More details came out about the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal. A former Royals player from the 2015 World Series winner decided to retire. The MBLPA is making noise for no reason. And an ESPN baseball analyst has their role changed.
Here is your daily Dr. Feelgood…
ASTROS’ DARK ARTS, SIGN-STEALING DEPARTMENT
An article published on The Wall Street Journal website on Friday revealed that it was the Houston Astros’ front office that began the sign-stealing scandal the team was recently punished for implementing. An intern created an Excel-based application called Codebreaker that was used to decode signs used by the Astros’ opponents.
Jeff Luhnow, who denied knowing about the sign-stealing, was informed about the club’s activities and updated about it multiple times. Luhnow said that he never saw the information because he didn’t read entire emails.
Luhnow, who was outraged by the St. Louis Cardinals breaking into the Houston Astros’ computer system, has now been found to have been involved with something way worse. He has been aware of, or at best should have been aware of, a scandal which questions the integrity of Major League Baseball games.
In addition to being suspended and fired, Luhnow and everyone in the Astros’ organization who had knowledge of the scandal, which had to include everyone in the front office and every player and coach should be permanently banned from baseball. This won’t happen because Commission Rob Manfred already gave players immunity for their testimony. Many will laugh at the suggestion of banning a large portion of a team’s baseball organization but it’s the right thing to do. And in case you are wondering, yes, if other teams are in a similar situation, I feel they should have the same punishment.
Kendrys Morales announced his retirement from baseball. Morales had 22 home runs and 106 runs batted in for the Royals’ World Series championship season in 2015.
Morales was huge for the Royals in 2015. He gave the team the long ball threat they needed. He hit .290 with an OPS of .847. His OPS+ was 127. I’m not sure the Royals win the World Series in 2015 without Kendrys Morales. He should be remembered as an important piece of that World Series championship.
MLBPA DEMANDS COMPLETION OF TRADE
MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark released a statement saying that the trade between the Dodgers, Red Sox and Twins needs to be completed without delay. Clark said that the delay has unfairly put several players’ lives in limbo. He said that this situation is a reminder that players are treated as commodities by those running the game.
Well, of course, they are treated as commodities! Who doesn’t realize this? Players are traded all the time. The teams are obviously not liking the situation either. Clark seems to be just flexing his muscles to try to show his players that he is behind them. He needs to just relax and let things work themselves out. The teams obviously do not want this to fall through and have players return knowing they were not wanted.
MENDOZA LEAVES METS AND ROLE WITH ESPN CHANGES
Jessica Mendoza, an ESPN baseball analyst on Sunday Night Baseball, resigned as an advisor for the New York Mets. She will also no longer be on Sunday Night Baseball. She will remain with ESPN and work weekday games.
How game analysts are allowed to work for clubs is outrageous to me. The talk with the teams that are in the games they are going to broadcast and should be able to get inside information to assist with the broadcast. But when you work for another team you potentially make that communication uncomfortable. Mendoza does a decent job analyzing baseball games and hopefully, things will improve even more with her no longer with the Mets.
WHAT TO WATCH: All three local schools are in action today. Kansas and Kansas State are on the road. Missouri is at home. As much as I hate to say it, I’m most interested in the Duke at North Carolina contest. Can North Carolina beat Duke at home or will the Blue Devils handle them? The Tar Heels need a win in the worst way.
PODCAST: I recorded the Thursday night podcast last night and got it released early this morning. I talk quite a bit about the Chiefs and specifically Patrick Mahomes. I also discussed several news items in Major League Baseball this week. And then I touched on a potential law in Kansas that affects sports participation.
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