If there's one lesson Major League Baseball has emphasized over the last few decades, it's that cheaters prosper. But while the steroid era and lack of accountability was bad enough, the latest cheating scandal proves that all MLB teams should cheat. Because guess what? You're gonna get away with it.
The MLB just handed down a slap-on-the-wrist penalty to the Boston Red Sox for their cheating ways during the 2018 season. You know, the year where they won 108 games and the World Series. Well, for their actions, they'll be STRIPPED of a second-round draft pick (LOL), a replay operator has been suspended for a year (can someone say scapegoat?) and 2018 manager Alex Cora was suspended for 2020 because of his involvement in the Astros cheating scandal, which obviously really matters because Cora was fired by the Red Sox and is out of baseball for this season anyway.
That comes on the heels of the Astros getting an even more laughable penalty when they admitted to cheating during the 2017 season when, yep, they won 101 games and the World Series. As restitution for FULLY cheating over MULTIPLE YEARS by relaying pitch information to their hitters, they were fined $5 million, already-fired GM Jeff Luhnow was suspended for one year, already-fired manager A.J. Hinch was suspended for one year, already-gone former assistant GM Brandon Taubman was suspended for one year and the Astros forfeited their first and second-round draft picks the next two years.
What a joke. Not only do draft picks not matter nearly as much in baseball as they do in any other sport, but only one person still associated with the teams at the time penalties were handed out was suspended-- and it was a replay operator. You've gotta be kidding me.
Based on those penalties, and the fact that the two teams in question not only dominated baseball that year but won World Series for their troubles, I'd say the payoff for cheating far outweighs the potential ramifications. People can feel bad for the players and say how hard this whole thing for them has been. But they cheated, they won, and now they've all gotten away with it.
Of course, this is nothing new for MLB. Plenty of star players did the same thing, and while they might not get into Cooperstown, they certainly are living a good life.
Alex Rodriguez cheated multiple times, won a World Series, and remains the highest-paid player in baseball history. He won't be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, but do you think him and J-Lo care about that? Hell no. They're currently trying to buy the New York Mets.
Barry Bonds still has the most home runs in MLB history even though everyone knows his numbers are as inflated as his head got from all the steroids he took. Roger Clemens' MLB records still stand, Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa's home run duel still helped save baseball. The list goes on and on. All of those players are still rich, or at least should be, based on the money they earned cheating.
Listen, no game is clean and perfect. That's not the point, nor an expectation I hold the league to. But to hand down such light penalties for the Astros when they admitted to cheating, and the Red Sox when they seemingly were caught red-handed, proves that when it comes to Major League Baseball, cheating is worth it in the end. You get rich and you get the ring. What more does a player want?