Off the Cobb: Finally, a decade with a name

Since our beloved Kansas City Chiefs IN THE SUPER BOWL!!! and have the week off, I’m going to take the opportunity to tell you what I think about the most recent cheating scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball.

I’m sure you can get your fill of Patrick Levon Mahomes II or Showtime or PM2 or whatever the moniker of the week is, from other sources, including the sports page of this newspaper, so you’ll have to pardon me if I divert my attention for a minute.

I hope MLB doesn’t think that because it suspended a few coaches for one year that this mess is just going to magically go away.

No. This goes deeper and is much more widespread than I fear they want to admit.

Let’s start with the players, who were obviously involved and willingly participated.

Every team steals signs. That’s why they have signs.

But it’s how you steal those signs that makes all the difference.

If you’re a runner on second base and can decipher what the catcher is telling the pitcher and relay that to your batter somehow … fine. Everybody does that. Catchers and pitchers have to be on their toes so that can’t happen.

That’s been part of the game for many decades. 

When you start using technology that has been put in place to help improve the accuracy of umpires’ calls, then things get worse.

In my opinion, there are even layers to that method of cheating.

First of all, if you are using the replay apparatus to steal signs, that should come with harsh punishment, as should relaying the information you obtain by way of banging on a trash can of which the Houston Astros have been convicted.

The coaches and players involved should — in my opinion — be suspended for a year.

But if you wore a device — like a buzzer — under your uniform to receive illegally gained information about the pitch or pitches to come, I believe the punishment should be even more severe.

We’re not talking about gamesmanship in that case, we’re talking about flat out cheating.

As far as I know, it has not been proven or at least not made public that it has been proven that players wore devices, but I’m saying I don’t buy that Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was too “shy” to have his jersey ripped off after a game-winning World Series home run or that his wife is too “jealous.”

If you haven’t seen the video, look it up on YouTube or somewhere.

As Altuve approaches home plate to a mob of teammates like teams do after a walk-off hit, he clinches the collar of his jersey with both hands and holds on for dear life and then makes a mad dash to the locker room where he changes shirts and returns to the field.

I know video can be doctored, and I may well have fallen victim to “fake news” in this case, but I know I haven’t heard a denial from Altuve or the Astros or MLB. Altuve’s only explanation is that the last time the team tore off his jersey, his wife got upset.

Here you are, you’ve just fulfilled every kid’s childhood dream of walking off a win in the World Series. Your teammates are celebrating and losing their minds on the field and you retreat alone to the dugout to get rid of your jersey? Sure. That just became a popular jersey, but it’s not like it’s going to vanish if it gets untucked like what normally happens in those cases.

Again, I don’t buy it.

I think MLB needs to come down hard on all who are involved.

In my opinion, this is worse than Pete Rose betting on his own team to win. He’s been banned from baseball for life.

It’s worse than steroids, where players only hope to gain an advantage. Players have been blackballed from the Hall of Fame for this.

This is guaranteeing yourself an advantage and egregiously and knowingly diminishing the chances of the other team and its players, specifically the pitchers. I think MLB should vacate the Houston Astros’ World Series victory from 2017 and consider lifetime bans for those who were actively involved.

Thanks for hearing me out — glad I got that off my chest.

Now, Go Chiefs!

 Phil Cobb is the owner and publisher of The Maryville Forum and The Post.

 

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