players if they injured opponents and there were suspensions and loss of draft picks and all sorts of punishments but of the main architects of that of that program. One of them Greg Williams. Who is the defensive? Coordinator has subsequently subsequently been hired by four different. Working and by the way is nowhere near as good at his job is now he's not a coordinated the reason he has worked for four different teams because he keeps getting fired and hired by new team and then the other architects of this program are still with the saints so obviously there's not a direct parallel air because only now in Hinch are now gone from Houston but I think it goes to show that teams will take whatever fractional marginal advantages. They can and and Luna's you're saying Ben if he's as potentially good in the future add overseeing a baseball development program as he wasn't Houston that's more than a marginal upgrade and I think that's where in this report that mansion wrote that I think the part that was most forceful where he talks about. How Lanao was simultaneously one of the most successful general managers in the sport credited with turning his team into a contender in building an industry leader in analytics? That has inspired books chapters in books but at the same time creating this culture that has led to all of these toxic matters that we're discussing and he I think I think a lot of teams would tolerate the ladder if they get the former alongside. I'll say this to you. I just used when we were talking with us. Kappler is as a cattering sample. Here's someone who is a choosed of are looking the other way or negligence. In far more troubling ways than than what hinted lunar Or being suspended for was nowhere near as successful got fired by the phillies and was hired by the giants in like a day and a half and so it I think they are as as much as I said this could be a career ender for lunar. Maybe I would not be surprised to find out I was wrong wrong about that. It's like you said it's it's all about the I wanna say winning anymore because it's clearly not about that if we're looking at at some of the trades and free agent decisions that are being made by by big market teams. But there's like a let's just say like a Eh an anticipatory or apathy towards ethics is a standard of behavior. And I. So maybe these guys don't end up having any longterm career repercussions from this to be frank. That matter is a lot more stark and less fun to talk about than some of the lighter elements elements of this report because it kind of confirms what we had been laughing about for two months. which is that? It's this weird combination of new tack with these. He's really zoomed in hyperfocused cameras from Centerfield with being on a trash can and there's a parenthetical in this piece Or in this report about how the Astros like as a team and they were like should we whistle to inform hitters. Now that won't work should be clap on. That won't work. Let's being a trash can and said and like I WANNA WANNA be a fly on the wall of that meeting because that's where you can make light of the situation and remember that baseball is a game versus all of these rightfully heavier weightier topics that what kind of get at the whole integrity aspect and that's a lot less fun to consider so there. There are two other things that I want to one of them. Segues we segue easily into that. That is how much so I look at this. And you know it's as gravely as we're talking about this. I still do kind of find this whole thing farcical. Oh as a a- as like if you're GONNA ask are the astros good because they were stealing signs on the continuum of that to to this didn't really work at all. I'm closer closer to the to the second end of that like I'm maybe. They gained some advantage but this was. This was a great team because the players aren't or really good a a- and maybe this put them over the top But I don't know you know I. It is a little fast. I'll to just planted landed as the Astros won the world series. Because they cheated. Because I don't really I don't really know how true that is. So how oh you know. I I alluded earlier to now that we have this information we can make our own determinations on the legitimacy of his title of the Astros Twenty the eighteen season and maybe you know some people are going to extrapolate years either direction from that. But I'm curious you know where I come down is I sort sort of view. This is sort of like the the Zach you said bountygate. I would say spy gate with the Patriots that like maybe it mattered but it doesn't you know I'm not GonNa go round wearing like dodgers world series championship t-shirt from two thousand seventeen because this yeah I mean for for one thing. I wouldn't be too confident that any individual other team wasn't doing good thing you know I mean the brewers at one point people in the brewers accused the dodgers of stealing signs and then people have since accused the brewers of stealing signed. So certainly the less elaborate means that that we're talking about here is the the replay room video monitor. Every team has that it seems like the Red Sox under Koro were using that the astros relatively using that wouldn't shock me in the slightest if teams were doing that too as for I guess what level of legitimacy we assigned to that world series. In retrospect them mm-hmm. I don't think we can say with any certainty and I think that's kind of the the punishment that's the upshot of it. We can't say with certainty. I agree with view that this would have been a very good team. Regardless I mean we just saw the astros go to game seven of the World Series in twenty nineteen and thus far that they actually stop. Stop doing this right. Of course you know thus far. There's no evidence that they continued to do with this report. Says they didn't do it in the same ways. Perhaps they found on some new even more ingenious method. That will find out about or never find out about who knows. I mean. These players are very good players. I think that said there's just just no way to say with any certainty whether in that universe where they win the world series. I mean if you could simulate that season a million times do they win the world series areas without signs doing usually more than half the time. Yeah I'd say they probably do but you don't get the simulated a million times on. It's possible that they picked up one little tip that made all the difference in a big game. So there's just no way to rule that out and now I think forevermore will associate this team I'm with signs detailing and a lot of people will perceive it as they won because they cheated and whether or not that's accurate that's going to be a big star a big part of the twenty seventeen astros story forever. So that's part of the punishment here even though it's not really specified in the report every the air for ESPN. Sam Biller writes about this is going to be the one thing we remember about this season. You know in the history books fifty one hundred years from now and I think I think at this point we have to conclude that the science dealing scandal will be what is remembered from the two thousand seventeen season. Kinda like how. The black SOx scandal was remembered one hundred years years ago and of course the black socks did not win the world series but it's the same kind of association I think there weren't any lifetime bans here like there were for the black socks but I think the fact fact that Luneau and Hinch were gone for a year and then fired really will help affirm that in the history books not that again it changes the the emotions in the moment of what the Astros and all of their fans experienced but I think from a historical perspective. You can't talk about what the twenty twenty seventeen Astros accomplished without. referencing the sign stealing. And if we're also talking about I know at the end of twenty nineteen. There was a lot of debate about which team team was the team of the decade. I think if it turns out that science stealing was more widespread than just Houston. which as you know Ben was probably the case? It's just more evidence is that the astros encapsulated All of what was happening in baseball over the last decade both positive and negative rates. It depends how you define to find things which is something. I wrestled with when I was writing about team of the decade. So I wrote about that before the first reports about science dealing surfaced and I said at the time I thought the Astros were the team of the decade not necessarily just because of their unfilled success but because they were really emblematic of a lot of trends in that decade both bad ed and good and so on the one hand their accomplishments their unfilled success have been called into question a little bit by the subsequent reports and so the case for for them as a successful team of the decade has been slightly weakened but the case for them as a representative team of the decade is probably even stronger than it was. Then so what I'm hearing is we. We're all in a position where we think. The asterisk joke is funny but not to the world writing into baseball reference to to try to get the record changed or something like that. Yeah by all means make the jokes but but yes always make the jokes. Yes when I write about the twenty seventeen astor's in the future I will not add a parenthetical VAT the title should not be. There's so there's there's there's one more thing than this is sort of an answer Larry thing but I think it needs to be brought up Because this is just sort of getting getting lost in the immediate first-day reaction it's been and big reactions for and I think appropriately But there is an element that baseball has to. I think one of the reasons that Major League Baseball through the book of the Astros like this is it's it now has a financial stake in gambling with the partnership with with MGM. And I think that now there are like the stakes for putting for the game appearing crooked are as high as they've been in. Maybe literally one hundred hundred years since the last gambling scandal. And so I yeah. We were feeding data to gamblers now. we major league baseball's feeding data to gamblers. Moore's now they're inviting. You know a a revenue stream based on the premise that the sport is on the up and up and I think that gives a greater incentive incentive for the league to come down really hard on anything that you know any behavior that is added bounce that impacts the the outcome of individual game so this is y you know I don't I don't think this is among the twenty most evil things that that baseball era dead. That like a baseball team has done over. How the past decade or so but this is GonNa get the big punishment because it threatens The the seeming legitimacy of the sport not in the same way that Pete rose betting on his own team or the black socks throwing games Not In the same way that that does but I think it does it. Tilts the scale in a way that makes the game look like it's not entirely on the level and that's uniquely threatening to the sport now I think that's also where all of the angst about the the ball comes in. I think they're connected in this same matter of integrity or legitimacy as you say because if we don't know how the ball's going to behave in the ball fluctuates game to game in ways that affect outcomes than yeah that's also going to affect gambling results and I think you're right that it adds another layer of reason for people to care about this reason for whenever you add more money to something that adds a lot more attention and potential controversy so so I think teams won't stop trying to gain an edge but I think there are a lot of ways that teams trading and gain and age that doesn't directly Kley affect the outcome is that people would be gambling on for instance gaming the Latin American bonus system. That has happened time and again probably will continue to keep happening. But you're not gambling on. Which team will sign the sixteen year old Dominican shortstop like you are when you're not on on that? I know some probably more like they're they're still underwater from the Kevin. My top scandal. Well yes but the the volume I think and legitimacy are not the same. So you're sure to point that out because teams won't stop trying to gain an edge and if it manifests in this way or in other ways that directly affect the onfield product then that's a whole new layer of concern with which which mlb kind of has a fraught relationship or at least has had a fraught relationship in the past before now embracing it with more open arms than you have anything that this is not like the front page news. But I think it's era French front page aspects of the story but I think it just needs to be mentioned. Yeah it makes sense. I hadn't really considered the implications into that before. You brought it up before we started recording. But I think it's a good point and if you're hoping to attract vast amounts of money from people wagering on your sport well so those people are going to be skeptical about doing that if they don't think they can predict it and one reason why they wouldn't be able to predict it is if there's science dealing happening happening that we can't really detect or know when it's happening so I would think that yes. You want the games to be on the level for many reasons but gambling and the the attention that comes from that is potentially an enormous thing for MLB as well as all the other sports but MLB arguably maybe more than many sports just because they're so many things you could bet on you bet on real time pitch to pitch predictions and obviously that would be influenced potentially by signs. Astor's could've done matt made back that entire five million dollars. Just that's everything that I all my rundown. Did we miss anything that you guys want to talk about. I guess we could consider Carlos Beltran right. He is In the reward. He's been mentioned. Just this stumbled into another on. It's it's unbelievable. Yeah so Beltran is mentioned in the report just once and it's kind of odd that he is singled loud because it it just says approximately two months into the two thousand seventeen season a group of players including Carlos Beltran disgust that the team could approve on decoding opposing teams signs in communicating the science. To the better so it just says cars Beltran was there. It doesn't attribute you know ringleader nece to him. Although I think one of the earlier athletic reports said implied or suggested that he did have a pretty core role in encouraging. Nisar bringing this to the team but maybe the fact that the UPI report mentions him by name and and no one else that could just be because the athletic already reported it. I don't know but he's really the only former Astra's player named in here right other than I guess. Mike Fires who who whistle blew and started this whole thing so yes so I might have missed somebody but I didn't. I don't remember anybody else being mentioned yes so the question is has I mean. He's not punished here because he was a player at the time and no players were punished but now he has been hired to manage the mets and they could just say well he was the player at the time and so we're not going to punish him either but especially given the Kora precedent now that Cora brought this from the Astros to the red sox seemingly and then brought dishonor upon their house. Now the mets maybe have to be worried that Beltran could do the same of one would think he would be smart enough not to do that now. Given all this increased scrutiny. But you know it is possible. I suppose that mets management could just say well we don't don't trust a cheater to be the one overseeing our clubhouse and leading our team I'd be somewhat surprised if that happens but I I would love to have my definition of irony Ernie expanding. It's it's not out of the realm of possibility that he could at least be in hot water and and have to answer questions here because is that he also denied any knowledge of this previously. And so I guess you know can continue to deny it. We know has denied that appea- knew anything Beltran could too but given all of these revelations it seems quite difficult to persist in maintaining that you knew nothing and yet we're in that clubhouse all year just for the content cycle don't you think that the message fire Brodie van Wagon and tomorrow and Higher Jeff Luna really suspended ended. So what you'd have to wait. One year after the World Series Weightier weightier and then Hire Jeff Luneau foot announce it now. That would be a mess. No Yeah I support anything. The mets do for her Hashtag content. All right So if that's everything that we got we've been running. I think a little longer than we intended to on this podcast The season is fast approaching so we will be back Probably sometime around early March With our regularly scheduled with our regularly scheduled programing until then we will continue to to reconvene for any Unexpected unexpected news of this nature. I will say come back to us on February twenty fifth when mookie Betts gets gets traded. We'll have a Another emergency podcast up then but until then I always enjoy hearing from you guys. Yeah you too busy looking at Spencer turntables twenty nine thousand nine stats. He was good at. He had a really enjoyed seven. He was really good he was really seventeen record. The Tigers are incredible. You guys are in midseason form talking. I put this out there. I am going into Spencer. Turnbull is no longer Kali. Yes right that's true. I tie sorry. I'm Becky Dispenser Torkelsson. Oh yes I I saw. I think it was Chris. Crawford said he would he would make him a top three pick by behind my Guy Emerson Hancock at the University of Georgia. Anyway we'll be back to talk. Detroit Tigers is in and the draft and Since you guys have expressed a willingness to talk college baseball we're going to dig deep into that Later this spring until until there's further malfeasance. I suppose I have to say goodbye all right talk to you for listening. We'll see you next time.

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