Unsatisfied with Houston’s contrition and MLB’s punishment, the fans have taken it upon themselves to “punish the Astros’ players” according to former Yankees great Mark Teixeira.
Astros players were mercilessly booed during the team’s opening Spring Training game. The $5 million fine and loss of a manager and GM didn’t satisfy the fans who want blood in the aftermath of discovering that the Astros cheated their way to the World Series crown in 2017 by using an intricate video-driven sign-stealing operation, which may have also included buzzers.
In their opening two games against the World Champion Washington Nationals, fans held signs that mocked the ‘Stros.
You'd think the Astros might want to stay away from … stealing signs https://t.co/08byB4pUXP
— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) February 22, 2020
Other fans wore shirts to express their disgust with the organization and the players who had a chance to admit to their indiscretions and gain back some respect. Instead, Houston chose to let ego lead and somehow try to stand on the premise that even if they did steal their World Series Trophy, it doesn’t matter now.
At least 10 Nationals fans walking around with this shirt at the Astros first spring training game. pic.twitter.com/kZHT5kodc7
— Stefano Fusaro (@FusaroESPN) February 22, 2020
Superstars Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa admit to trash can banging and using video but stop short of admitting using buzzers. Instead, they have chosen to deflect the blame to whistleblower Mike Friers.
Carlos Correa admitting the sign-stealing is the reason the Astros won the World Series in 2017 pic.twitter.com/LmS7AiVsSb
— Eric (@Eric_M888) February 15, 2020
Team owner Jim Crane had the gall to imply that the Astros would have won anyway — even if they didn’t cheat.
Brash comments like those have put more gasoline on the fire and further incited opposing fans’ fury. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has said that baseball will protect Friers and the Astros players. Several Astros say their families have gotten death threats. Not sure if that’s a sympathy play, but MLB will be will take no chances. Expect some fans to eventually be removed from the stadium for inappropriate signs or excessive booing.
Houston’s core players have been sheltered from the fans’ wrath, but are expected to finally play today and they can expect to hear it.
#Astros manager Dusty Baker says that Jose Altuve, Yuli Gurriel, Alex Bregman and George Springer will make their Spring Training debut tomorrow in Lakeland against the Tigers. The only regular starter playing today against the Nationals is Yordan Alvarez.
— Stefano Fusaro (@FusaroESPN) February 23, 2020
It’s hard to have sympathy for the Astros because they still haven’t accepted the blame and continue to walk around as if they earned that tainted championship in 2017.