Astros Cheating Scandal

Nathan Stever, Reporter

The 2019 World Series ended over a month ago with the Washington Nationals winning for the first time in franchise history. In mid-November, accusations of the Houston Astros cheating in the 2017 World Series came out. The accusations were backed up by former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers, who spent three seasons with Houston. 

Allegedly, the Astros had a camera in center field which saw signs of the opposing catcher. According to the accusations, there was team personnel in the hallway between the dugout and the locker room watching the cameras. They would then allegedly relay the signs to the batter by banging on a trash can so the hitter would then know what pitch to expect. 

Within a matter of a few games after allegedly implementing the method to cheat,  Astros’ batting numbers skyrocketed. Hitters were suddenly waiting more and hitting pitches they had not been able to in previous games. The team suddenly became unstoppable. Several players on the Astros led the league in home runs, or started to become recognized as homerun hitters. Houston quickly rose from the middle of the rankings to the top.

At the end of the 2017 regular season,Houston led the league in hits, doubles, Runs Batted In (RBIs), batting average, On Base Percentage(OBP), slugging percentage, and finished second in the league in homeruns falling three short to the Yankees. The Astros were also first overall in batting. They surpassed every team in almost every stat taken for batting. In the playoffs they would face the only team that had numbers close to theirs, the Yankees.

The numbers that were put up in the 2017 season were huge improvements from the 2016 season. The Astros did not make it to the playoffs in 2016, proving how much of an improvement there was. Houston started out the 2017 season with very similar numbers of the 2016 season.

Prior to the season, the Astros moved ‘the hill’ in center field, making the field 20 feet shorter. The organization also added a top-of-the-line camera system. During the regular season there was suspicions of cheating, but the team said the homerun numbers were better because the field was 20 feet shorter. 

The Major League Baseball Association is still currently investigating the situation. If what the former players and opponents say are true, the Astros could be suspended from the 2020 season.