UNCLE BILL ASKS:Â DO THE HOUSTON ASTROS PASS THE DUCK TEST? The New York Yankees should be wary of them during 2020.
Surely you have heard of the Duck Test. “If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”Â That phase is generally considered to identify something or someone that is defined by their habitual characteristics.Â According to the nine-page report issued by Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred the Houston Astros cheated during the 2017 postseason by the use of electronic means in stealing the signs of opposing catchers.Â Okay, now we know that, although we expected it long before the report.
There is also a saying that states, “once a cheater always a cheater,” that is at least until your caught.Â It would be natural to wonder if you were successful at cheating, would you give it up or work to refine it even more?Â Some believe Houston was successful at it and continued it in even more refined ways, right up to and including this past postseason.Â Â However, the MLB took steps before the 2019 season to further prevent electronic sign-stealing from happening by limiting live feeds and preventing the placement of in house cameras from being placed between the foul poles.
It was evident that the Astros were very creative in scheming to steal signs and allowing their hitters to know what pitch was coming from the opposing pitcher.Â Due to their creativity, all kinds of things creep into your mind, like why did Jose Altuve, the MVP of the series, scream at fellow players waiting for him at home plate as he rounded third base.Â He shouted twice, “don’t rip off my jersey.”Â There are three possibilities.Â One is his wife wouldn’t like it, two he wanted to save it as a souvenir of his walk-off homer, or three he was hiding something under his jersey.Â Unfortunately, now that they have been proven to be cheaters, the later might well have been true.Â He could have had some wiring under his jersey that would signal in some way, possibly through vibrations, what pitch was coming.Â If you are of the negative mind, you think that Altuve was intimately involved.
That’s the big problem the Houston Astros will be facing for years to come, the Duck test.Â In Minutemaid Park and wherever they travel, fans and the opposing team will continually be wondering if they are cheating in some way.Â Â If you are positive of mind, you will believe the steps the MLB has taken will prevent them from doing so and that they have learned their lesson.Â Â One thing is for sure, the 2020 season for the Houston Astros is going to be a challenge in many ways as they try to restore their reputation and avoid the Duck Test.