As I write this, the athletic world is focused on the postponement of March Madness 2020, the 2020 Olympic Games, Wimbledon 2020, the 2020 Masters tournament, and the seasons of MLB, NBA, and NHL. It is a weird time for every aspect of world culture that is unprecedented and unseen since WWII. However, if you were to go back just 3 weeks ago the Sports Headlines were filled with headlines about the Houston Astros Organization 2017 Championship Season, and the responses coming from Major League Baseball.
This had been coming for a long time, the Houston Astros had been somewhat of a laughing stock since their failed World Series run in 2005. In the 58 seasons that they have been apart of MLB they do not even have a .500 record (.496). Furthermore, in the decade between World Series appearances, they had only 4 .500 seasons, and 3 100+ loss seasons. Then in 2017, they won 100 games and the World Series. They had accomplished the ultimate underdog story. They went from the worst team in baseball to the best. But almost instantly, it was thrown into question. The NL Champion LA Dodgers had been suspicious from the moment the final out was recorded. The following year, the Cleveland Indians and NY Yankees had caught the Astro’s taking pictures of their dugout in the playoffs. Then in 2019, a former Astro’s pitcher leaked the information to Ken Rosenthal. Mike Fier’s blew the whistle on the sign stealing scheme that the Astro’s had used to give them an edge in 2017. They had been using the new cameras and monitors, meant for replay review, to steal signs. They relayed the signs through a coded banging on the clubhouse trashcans. The 2017 Astros were not the Disneyesque underdogs of MLB, but were in fact frauds that had cheated their way to a Championship.
The Astros responded immediately by firing the manager and general managers involved. Former players from the 2017 Astros lost their coaching positions as well. However, when MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred took action, he seemingly did nothing. The Astros remain the 2017 Champions, only losing a few draft picks and $5 million. Astro’s players attempting to act sincere gave halfhearted apologies and unrepentant remarks.
This is not the first time in Athletics we have seen people or organizations trying to cheat the system, and it won’t be the last. Just in the past 30 years we have the examples of known and proven cheaters that look to have won.
This is Part 1 of a new series titled “Do Cheaters Never Prosper? - A Biblical Response” written by our Director of Digital Resource Development Andrew Fouts
About The Author
Normally behind the cameras and control boards of CSRM Resources, Andrew Fouts currently serves as the Director of Digital Resource Development for CSRM and works as an inner-city missionary through them within Northeastern Ohio. A licensed Pastor, Teacher, Coach and Administrator, Andrew has been developing and leading Christmanship centered programming for churches, schools, and teams over the past 6 years.