If it weren’t already taken, the Astros could change their nickname to the “Trashcan Sinatras.”
Tony Kemp is innocent! I know that when the data came out that there were no trashcan bangs when Kemp was at bat, at least one of you joked that the Astros didn’t even bother to try and cheat with Kemp.
It feels good that we all can celebrate Kemp’s two months with the Cubs and his .183 batting average with a clean conscience.
Also, let me add my voice to what Al wrote: No throwing at the Astros. I understand the desire to do so, but violence is never the answer. And if a pitcher loses control of one of those pitches and it hits someone in the head, that’s everyone’s worst nightmare.
This is still no fun. (NSFW video) Except Iggy looks like he’s having a lot of fun.
- Commissioner Rob Manfred tried to extinguish the dumpster fire that has kicked off Spring Training for the Astros and every other team by holding a press conference on the Astros cheating scandal and the punishments handed out. He also spoke of other things going on with baseball, but the cheating scandal is the big one.
- Manfred also gave an interview with ESPN’s Karl Ravech. [Video]
- Bill Baer is not impressed with Manfred’s answers, saying that Manfred either doesn’t get it or he’s intentionally trying to gaslight us all.
- Jeff Passan goes after Astros owner Jim Crane, finding his “non-apology” lacking. Passan also notes that the idea that Crane and others in the front office didn’t know about the sign-stealing is simply not believable, since Passan knew about it in 2017. But Passan couldn’t get anyone to go on the record about it. He did write a couple of stories about the suspicions of other teams about the Astros in 2018.
- Tim Brown argues what others have said: The Astros should stop apologizing and just go “full heel.”
- The players have gotten into this, of course. I’ll leave out what Kris Bryant said, since we’ve already covered that on this site. But C. Trent Rosecrans asked Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer about the Astros and it was ten minutes before Rosecrans got another word in. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Bauer later said that the reaction he’s gotten from other players from his comments have been “mostly positive.”
- Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger ripped the Astros and said that the Astros stole the World Series from the Dodgers and that José Altuve “stole” the 2017 MVP Award from Aaron Judge.
- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa defended Altuve and said that Bellinger shouldn’t talk about things he doesn’t know about. (The Athletic sub. req. but here’s a non-subscriber link with more talk about an Altuve tattoo.) Correa claimed that Altuve, Kemp and Josh Reddick were the three hitters who didn’t use the trashcan bangs.
- Correa’s comments did not go over well with players on other teams.
- Former MLB pitcher Mike Bolsinger explains his thinking behind his lawsuit against the Astros.
- Buster Olney writes that the way the Astros deal with the fallout from the scandal will define their season. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Jeff Passan writes that the “war of words” between Astros players and players on other teams isn’t going away anytime soon. Baseball is burning, Passan claims, and no one has a fire extinguisher at the moment.
- Here’s some more players talking about the Astros on social media. None of them are complimentary.
- Many youth baseball leagues in Southern California have removed the team name “Astros” from their ranks.
- Jay Busbee argues that baseball fans have a moral obligation to boo the Astros. Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.
- Here is some Astros news that has nothing to do with sign stealing. Pitcher Zack Greinke will not arrive in Spring Training camp until February 22. Why? According to manager Dusty Baker, Greinke don’t need no reason.
- Now for some sad news as former All-Star shortstop Tony Fernandez has died at the age of 57.
- Members of the Blue Jays family, the team that Fernandez is most associated with, reacted to the passing of one of their own.
- Travis Sawchik has five questions for the 2020 season that have nothing to do with sign stealing!
- Jay Jaffe takes a look at some of the new roster rules and finds them to be solutions in search of a problem. He also calls them “garbage.”
- Ben Frederickson believes that the proposed plan to expand the MLB playoff would “cheapen” the regular season.
- Hannah Keyser writes that while MLB’s decision to increase the pay of minor leaguers is a (very) small step in the right direction, all it did was highlight how little money minor leaguer make and will still make in 2021.
- Craig Edwards continues his series on minor league contraction by looking at the teams that are marked for extinction. It seems a lot of teams are on the block because they’re just inconvenient (and they aren’t owned by a major league team).
- Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez (I don’t need to explain who those two are, do I?) are considering trying to purchase the Mets. Isn’t “the block” that Jenny is from in the Bronx? I guess the Yankees aren’t for sale.
- Liz Roscher explains how the two could buy the Mets and why they’d want to. They’d need a lot of help. Those two are really rich, but they’re not “We’ve got a spare $3 billion to plunk down on a baseball team” rich.
- Mike Petriello explains why at least one projection system has the Mets winning the NL East in 2020.
- Michael Baumann praises the Twins for trading for Kenta Maeda, saying that they’re finally acting like the contenders that they are. Signing Josh Donaldson is another sign.
- R.J. Anderson has the ten teams with the best offseason in 2019-20.
- Anthony Castrovince creates an “all-underrated” all-star team.
- One “bold” prediction for each MLB team.
- And finally, Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich had a big weekend as he helped current Milwaukee Buck (and former Orioles minor leaguer) Pat Connaughton compete in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. (See picture above.)
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.