Major League Baseball had an exciting postseason with the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros going to seven games in the World Series. The offseason created some much-needed sizzle with top free agents like Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Anthony Rendon signing big contracts before Christmas, rather than dragging the process out until February or March.
But as Pat Ryan and I talked about Wednesday on WISE Sports Radio, the biggest baseball offseason story will probably be what MLB does to the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox for their elaborate sign-stealing schemes involving cameras and dugout signals. The Astros won the World Series in 2017, the Red Sox in 2018, and both teams had Alex Cora on their coaching staffs.
Now that we’re into baseball’s offseason, a story that should be getting a lot more attention is getting noticed.
A month ago, Baseball America reported that Major League Baseball was considering a proposal to eliminate 42 teams from its minor leagues, presumably based on geography, attendance, and the condition of its facilities. The New York Times followed up with both reaction from some of the clubs that could be affected and, most importantly, a list of the teams that could have their major league affiliation taken away.
That took up a big chunk of my WISE Sports Radio baseball segment with Pat Ryan. We also discussed MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addressing the sign-stealing allegations against the Houston Astros and look at the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot.
The Houston Astros seem to be sinking deeper and deeper into their sign-stealing scandal. How far up did this go in 2017? Well, reports have the team’s special assistant to the general manager directing scouts to film signals from the opposing dugout. The exec in question also happens to be a former baseball writer, something I covered for Awful Announcing.
Also on WISE Sports Radio‘s Monday baseball segment, Pat Ryan and I discussed the future of the Washington Nationals and a very nice payday they’ll be getting, along with the Pittsburgh Pirates hiring a new general manager.
Stepping into controversy, sign-stealing, and life-stealing on The Podcass!
First, a brief response to an Awful Announcing article I wrote (02:41). Then, baseball talk on WISE Sports Radio with the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal and MLB awards (09:18). We change it up with a review of Bong Joon-Ho’s new film, Parasite (24:39). And close it out with sports radio football chatter, digging into Colin Kaepernick’s workout and other Week 11 NFL headlines (31:34).
If it’s true that you ain’t tryin’ if you ain’t cheatin’, the Houston Astros have apparently been trying very hard as they’ve become one of the best teams in baseball. According to former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers, there was a whole lot of trying, in terms of stealing signs from the opposition, in 2017 when Houston won the World Series.
That’s just one of the topics Pat Ryan and I discussed on Wednesday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment. We also talk about the Manager of the Year award winners and look ahead to the Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player announcements.
[Note: There was a glitch in the recording around the 13:10 mark, some kind of hiccup with my internet connection. Sorry about that.]