Congressman calls for oversight hearing to investigate the Astros sign stealing scheme

A breakdown on Astros sign-stealing fallout

The Astros’ sign stealing scheme could be headed to a congressional oversight hearing.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, of Illinois, sent a letter Friday requesting the leadership of the Committee on Energy and Commerce "to investigate the Major League Baseball cheating scandal fully and to determine the extent to which this cancer has spread.” He said the committee, via the Commerce Clause, has oversight of major league sports.

“I firmly believe that our investigation must also look at the actions taken by Major League Baseball, and the teams that comprise it, to reprimand the individuals who have been implicated,” Rush wrote in the letter.

Rush sent the letter to Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, of New Jersey, Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations Chairwoman Diana DeGette, of Colorado and Subcommittee on Consumer Protection & Commerce Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky, of Illinois.

He requested a hearing to be held by the subcommittees on Oversight & Investigations and Consumer Protection & Commerce.

“While both Major League Baseball and its teams have taken action against specific individuals, we must determine if the league, and its teams, reacted sufficiently and with enough haste, or whether the punishments were tardy and lacking,” Rush wrote. “We must also determine if there was a systematic failure on the part of Major League Baseball that not only allowed this scandal to occur, but to fester.”

In response to the one-year suspension handed down by the MLB, the Astros fired manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow just hours after the discipline was announced by the league. The Boston Red Sox also mutually agreed to part way with the Astros’ former bench coach Alex Cora as their manager, who is credited as the “mastermind in the team’s systematic cheating.

Subsequently, the Mets and Carlos Beltran reached the same conclusion, as his time as their manager came to an end on Thursday of last week. Cora and Beltran were both mentioned by name in the report due to their involvement in the sign-stealing scheme.

Rush said the MLB is in the midst of “an ethical crisis.”

“Cheating in any sport is anathema, especially in professional sports,” Rush wrote. “Many children, and adults for that matter, look up to professional athletes as a testament to the American dream and what is possible through hard work and determination.”

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