by Mohammad Samra / Staff Reporter
Houston Astros center-fielder George Springer dug his cleats into the dirt next to home plate as he prepared for his first at-bat of the game against the New York Mets in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Realizing that he approached the plate too early, Springer stood helplessly as he was showered with boos, while Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard waited an extra minute before officially starting the game, according to ESPN.
The Astros have faced an overwhelming amount of backlash since Major League Baseball confirmed that they used a center-field camera to steal signs, which aided them in winning their 2017 championship.
As fans began to take a closer look at the footage from that postseason, it was more and more apparent that the Astros were making the most of the cameras.
Various players have been critical of the team from Los Angeles Angels center-fielder Mike Trout to Chicago Cubs third-baseman Kris Bryant, and the backlash doesn’t look to be fading anytime soon.
The players on the Astros ultimately faced no repercussions for their role in the scandal, and their unapologetic demeanor makes them all the more unlikable.
“We’re going to go out there and win and shut everybody up” Josh Reddick told the Washington Post.
He spoke as if his team was being counted out. The Astros have undeniable talent, but when a scandal of this magnitude takes center stage, it’s completely within reason to question the legitimacy of their 2017 championship. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who the Astros played in the 2017 World Series, won 104 games that season. The series went to 7 games before Houston ultimately won.
Not only did their cheating influence the outcome of games, but it also altered careers. Current Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish started Game 7 against the Astros, but turned in one of his worst performances of his career on baseball’s brightest stage. When asked about it, Darvish emphasized how the game affected him mentally.
“I know they were stealing signs, but at the same time, I was not good in the World Series,” Darvish said in an interview with ESPN.
Though the players didn’t get any real punishment, they are tasked with having to endure an entire season where it seems the entire country is against them, and deservedly so.
Players like Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa are going to be pelted with 95 mile-per-hour fastballs, and the team will need an army of security to protect them from fans willing to take things too far. Everywhere they go, they will be reminded of their mistake. But, there is a silver lining for those who feel like the players got off easy; it will be nearly impossible for any of them to enter the MLB Hall of Fame.
Regardless of what anyone on that 2017 team accomplishes throughout their career, the ghosts of their past will be right there with them. As is the case with former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds, who holds the Major League home-run record and was one of the most feared hitters in baseball history. Yet, as each year passes, he finds himself short of the necessary votes to become immortalized in Cooperstown due to his role in the steroid scandal.
It’s reasonable to assume that nobody from the 2017 Astros will make it to the Hall of Fame, but instead, they’ll sit alongside the infamous 1919 Chicago White Sox, who threw the World Series that year in exchange for money from gamblers.
Yet, the team still shows no remorse for their actions, and in turn, nobody will feel remorse for them when they get drilled by pitches all year long.
“Some people lost their jobs. They have to show more apology. I don’t feel anything from those guys.” Darvish said.