Just as Major League Baseball seemed to have emerged from the steroid scandal, revelations of the Houston Astros’ electronic cheating scheme in 2017 and 2018 further sullied baseball’s image.
“Cheated: The Inside Story of the Astros Scandal and the Colorful History of Sign Stealing” is a revealing, detailed and ultimately sad account of yet another ethical failure in baseball.
Author Andy Martino writes with a novelist’s touch, ratcheting up the tension as he proceeds.
And while he doesn’t say so directly, Major League Baseball leadership emerges as less than bold and forceful in dealing with the Astros, Red Sox and other baseball cheaters, in part perhaps because of a culture of “everybody’s doing it” and baseball players’ code of dispensing their own justice through pitchers’ nailing offending hitters with a well-aimed fastball.
From baseball’s origins, teams have studied pitchers, looking for nuances in their motions that perhaps signal the pitch they are about to release.
As anger over revelations of the Astros, Red Sox and other teams’ cheating was gathering during spring training in 2019, COVID-19 pushed aside the baseball season.
So with time to think, did baseball resolve to clean itself up?
Baseball’s next scandal presents a familiar excuse — everyone is doing it.