Sign Language For Dummies

Image result for three stooges baseball

Baseball went to the mattresses this month in a bloodletting that leaves three franchises in limbo on the heels of the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal.

As a result, Houston fired its manager and general manager. Boston fired its skipper, Alex Cora, who had served as bench coach for Houston and is suspected of using nefarious means to steal signs while in Boston as well. And the New York Mets Carlos Beltran stepped down before ever managing a single game.

If you’re not down with the latest MLB ordeal, it’s really quite simple. The Astros stole signs, which is something that’s been going on since rawhide was invented. Only difference is, they created an elaborate system of video monitoring, which had been banned by the league prior to these actions. During home games, they had someone watching a video monitor and banging a trash can to signal what pitch was coming for Astros hitters. When world class hitters are accorded that kind of 411, it becomes batting practice. Hence all the heads that have rolled, and all the many heads that are teetering nervously in anticipation of being found out.

So yeah, Houston does indeed have a problem, and you can expect every away game on their schedule to become an episode of American Horror Story. I’m pretty sure they should forfeit their three game series in New York in late September, unless they’re curious as to what Fallujah looks like in the fall.

They had us all fooled, yours truly included. Hell, back in October, I included the Astros in my Heroes World Series edition saying “. . . The Houston Astros have done just about everything right over the last five seasons . . .” Fucking guys.

Image result for funny sign stealing

Sports is supposed to be an escape from the everyday world of taxes, transit strikes, unpopular general elections and shitty roads. But seeing as how sports is made up of fallible participants, the odds are not always in our favor.

In fact, professional sports has a long and sullied history of scandal and controversy. In basketball, there was referee Tim Donaghy’s game fixing scandal. Hockey saw the Edmonton Oilers trade Wayne Gretzky to America, shortly after which it became illegal for Canadian teams to win the Stanley Cup . . . I think. And in football, you have the New England Patriots.

Baseball’s got all of them beat. There is one hundred years worth of unfortunate events tucked in its seams. From the 1919 Black Sox scandal to Pete Rose being banned from baseball for gambling on games to the steroid era to this month’s sign stealing revelations involving the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox.

The truly unique aspect regarding the sport formerly known as America’s Pastime is that time seems to romanticize (or monetize) most of its wounds. Countless books have been written and several movies have been made about the 1919 White Sox fixing the World Series. And while the steroid era will always be a blight to fans of a certain age, the dirty truth is that it produced a tsunami of green. Player salaries grew exponentially as a result of tainted numbers while owners took full advantage of an explosive revenue stream by creating their own television networks. Welp, at least Commissioner Bud Selig fought to preserve the integrity of the game . . .

So even out of worst case scenarios, baseball usually figures out a win. Can you imagine a real life tragedy being romanticized to the tune of billions of dollars? Oh wait . . I forgot about James Cameron.

This latest scandal is already going next gen with crazy accusations about Astros players wearing electronic devices during games. It’s like Bad News Bears meets MacGyver meets The Wire meets Are you kidding me with this shit?  But that’s okay because player agent Scott Boras insists that his client- Jose Altuve- never used an electronic device. Which should put these rumors to sleep since no player agent has ever told a lie about their client, ever.

Of course, as sports scandals are wont to do, this has peeps feeling all sorts of ways . . most of them homicidal. The Astros are the latest Public Enemy Number One to come down the sporting pike, and it doesn’t get any more vitriolic than the text my friend sent to me yesterday morning when we were discussing Sign-Gate. He had some . . uh . . sharply fashioned thoughts as per Houston’s diminutive shortstop, Jose Altuve.

That little fucker should quit baseball and become a jockey. 

I should note my friend is a Dodgers fan. And a gambler. So, yanno . . when he’s hurt he says things he doesn’t really mean. Even though he really means them.

Image result for altuve jersey

All kidding aside (for a moment), I really hope the Astros don’t suck this season. As much as the Yankees fan in me wants to see them win eighty five games and miss the playoffs, the baseball fan in me wants to see them make another run at October. Because it would prove how good this club truly was/is, and that it didn’t need to resort to Nixonian tactics. It would serve to remind us once again that no player or team will ever be above the game. And it will provide a much needed respite to Astros fans, who waited fifty five years to celebrate a championship and now are left to wonder what it all meant. They deserve better than what they’ve gotten, I do know that much.

Perhaps the biggest irony is that for all the video recording and trash can banging the Astros were utilizing, their home field advantage meant bupkis in the World Series last October. They became the first team in World Series history to lose all four games played in their home park.

It was as if the baseball Gods were taking out the trash.





93 thoughts on “Sign Language For Dummies

  1. Duuuuuuude. I. WAS. FURIOUS. I heard about this last year but was thinking nah that pitcher is probably soured out. No way they could be jackasses at this level. We got robbed twice and Darvish got run out of town. They are the most hated team in New York and Los Angeles. And a 5 mil fine? What is that?! Like a pair shoes for these owners that’s nothing. $500 mil will teach a lesson. And guaranteed people will think twice before conducting 007 surveillance from center field. Cora, an ex-Dodger, should definitely be banned and title vacated. Because if it’s not … Dodgers are going to have to hire extra security because LA fans getting cheated twice by the same guy … it’s going to be INTENSE when Houston or Boston show up here. And YES Altuve needs to be fined/suspended as the rest of the crew. They saw the monitors in the tunnel. They knew what was going on, if they didn’t want to participate they should have used a sign.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cali,

      You’re the second Dodgers fan in two days that has dished up the what’s what on this fiasco. And lemme tell you, LA peeps ain’t playing when they say bring em on! I mentioned a Bronx reception but damn if Chavez Ravine isn’t going to feel like the Alama for Houston.

      CC Sabathia was railing on about getting screwed out of two titles, and while I do wonder if we were screwed out of the pennants, I know LA and Washington would have had a LOT to say about the World Series. The Dodgers have the most legitimate gripe, as they were thisclose to winning it all. I feel for them, you.

      You’re right about the fine Why even bother? As for vacating the title, it will never happen. Even if doing so would be the only way to truly deter other teams from trying this stuff. Because let’s face it, other teams have and will continue to do so. This doesn’t stop it from happening, it simply forces those who would do it to find other ways to go about it.

      Wish we were riffing under more fortunate circumstances, but hey . . baseball will keep on keeping on. And there’s always a chance that its LA vs NY in this year’s World Series. Which would require us to wager . . . LOL.

      Good to see you chica.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! I was gonna say Chavez Ravine but I wasn’t sure non Cali peeps would get it. But you did! Dodgers fans are lit up! CC Sabathia IS RIGHT! I need to order my 2017-2018 Back to Back Champions shirt because that’s ridiculous. I LOVE Valenzuela and Hersh but Kershaw and Darvish got screwed. All kinds of columnists trashing them for months. Did you see that comment from that pitcher? I’d rather face a guy on steroids than a guy who knew what pitch was coming? It should have been Yankees vs. Dodgers from the beginning.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I gotchou!

          Back to Back eh?! Them’s fighting words! And shame of it is, we never got to use em because all this nonsense was going on.

          Kershaw always gets trashed and it’s a shame. Dude is a monster, and there is NO October without him doing what he does on the regular.

          And that’s what pisses me off most about all this. It’s HARD to win! So many great names are in the Hall who never won it all . . through no fault of their own. It’s simply not a cake walk, which is what makes winning that much sweeter. And to have such an unfair advantage, it’s just the worst.


  2. B,

    I’m trying to comment in an intelligent manner because, until this very post, I had no clue about sign-gate. Guess that’s what happens when you don’t watch baseball or the news. And I STILL had to google what you meant because I thought there was some physical stealing of signs and was like whaaa? So. That said, Fucking guys…

    I loathe how professional sports’ salaries are so through the roof, it’s barely about the game anymore. Apparently cheating, or finding new ways to cheat will continue to be an issue… hell, they can afford to find new ways, can’t they?

    As for them losing all their home games, karma, bitch!

    Perfect choice of song, as per!

    To bringing back honesty to professional sports – ok, ok, a girl can dream, no?

    Q (who cannot believe her comment is so short)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never been much into pro sports, maybe watching half-assed at family gatherings because it was impossible to have a conversation otherwise, maybe even catching an occasional Super Bowl. A few Mariners games over the years, but only live and only then to people watch in the stands. So this latest brouhaha doesn’t impact me at all. But I feel your pain, having experienced something similar with the Lance Armstrong cheating/lies fiasco in the Tour, having become an avid fan because of Lance.
    No more pro sports for me. Fallible humans are too disappointing at their pay scale.
    But your rendition of the fiasco kept me reading to the end, and I’m glad I did, because your last two paragraphs wrapped it all up perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • R Dub!

      Nah, you do what you’re doing. You’re doing it so very well.

      Sports is something I’m anchored to, and I blame it on my high school days when sports kept me relevant. But really, it turns most people off, because, like you say . . the math is all wrong.

      I’m thrilled you kept on with this. Lets me know I’m doing something right. 😉


  4. I’m working on my own post on this topic. Part of it addresses my own feelings about the game. After a lifetime of being a baseball fan, more than for any other sport, I’m feeling like I’m done with the game. Between the obscene amounts of money (which is justification enough for cheating), the way the game is played (home run or strike out and nothing in between), the coming rules changes, and the potential for their being robot umpires … baseball is losing its soul, and I don’t want to stick around and watch the decline.

    Other major sports aren’t any better, unfortunately.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Last week I heard a radio show with some of the scoop about the Astros –
    But your post had given me a fuller picture –
    And so sad that it happened and glad they were caught –

    And this was classic “sorryless” phrasing:
    “It’s like Bad News Bears meets MacGyver meets The Wire…”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I keep thinking … this team was real good, and didn’t need to do it. Like the Patriots, they were good enough. Nixon had the election in the bag – no chance of losing – oh no … everyone wants more because more means more. Meanwhile, who would imagine three teams looking for managers a month before spring training.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was reckless and worse, and so the Astros will forever after have a question mark next to their World Series title. No asterisk, because the MLB doesn’t do that, 😉

      This is unprecedented. And two WS winning managers at that. I think the Cora situation is fascinating. He presided over this elaborate sign stealing system in Houston and then had carryover in Boston. Will he ever get a managing gig again? I don’t know . . .


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