Houston has been under fire for using electronics to illegally steal signs in 2017 along with parts of 2018.
This is what this entire spring has been like, the Astros' brazen cheating the talk of spring-training camps around baseball despite efforts by teams to look ahead to the upcoming season.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar, who is fresh off a win in the 2020 NBA All-Star game, took to Twitter on Tuesday and addressed a message to Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred about the Astros cheating and how the players are hurt by the entire situation. "At this point the only thing devaluing that trophy is that it says "commissioner" on it". The third baseman fired back that Manfred set "a weak precedent" with his punishment of the Astros, continuing: "For him to devalue [the trophy] the way he did yesterday just tells me how out of touch he is with the players in this game".
In wake of Astros’ cheating, Pete Rose asks Major League Baseball for reinstatement
This is a league that loves the fruits of cheating on Saturday night, and then seems to grow a conscience on Sunday morning. Rose said his gambling was no worse for the game than the recent sign-stealing scandal by the 2017 Houston Astros .
The Astros were fined $5 million and lost their top two MLB Draft picks for the next two years for a sign-stealing scandal detailed in an MLB investigation that found cameras and a monitor used to learn what pitches rival hurlers would throw and had players hit trash cans to signal batters what was coming. Manfred said the union asked for player immunity in exchange for that cooperation, and Manfred agreed "because we were at a bit of a stalemate", he said. Considering how Astros owner Jim Crane got off relatively light in the league's investigation, some have rightfully wondered if Manfred can effectively police the league if he's in the owners' collective pocket.
A reporter brought up the fact that Manfred was hired by the owners, creating a conflict of interest.
"There is no conflict of interest between my disciplinary role and job security", Manfred said.
"I want to be really clear about this: Mike, who I do not know at all, did the industry a service", Manfred said. I know there's a lot of political stuff behind it but it's wrong.