The dust has started to settle on the Astros cheating scandal and one thing has become abundantly clear in Spring Training: things aren't better for Houston. In fact, it's gotten worse and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Forget fans holding up asterisk signs at games or yelling at Jose Altuve about giving the 2017 MVP to Aaron Judge. That was expected. But fellow players openly trolling the sign-stealing scandal on the field during a game being broadcast on ESPN? I don't think anyone saw that coming.
And yet that's what we saw yesterday, with a mic'd up Anthony Rizzo saying before a pitch, "someone bang for me" in reference to the Astros banging trash cans to signal to a hitter what pitch was coming. It was a funny moment from Rizzo to be sure, and it became a viral video sensation around social media yesterday. But it also underscored an important point, which may have been overlooked during the craziness of the scandal, and that is the players aren't going to let anyone forget the Astros cheated.
MLB tried to sweep things under the rug, refusing to suspend the players involved and not stripping the Astros of their now-tainted 2017 World Series title. The players already voiced their disapproval and now they're showcasing it on the field, with Trevor Bauer openly telling a hitter what pitch he was throwing yesterday in another spring training game.
Clearly this isn't going to stop. The players almost seem eager to call out the Astros to the media. As long as they keep doing that, this story won't go away. If they keep plunking the Astros players, which is expected, this story won't go away. If they openly troll them during games, this story won't go away. As more fans find more creative ways to remind us all the Astros cheated, this story won't go away.
Get the point?
Other players are going out of their way to make life harder on the Astros, and rightfully so. Expect things to get worse as the games start to matter. The strong quotes and on-field retribution will continue to circle around the country. The Astros should brace themselves.