Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred’s handling of the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal has caught the eye of basketball superstar LeBron James, who implored the commissioner to take a more active stance in dealing with the matter, stating that the baseball scandal affects the integrity all other professional sports.
Lebron James sent out a tweet which said that it was clear that a significant number of MLB players have been negatively affected by the scandal, and Manfred’s continued reticence on the matter did not help increase the morale of the league.
James is the latest sports star to weigh in on Manfred’s handling of the Astros cheating scandal.
Other luminaries include Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner — who was a key part of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost in seven games against the Astros in the 2017 World Series.
An official MLB investigation revealed that the Astros cheated during that series, as well as in part of the 2018 season, by using hidden cameras to carry out a sign-stealing system. The MLB suspended Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch for this season, taking away four draft picks, and fining the organisation $5 million. Astros owner Jim Crane has since fired Luhnow and Hinch.
The recently retired player Carlos Beltran lost his manager job with the New York Mets due to his role in the scandal but no other players have been punished, due to Manfred’s promises of immunity to players who cooperated with the investigation. According to Manfred, the MLB’s player’s union held up the investigation until he could promise blanket immunity for any player investigated. This account was disputed by MLB Player’s Association, who denied that they forced Manfred’s hand in any way.
Manfred Apologizes for “Disrespectful” Trophy Comments
There are also no plans to rescind the Astros’ 2017 World Series title. The reticence by Manfred to go after players who cheated, as well as his unwillingness to correct what many observers believe to be rewarding cheaters, has been very well documented in the press.
Manfred has also come under fire recently for referring to the World Series trophy as a “piece of metal”, which he later apologised for, calling his words disrespectful. Manfred said that as MLB commissioner he has awarded five World Series trophies, which he characterised as the best part of his job, and described his earlier statement as a mistake due to stress.