TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - When is a sport, no longer a sport? When it becomes a massive business where winning overshadows the rules of the sport.
That is what has happened to professional baseball. Recently it was announced and confirmed that the 2017 Houston Astros – the World Champion Houston Astros - were busted for electronically stealing pitching signs. The advance knowledge of a pitch gives the batter a distinct advantage in making adjustments increasing the chance of him hitting the ball.
Major league teams often work to steal signs using players on base and other methods, but any electronics are prohibited. The violation cost several current and former Astros managers their jobs and has cast a shadow on their World Series win in 20-17. So, the sport is gone. There really should be some kind of criminal punishment for actions like this. It is the only way to prevent future cheaters from trying to move around the rules to gain an advantage.
Also, think about the fortunes of players, the magnitude of sports wagering that takes place across the country. How many millions of dollars were fraudulently won or lost because the Astros cheated? How many millions of dollars of bonuses and endorsements were earned as a result of being a World Series Champion? This type of cheating kills sports and kills the confidence in those involved and something drastic needs to happen.
So, now, as spring training approaches in a few weeks, baseball has an opportunity to clean itself up and try to rebuild what has truly been stolen – the innocence of a sport that should remain a sport.