Maybe next time the Houston Astros will think before they cheat, but probably not.
In the Astros’ case, they didn’t really receive a ton of punishment from Major League Baseball. Rob Manfred suspended A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow for a season, and both lost their jobs with the Astros. None of the players were punished, and the organization was docked draft picks and financial means. So, yes, technically MLB did take some issue. But if you asked Astros owner Jim Crane after a few glasses of brandy, he’d probably tell you it was worth it.
The Astros are paying the price on the field for their decisions, however, as they’ve been targeted by opposing fans and even pitchers, who routinely decide to throw at Houston players. Some of those players weren’t even on the team in 2017.
The Astros rival, the Oakland Athletics, sure as hell haven’t forgotten about Houston’s antics.
Astros PA announcer trolled the Astros during lineup announcement
The A's played Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" while they introduced the Astros' starting lineup today.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) April 3, 2021
I have to hand it to the Athletics here — just an excellent use of the Carrie Underwood card.
Underwood’s gospel of the worst of human relationships serves as a reminder of what transpired just a few short seasons ago in Houston. The Astros used illegal video review to help relay pitchers’ signs to their own hitters via trash can banging and other means. It was a surprisingly simple system that gave them an undisputedly unfair advantage.
The Astros are 2-0 on the season and unsurprisingly trying to move on from the punishment that was handed down before last year even started. The rest of baseball is unlikely to allow them to do that.