From the Braintrust: Major League Baseball’s Endorsement of Cheating a Puzzling Mess

Marshfield (OnFocus) – Major League Baseball prides itself on being America’s Pastime. Heck, baseball has been around so long, it has more history than any major team sport.

With that history, baseball has arguably been the glue that has given America an avenue to get away from day to day life. As will long be remembered from the movie Field of Dreams, ‘If you build it, he will come.’ Baseball will always have that hold on America.

Baseball has also had plenty of ups and downs, including scandals, cheating, and work stoppages. Baseball has survived it all, but lately baseball has been spiraling downward. It’s sad, therefore, that I must point out a tragic flaw with major league baseball.

MLB supports cheating, and it can’t hide the fact.

In this debut column with OnFocus, The Braintrust speaks out on baseball’s dysfunction, and there is no shortage of evidence pointing to this ridiculous lack of leadership.

Worried about how to start the 2020 season, MLB’s powers-to-be couldn’t get out of their own way. First, they agreed with players on prorating their salaries for a shortened season. Then they proposed a 60 game season, with even less money to the players. When faced with a deadline of getting the season underway, and no agreement in place between the owners and players, commissioner Rob Manfred just bullied his way and instituted a 60 game season.

MLB players opting out of 2020 season

With all of the fuss about getting a season started, MLB proved money is the only thing that matters. With all kinds of cost cutting measures in place, heck, MLB even cancelled all minor league games, seemingly cutting off their nose to spite the face. Major league owners want us to think they are poor, you see, and paying minor leaguers, the future of baseball, just didn’t fit in the budget.

With all of the attention on the pandemic, MLB seemingly got its wish, which was attention diverted away from the cheating scandal. COVID-19 is the friend of baseball, not the enemy, you see.

It’s baseball’s lack of disciplinary action in the whole mess that really shows how baseball just doesn’t get it.

When news of the Astros and Red Sox cheating surfaced this past year, fans were in an uproar. Opposing players were, too. Baseball conducted its investigation, and in its best impersonation of bumbling Keystone Cops, they couldn’t find players who warranted suspension. There were mountains of evidence, including video and audio, but baseball couldn’t hand out one player suspension.

NOT ONE player faced disciplinary action!

Seriously? Even ‘one bullet’ Barney Fife could have figured out how to punish the offenders.

The Astros and Red Sox cheated their way through multiple seasons, with the Astros benefitting from return trips to the World Series, and baseball does nothing.

Suspend Astros Manager AJ Hinch for one year? Same thing for Red Sox Manager Alex Cora, who was a bench coach for Hinch and the Astros in 2017, when they won the World Series. This is justice?

Heck, Cora came right out took responsibility for his part, but explained this was an organizational issue, not just the work of two coaches.

“… If there is one thing I am absolutely sure of, it is that it was not a two-man show. We(the Astros) all did it. And let me be very clear that I am not denying my responsibility, because we were all responsible.” – Alex Cora  (For the rest of Cora’s thoughts, CLICK HERE)

Baseball is doing what it can to complete some semblance of a season, and despite a rocky start, might just make it work. They don’t deserve praise, however, because sweeping the cheating under the rug shows they think we’re all idiots.

Let’s hope that MLB has learned from the mess and will be better equipped to monitor itself better in the future.

Shame on you, MLB for condoning cheating. Punishments were deserved, and you dropped the ball.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]