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KPRC 2 Sports team answers viewers questions about Astros

Houston Astros cheating scandal.
Houston Astros cheating scandal. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Monday, we asked our audience what specific questions they had regarding the scandal.

Here’s how KPRC 2 Sports team answered.

1.) How do the Astros shake the stigma?

Astros broadcaster and former player Geoff Blum said it best Tuesday, the Astros need to win.

"Hopefully them going out and winning and playing hard and doing it under these new rules, doing it the right way, can prove a lot of the naysayers wrong,” Blum said.

Winning under fair circumstances would rejuvenate the public’s belief that they are legitimate winners. But the stigma may never truly go away for some folks, especially Dodgers fans who feel they were cheated of a World Series.

2.) Why is AJ Hinch punished?

This is a great question, since the MLB report made it clear Hinch actually destroyed a monitor to try and stop the cheating. Hinch was fired because, “he didn’t start it, but he didn’t do anything about it.” Those were the words of Astros owner Jim Crane.

Former Astros manager Phil Garner actually said he felt Hinch’s punishment was harsh.

3.) Can I get a refund of my ticket purchases

In short, no. You would have to get a legal team involved, but tickets have tons of fine print that would not allow a refund.

4.) Why is there no mention of Judge trying to hide the iPad in the dugout after the camera focused on him in the dugout during a playoff game?

This report was strictly focused on the Astros issues with electronic sign-stealing that occurred. In his news conference Monday, Astros owner Jim Crane was asked about investigations with other teams. Crane addressed that with Commissioner Rob Manfred and was assured by Manfred that they will thoroughly investigate all teams that have been accused of illegal acts.

5.) Why haven’t they been stripped of a title yet?

That will not happen at this point but, likely, that was on the table when assessing what penalties they would hand down. Major League Baseball instead fined the Astros $5 million and took away first and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 which is huge as it will affect the farm system in the near future.

The Astros remain the 2017 World Series Champs but with this issue, they will certainly hear plenty of negative reactions especially from Dodgers fans.

6.) How was it stealing? Was there an exchange? To me, it was more like decoding your opponents.

The Astros were decoding their opponent’s signs, but doing so through electronic means illegally and relaying that information illegally.

The memo that was sent to the teams said the following:

Major League Baseball Regulation 1-1 prohibits all uniformed personnel, clubhouse staff and equipment staff from using or possessing telephones or similar electronic devices, including any type of walkie-talkies, mobile phones, ‘smartwatches’ (e.g., Apple watches), laptop computers, tablets or other communication devices, in or near the dugout, in the bullpens or on the playing field once batting practice has begun. MLBR 1-1 also prohibits the use of such devices in the clubhouse within 30 minutes of the start of a game. The prohibition includes the use of any electronic equipment that has the capability to receive electronic messages by any person occupying the bench or in the bullpen.

The Astros were deemed to have violated those rules.

7.) How many games did this occur?

This information, or lack thereof, is one of the reasons why no players have been punished. Pinpointing the exact instances of sign-stealing taking place proved difficult and handing out punishment to the players would then be subject to approval/appeal of the players union.

8.) Did we lose the competitive balance pick too?

The Astros must forfeit their first and second-round selections from the 2020 and 2021 first-year player draft. They will forfeit their regular selections in those two rounds, but will not lose any selections beyond that.