The Houston Astros cheating scandal has created a whirlwind of problems for baseball, and we're starting to see a big amount of division in perspectives of the situation. Many have been vocal about the need to strip the Astros of the 2017 Title, not only on an opinionist level but also among the professional players.
Cody Bellinger, for example, got vocal on Friday when he called out the injustice of the league when it came to how the Astros and their players were punished. Bellinger felt and league MVP and Title was unjustly stolen in 2017 with nothing more than what he thought was a 'weak' apology to show for it.
Bellinger hasn't been the only voice to make their feelings known so it's now come down to MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred's thoughts the situation. On a Sunday press conference, he highlighted the complications that come with going to extremes to go after the Houston Astros:
"We thought about it. It was actually one of the highest amount of time we've spent discussing the topic. My thinking was, it had never happened in baseball. I'm a precedent guy. I'm not saying you always follow precedent, but I think you ought to start by looking at the way things have been done, and you have to have really good reason to depart from that precedent. Also, I believe the most fundamental obligation is to get the facts, put them out there and let people make their own judgment as to what happened in the 2017 season and World Series.
Once you have a situation where the 2017 World Series will always be looked at as something different (whether or not you put an asterisk or ask for the trophy back), I don't think that makes that much a difference. I think we did what we should do, which was, we found the facts, and we were transparent about them.
Lastly, once you go down that road of changing what happens on the field, I just don't know how you decide where you stop."
Colin Cowherd explains below how there are enormous ramifications for Rob Manfred going after the 2017 World Series title. The history of baseball is filled with moments in time where cheating was a significant part of the game, especially when you look back at the steroid era.
"I think the Houston Astros cheated, and I think baseball has been cheating forever. And I STILL love watching the World Series, and I still love watching Yankees/Red Sox, and I still go to Dodger Stadium. But I know it's not golf. NASCAR...If you're not cheating, you're not trying. They're constantly pushing the envelope. That's the sensibility, the culture of NASCAR. That's the sensibility of baseball.
If you vacate the Astros' title, what do you do with the Steroid Era? You don't think steroids won a few World Series Titles? You don't think they changed the outcomes of series? All the big sluggers were on juice, cattle steroids. You open up the door for this, you open up a case of worms, not a can of worms.
Yes, I think Houston did something that got their GM, and their manager fired and should have, but there's a big gap between that and vacating a title. We may learn this week the Red Sox cheated the following year in 2018. That story could come out today or tomorrow, so do we vacate that title? What are you gonna do?
Baseball has to own its baggage."
LISTEN TO THE AUDIO BELOW As Colin Cowherd comes to defense of Rob Manfred and the MLB's refusal to vacate the 2017 World Series Title from the Houston Astros.