Timeline of the Astros’ Cheating Scandal

Timeline of the Astros' Cheating Scandal

Nikolas Martin

Timeline of the Astros Cheating Scandal

If you’ve been following along with sports over the past few months, then chances are you’ve heard a lot about the Houston Astros and their sign stealing scandal. For anyone that doesn’t quite know what happened yet, I’ve put together à timeline to help sort some of it out:

Nov. 12 – Former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers says the team used a center field camera to record and steal signs during their 2017 World Series championship season in an interview with The Athletic. Between 10 to 12 teams also reported their suspicions to the MLB prior to Fiers’ interview. Later that day, Twitter user “Jomboy” released a video that went viral that shows Houston players banging trash cans to alert hitters of incoming pitch types during a game against the White Sox.

Nov. 13 – The MLB begins their investigation on the Astros.

Nov. 18 – New York Post reporter Joel Sherman reports that many league scouts and executives believe Houston used buzzers taped to players to let them know which pitch was coming.

Jan. 13 – Two months after the MLB started their investigation, the news breaks that the Astros, lead by then bench coach Alex Cora, former player Carlos Beltran, and many other Astros players, used technology to steal signs during the 2017 season and playoffs, as well as parts of the 2018 season.

Punishments included the suspensions of Astros’ General Manager, Jeff Lunhow, who did not know about the sign stealing, and manager AJ Hinch, for the entire 2020 season. Both, however, were fired shortly after the suspensions were announced. The Astros were also fined 5 million dollars and had their 2020 and 2021 1st and 2nd round picks stripped. No players were punished due to the MLB giving them immunity in exchange for cooperation during the investigation. The Astros 2017 World Series title, which they won during the height of the scandal, was not vacated.

Jan. 14 – A day after the Astros punishment is handed down, Alex Cora, who as of January 13th was manager of the Boston Red Sox, is fired due to his role in the scandal. His punishment is yet to be announced, but it is expected to be one of the longest suspensions ever handed down by MLB.

Jan. 16 – Carlos Beltran, who had just recently been hired as the new manager of the New York Mets, is also fired.

Feb. 13 – Astros owner Jim Crane and players Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve hold a press conference public “apologizing” for the scandal.

As of today, no new news has come in, but a new controversy regarding baseball commissioner Rob Manfred’s lack of punishment on the players has sprung up. The majority of people, myself and players included, believe that something more should have been done. The Astros players helped create and run a sign stealing system, and the only people punished by the MLB were the GM and the Manager. Both of the men punished were either against what was going on, or didn’t even know that it was happening at all. Cora’s, the man believed to be the leader of it all, has yet to have his punishment determined (it’s believed to be one of the longest suspensions ever handed out), and yet all of the players, the ones who’s cheating helped them win a championship, were essentially protected by Rob Manfred and the MLB.

Astros’ shortstop Carlos Correa, when asked about former teammate and one of the leaders of the scandal, Carlos Beltran, said this in a press conference from the USA Today “Whatever he said and whatever we were doing, we had the chance to stop it, as a team, everybody”. Correa also explained that Beltran didn’t influence any of the players, and that it was all on the players.

If I had to compare this to something in everyday life, it would be like if your spouse cheated on you, and then filed for a divorce and took the house and the kids and remarried with the person you found them with. Oh, and they are also your boss at work, and they fire you. The players get off completely free, and that’s what has so many people upset.

This entire scandal has left a black eye on the game of baseball. The MLB had a chance to make things right and move forward, and instead they sparked even more controversy that made the black eye that was left even bigger.