Los Angeles is taking Major League Baseball’s sign-stealing scandal to heart; and will potentially try to use it to get their hands on some trophies.
The Los Angeles Dodgers lost in the 2017 and 2018 World Series, while the teams that beat them – Houston and Boston – are now being penalized for stealing signs between their opponents’ pitchers and catchers. Dodgers fans are looking for reparations, and the Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote on a resolution asking the MLB to award those championship trophies to the Dodgers.
“This is an equity and justice thing,” Councilman Gil Cedillo said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Who was the best team in 2017? Who was the best team in 2018? It was the Dodgers. They got beat by teams that were cheating.”
Los Angeles took Houston to the brink in 2017, in what was the Dodgers’ first World Series appearance since winning the 1988 title. The teams traded off wins until the Astros clinched the title with a 5-1 win at Dodger Stadium in Game 7.
Mike Fiers, a current member of the Oakland Athletics, said in November that the Astros stole signs while he was on the team in 2017. Houston has since been found guilty of using live video, via a camera in center field, to discern what kind of pitch was coming and relay that information to the batter. Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were fired on Monday, hours after receiving one-year suspensions from the MLB as part of a nine-page report into the scandal.
Alex Cora was a bench coach for the 2017 Astros, then was hired as Boston’s manager in 2018. The Dodgers lost to the Red Sox in five games in the 2018 World Series, claiming a 3-2 home win in Game 3 while the Red Sox won the rest. Cora, who MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has said was heavily involved in the Astros’ sign stealing, parted ways with the Red Sox on Tuesday, in what Boston officials said was a mutual decision.
While more teams may eventually be found cheating, Cedillo believes decisions have to be made using the current information.
“But what do we know? You make your decisions on what you do know,” Cedillo said. “We know that the Astros cheated, and they were advantaged by it.
“I am focused right now on the Dodgers and the Dodgers fans getting justice. The mere acknowledgment is so significant. There has to be an acknowledgment the best team in baseball those two years was the Dodgers.”
Dodgers star and reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger told ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez on Sunday that he’s paying attention to the scandal.
“Honestly, we're curious to see what happens," Bellinger said. "It sucks, man. We were close, but we did it the right way. We could've won it if things could've gone our way. But it is what it is, man. You really can't look back on it anymore. We'll see what happens, what [MLB Commissioner Rob] Manfred wants to do. We'll see."
The Dodgers released a statement Monday saying “All clubs have been asked by Major League Baseball not to comment on today’s punishment of the Houston Astros as it’s inappropriate to comment on discipline imposed on another club. The Dodgers have also been asked not to comment on any wrongdoing during the 2017 World Series and will have no further comment at this time.”