Will A World Series Win Remove The 2017 Astros Asterisk?
America’s Baseball villains are back in the World Series as the Houston Astros prepare to take on the Atlanta Braves in this year’s Fall Classic. This will be “The Asterisks” third trip to the Series in the last five seasons with many of the same players still on the roster from their tainted 2017 sign stealing victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers and their 2019 defeat at the hands of the Washington Nationals. With their Asterisk still hanging over the sport some two seasons after it was revealed the team stole signs during their franchise’s first ever World Series winning season, will winning the 2021 title take away that stain of cheating … or will the 2017 Astros always be known as the Houston Asterisks?
I must admit this question is a difficult one for me. Yes, I know that bending and even breaking the rules in the name of winning is a tale as old as sports as well as humanity itself. When it was first announced in the spring of 2020 the Houston Astros were cheating during their 2017 title season, saying I was surprised would be too much since I would always expect teams to work harder for that extra edge when they know they have a championship caliber team. What did surprise me was the venom and anger thrown at the organization by both other players and other teams’ front offices … with the soundbites sounding very much like when the NFL’s New England Patriots were caught in Spygate.
At the time it was reported that Houston was not very subtle with their cheating in 2017 (I guess the banging of a metal garbage can is difficult to hide even during even the loudest of baseball games). The result was that the Astros were turned into the “Asterisks” by commissioner Rob Manfred right before the start of spring training in 2020.
The Houston Astros, from ownership down to the players, never admitted their 2017 World Series trophy was tainted by their sign stealing scheme even though the team felt it necessary to fire the manager. Now, the Astros are back in the World Series again, perhaps to settle once and for all if they are truly a World Series winner or just a team that was on the edge of greatness and needed to bend or break the rules to get over the top.
In the end, however, this core group of players will always be the Houston Asterisks, with their first trophy always dirty from cheating and doubts about anything they might bring home after this year’s World Series.
Is that fair?
Probably not, but neither was what they did in 2017, and as the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I know one thing for sure, as much as I am a Mets fans, I won’t be rooting for the Astros over the next two weeks, and sadly, I can’t root for Atlanta either. Honestly, can the World Series end in a tie?
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Will A World Series Win Remove The 2017 Astros Asterisk? | TooAthletic.com