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Santa Monica Lawmaker Calls on Baseball Commissioner to Strip Astros of 2017 Title
 

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By Jorge Casuso

January 23, 2020 -- A Santa Monica lawmaker introduced a resolution this week calling on Major League Baseball's commissioner to strip the Houston Astros of their 2017 World Series title for cheating.

Resolution 74 sponsored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom also calls for Commissioner Rob Manfred to penalize or fine players complicit in the cheating scheme and require Astros owner Jim Crane to apologize publicly.

The Astros won the 2017 World Series title in a seven-game series against the Dodgers.

“Lies and dishonesty have become so pervasive in American culture that one may think cheating, not baseball, is the national pastime,” Bloom, a former Santa Monica mayor, said on Thursday.

“Professional ballplayers and teams are looked up to by children, and should behave accordingly," he said. "Likewise, when their behavior is egregious, they should be held accountable.”

An investigation launched by the league last year found that during the 2017 season, the Astros used cameras and video monitors to steal signs during home games at Minute Maid Park.

The team used the feed from a centerfield camera to decode the catcher's signs then passed them along to a player or coach stationed in the tunnel between the clubhouse and dugout.

The team member would then bang with a bat or massage stick on a trash can to signal the pitch -- one or two bangs for an off-speed pitch, none for a fastball.

Nearly all the Astros players were involved in or knew about the scheme that was used throughout the 2017 regular season and playoffs.

Calls to strip the Astros of the title began after "The Athletic" published the bombshell article last November where former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers detailed the scheme.

On Monday of last week, Commissioner Manfred announced Astros manager A.J. Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow would be suspended for a year before they were subsequently fired.

The league also fined the team $5 million and stripped it of their first-and-second round draft picks for the next two years.

Bloom called the $5 million fine "chump change" and said there has been "zero accountability" from the team.

“The integrity of Major League Baseball is in question, due to its decision to grant full immunity to the Astros players, while knowing each player was involved or knew about the scheme," Bloom said.

"When an entire team is involved in cheating, each member should bear the consequence. So far, there has been zero accountability from the Houston Astros organization nor the players."


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