Cheating scandals rocked baseball recently, especially the one involving the Houston Astros in the 2017 season and World Series. (Trash can jokes unnecessary, we’ve all heard ‘em before.)
The latest SB Nation survey asked fans how they feel about various forms of cheating. First, a question about sign-stealing:
Let’s not forget that stealing signs is totally legal and accepted — as long as you do it with your own eyes and brains. It’s when technology gets involved that it becomes a problem:
There’s no question that sign-stealing can be an art. If you can figure out the opponent’s signs just by carefully watching what they do, I feel, “More power to you, baseball folks.” There’s always gamesmanship in any sport and as long as you’re not using technology (or trash cans!) I think it’s okay.
The next question asked about cheating in general:
I suppose this depends on how you define “cheating.” I’d lean toward “all cheating is bad,” because you really should play by the rules. Bending them to steal signs without technology? That’s okay. Using tech, in my view — that’s cheating.
Lastly, the survey asked about using foreign substances:
I would tend to agree with this take. That’s definitely cheating and has been for decades — remember Gaylord Perry’s various forms of “foreign substances”? When his career was over, he admitted to pretty much everything — but by then he was in the Hall of Fame.
Players will, however, always try to get any advantage they can over other players. That’s just natural in any form of competition. They should do it within the rules of the competition, though.
What do you think?