How to heal from a tumultuous offseason

Waiting for baseball


Walter Bowne

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Everyone knows what Major League Baseball has gone through in the past four months.

  Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers came forward in November 2019 with allegations that the Houston Astros, his former team, electronically stole opposing pitchers’ signs during the 2017 regular season and postseason.

  This operation, later revealed to be titled “Codebreaker,” was an elaborate scheme. A video camera in center field, hooked up to a TV screen in the Astros tunnel, would zoom in on the catcher’s signs. Players and coaches would then easily decipher and relay these signs back to the Astros hitters by means of banging on a trash can; different bang sequences corresponded to different incoming pitches.

  By giving themselves an obvious unfair advantage in crucial games down the stretch, the Houston Astros not only ruined the timeline of the 2017 season and postseason; they’ve ended careers (ex. pitcher Mike Bolsinger), changed lives, and ruined the face of a sport which has been waning in popularity recently.

  It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and hate on the Astros for what they did, and you are certainly entitled to do so. But after a certain point, it becomes pointless and obstructive to further bury their name. You just have to move on with your life.

  But following the largest scandal in baseball history besides possibly the steroid era and the 1917 “Black Sox” scandal, it will be hard for baseball and its fans to simply move on. It will take a while for this scab to heal, but there are some first steps that the league can take in order to accelerate the healing process.

  First and foremost, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred should work to set the record straight. Ever since news first came out about the scandal, there has been a lot of confusion and misinformation as to what exactly transpired and how. This has caused the loss of numerous jobs around the league, with some more innocent than others.

  Did former Astros bench coach Alex Cora have a prominent role? It won’t give him his Red Sox managing gig back, but it will at least clear up a lot of league-wide confusion.

  Next, after everything has been cleared up by the commissioner’s office, the next step should be to stop talking about the scandal altogether. This has been one of the darkest moments in baseball history, and nothing is ever really going to change that fact. So, we should just attempt to forget (or at least come to peace with) the past, and put our best feet forward into the future.

  This past offseason has been a tough one for baseball, and there will certainly be vendettas held against the Houston Astros for years to come.

  But in this case, forgiveness seems to be the only clear way forward.