The universe can work in mysterious way. Sometimes those ways are not mysterious. During Game 1 of the American League Championship Series the Houston Astros were accused of cheating. Afterwards Houston would go on to lose four straight games to the Boston Red Sox and be eliminated from the postseason. It appears that the accusations had an impact on their performance against Boston. Even if the accusations are not accurate. Although they do appear to true.
Including Game 1 of the ALCS the Astros were averaging seven runs per game in the 2018 postseason. This is quite and impressive run total. After Game 1 that number was sliced in half as they only scored three and a half runs per game. Now the lack of their spy could be why this happened. It is also possible that the accusations of cheating distracted the team. What is known for sure is that the team performed drastically different after the accusations arose.
Houston’s excuse for why they had someone spying on the opposing teams is laughable. Wanting to make sure other teams were not spying on them by spying on those teams. If the Astros were really that worried about being spied on they would have notified Major League Baseball. Instead the Astros decided they wanted to be Batman and take matters into their own hands. Maybe next time they will alert the proper authorities instead of attempting their own brand of vigilante justice.
Sign stealing happens in baseball, but not like what the Astros did
Are the Houston Astros the first team to do this? Absolutely not. Teams have attempted to steal signs and information from opponents since the game began. This is just a whole new level of cheating.
Stealing signs is part of the game, but having someone act as an information collector on behalf of the team in an area for credentialed media members only is flat out cheating. Players, managers and other uniformed members of the team in the dugout or bullpen relaying information they see from their respective areas is one thing. Acquiring information from someone who is not one of the aforementioned titles is wrong and cannot be excused.
Houston was sloppy with the entire operation
The person in question previously had the words “Houston Astros” on his Instagram bio. This individual also had pictures with the Astros owner. The words and pictures no longer appear as they have “mysteriously disappeared”.
Maybe if the team was going to use a spy it would be best to ensure that this person does not have incriminating evidence linked back to the team on Instagram. Also it is quite suspicious that this information disappears nearly immediately after the accusations arose.
Additionally the accusations may not have arose if the team was not relentlessly trying to keep this individual in the area he did not belong in. However that is just what happened. Instead of letting it go and trying to win without this individual in the media area, the Astros insisted that he belonged. The persistence of the Astros raised suspicions and rightfully so. It is entirely possible that after this individual was asked to leave and the Astros did not fight it this story does not come to light. Nobody would know about their suspicious activity and their reputation as a model franchise remains intact.
Major League Baseball actually sides with the Astros. Seriously, that happened.
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) October 17, 2018
Just look at this picture. This is one of the most suspicious looking people of all time. The man is pointing his cell phone directly into the Indians dugout, but apparently MLB does not find this to be cheating. MLB decided to believe their lie that they were looking out for themselves. This is instead of believing the Oakland Athletics, Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox who all accused Houston of cheating. In fact Cleveland informed Boston to look out for this guy. Shortly afterwards the story broke and everybody knows the Astros are liars.
All cheaters are eventually caught. This is a fact. Sometimes much earlier than others. Now the Astros are under the microscope and it will be difficult for them to get away with cheating in this manner again. Although they may try again since their cheating tactics were quite poor in the first place.
For now the Houston Astros are eliminated and all is right with the world.