ESPN had a story today about the effects of the Houston Astros cheating scandal on baseball at the Little League level. While Little League's governing body has no plan to ban the Astros, some individual leagues have banned the use of the Astros team name. Meanwhile, some clothing providers have stopped offering Astros gear at all. Now for the funny part. Via ESPN:
Bertoni said he is concerned that impressionable players might try to mimic parts of Houston's scheme, in which players watching the catcher's signals via a video feed near the dugout would bang on a trash can to relay to hitters whether the pitcher was throwing a fastball, breaking ball or changeup.
"That is the reason for the first initial step," Bertoni said. "If we did nothing, that opens the door to allow these kids to do that. We're going to educate our managers and coaches to say, 'Stealing signs, pounding on a trash can, that nonsense is not what you do when you play baseball or softball. Cheating should never come into play.'"- ESPN
With the technology we have in 2020, it is absolutely believable that small children could recreate Houston's system, but picturing it still seems insane. Coaches are really going to have to wonder whether that kid behind the fence in center is making a Tik Tok or stealing signs and sending the information to the dugout. It's only a matter of time before trash cans are banned from Little League fields across America.
It's also cute that Little League is taking a more proactive approach to punish the Astros than Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball has.