Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said on Wednesday he will not strip the 2017 Houston Astros or 2018 Boston Red Sox of their World Series Titles, despite their roles in the MLB cheating scandal.
In the case of the Astros, an investigation proved they cheated during the 2017 World Series. The investigation into the Red Sox alleged cheating in the 2018 World Series is still ongoing.
Speaking on Fox Business Network, Manfred said he isn’t inclined to change the outcome of those contests, as such a move would go against the history of the game.
“I think the answer from our perspective is to be transparent about what the investigation showed and let our fans make their own decision about what happened,” Manfred said.
LA City Council: Dodgers Got Screwed Twice
The members of the Los Angeles City Council have already made up their minds. On Tuesday, they introduced a resolution asking MLB and Manfred to declare the Dodgers champions of the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
The resolution was sponsored by councilmen Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz. Koretz told reporters that it would be the right action to take.
“We know they were cheated at a real shot at a championship,” Koretz said of the Dodgers. “We have to send a message. If we don’t stand up for baseball, then the tradition of the national pastime may become flawed.”
The resolution is largely ceremonial since the council holds no jurisdiction over MLB. Koretz, though, said the action was not taken to grab headlines.
“This isn’t being done for publicity,” Koretz said. “This is being done in outrage for how our team was cheated.”
Only Astros Receive Harsh Punishment
Manfred has already dealt with Houston in the MLB cheating scandal. The league suspended general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for a year. Houston owner, Jim Crane, fired Luhnow and Hinch after the punishment by MLB was announced. The team was fined $5 million and lost its top two picks in the next two drafts.
The Astros were using a centerfield camera to pick up signs, and then relaying them to the dugout. The team used a code to signal to batters what type of pitch was coming.
MLB’s investigation included more than 60 witnesses. The Wall Street Journal published a story on Wednesday alleging the league struck a deal with the player’s union to give immunity to any player who wanted to give them information.
Crane said regardless of the investigation’s outcome, his team earned their World Series championship.
“I think absolutely not,” Crane said. “I think we’ve had a very good team for a number of years before 17, we were turning the corner, and I don’t think it taints it.”
Fallout From MLB Cheating Scandal
As of Wednesday, four people have lost their jobs because of the MLB cheating scandal. Luhnow, Hinch, Red Sox manager Alex Cora, and New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran all are out of work. Cora and Beltran were both with the Astros during the sign-stealing scandal.
The investigation into the allegations against the Red Sox isn’t complete, and more people could be shown the door. Manfred said, however, vacating Boston’s title will probably won’t happen.
“We haven’t concluded our investigation with the Red Sox,” Manfred said. “So it’s a little hard to take the trophy away from somebody who hasn’t yet been found to do something wrong. We don’t know what the outcome of that’s going to be.”