I have three things to say about this.
A rival of the Astros during their current run as a Major League Baseball power said Houston wasn’t the only team that’s resorted to cheating.
Red Sox lefthander Chris Sale, who pitched against Houston during playoff series in 2017, 2018 and 2021, made the remarks during a Monday interview on “The Greg Hill Show” on Boston sports radio station WEEI.
When asked about former Astros designated hitter Carlos Beltran — a central figure in the 2017 sign-stealing operation — telling the YES Network that the team’s championship that season is tainted during his first interview on the subject, Sale said the Astros weren’t alone in the cheaters’ fraternity.
“If the Astros were the only team doing it, then yeah, give (the championship) back — take it back,” Sale said. “I know for a fact they weren’t. All these people pointing fingers: Well, hey, take a check in the mirror real quick. Make sure that you and your team weren’t doing something.
“What (the Astros) did was wrong. And I’m not trying to condone it. Shoot, we’re talking five years ago now and we’re still talking about this stuff. I’d like to kind of turn the page on it. It happened. They dealt with it. There’s nothing you can do about it now sitting here where we are. So you just kind of move on from it.”
1. I’m sure Sale is correct that the Astros were not the only team cheating. It would be odd if they were.
2. That said, cheating exists on a spectrum – small scale, short term, individual effort to large scale, long term, team effort. The Astros were on the far end of the scale in all categories, they were extremely visible about it in retrospect, and as the World Series winner that year it was just embarrassing. But maybe they weren’t alone in those regards, maybe they just had the bad luck to be outed about it. Which leads to…
3. Spill the beans already. I know no one is going to narc on their own team, and if you’re accusing a rival it will be seen as gamesmanship, but surely someone out there is now in the same position that Mike Fiers was when he ratted on the Astros. I really don’t want to be talking about cheating when we may finally have a “normal” season again, but the reason we’re still talking about this five years later is because we feel like there had to be more to the story. (Yes, the MLB letter about the Yankees, whatever it says, is a part of that as well.) So let’s get it all out there, therapy-style, and see if we can’t finally get some closure.