The spotlight continues to shine on the Houston Astros as they attempt to cope with the fallout of their cheating scandal while spring training begins. The calls for the franchise to be stripped of their 2017 World Series title have continued to grow louder.
On Sunday, commissoner Rob Manfred sat down with ESPN's Karl Ravech to discuss the situation and the punishments meted out by the league. When discussing the possibility of taking away the Astros' title, Manfred said it was discussed, but ultimately he felt that it seemed like a futile act. From the article:
""In the context of my original decision, something that we talked about and analyzed extensively," said Manfred on potentially stripping the Astros of 2017 title. "A big topic of conversation between me and my senior staff ... It has never happened in baseball. I am a believer in the idea that precedent happens and when you deviated from that, you have to have a very good reason. The report gave people a transparent account of what went on. We put people in position to make their own judgments about the behavior that went on. That certainly has happened over the last month."
""The idea of an asterisk or asking for a piece of metal back, seems like a futile act. People will always know that something was different about the 2017 season, and whether we made that decision right or wrong, we undertook a thorough investigation, and had the intestinal fortitude to share the results of that investigation, even when those results were not very pretty.""- ESPN
Manfred has a bit of a point; taking away the title would satisfy everyone's bloodlust, but it wouldn't change anything. The Astros still cheated and the Dodgers still lost.
Still, if Manfred has to do this much PR work to defend the decisions he's made, then maybe it wasn't the right one. At this point, it doesn't matter, though. No further punishments will be given out because of public backlash. The backlash will likely continue regardless.