There is much talk in the baseball world as to whether Rob Manfred is being tough enough on sign-stealing rule breakers that may have changed the outcome of postseason results. According to who you listen to the answer is all over the place. One news organization in Los Angeles is calling for the World Series loss in 2017 to be overturned and be awarded to the Dodgers. CC Sabathia said yesterday that he feels cheated out of another World Series ring. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred issued his nine-page report on Monday. The report detailed the sign-stealing that was conducted by the Houston Astros during the 2017 season. The punishments issued included a one-year suspension of Astros Manager A.J. Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow, a $5MM fine, the loss of first and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021. In addition, the former Assitant General Manager was made ineligible.
At first look, many were pleased with the punishment that the Astros would endure, but the overnight trend seemed to change to think it was not all that stuff. With all this disagreement with how Manfred handed this, I decided to conduct an informal non-scientific poll across several Yankee Facebook groups representing 35k Yankee fans. I presented the poll with several options from Life bans to the feeling that the punishments issued by Manfred were too harsh. Because the poll was taken of Yankee fans, it obviously does not include the feeling of all in baseball, just Yankee fans who would tend to want harsher treatment of the Astros.
Here are the results of those that voted in the 24-hour poll. I feel the World Series title should be stripped and Championship rings returned: 59%. All players and managers involved should be suspended: 21%. I am satisfied with punishments issued: 18%. I believe all players and managers should be suspended for life: less than 1%. The punishments are too harsh: less than 1%. The poll among Yankee fans shows that the general opinion is that although the punishments issued were appropriate they were not harsh enough and the Houston Astros should have been stripped of their World Series Title. What we don’t know is if Manfred is saving his harshest treatment for Astros coach and Boston Red Sox Manager Alex Cora who has already been fired by the Red Sox.