Just a few months ago having 25-year-old Houston Astros slugger Alex Bregman as the spokesman of your brand would have been quite a coup. Which is certainly what the folks over at Eastbay must have been thinking when they signed him to appear on the cover of their February catalog heading into MLB Spring Training.
After all, Bregman is coming off two All-Star seasons where he hit a combined 72 bombs, won a Silver Slugger Award, and appeared in two recent World Series, winning one. What was not to like?
Turns out, there’s a lot, thanks to the illegal electronic sign-stealing scandal that rocked Major League Baseball this past offseason.
Espcially when you consider how much better the Astros, including Bregman, did batting at home versus on the road during their postseason runs.
The Astros have been accused of everything from banging on trash cans to signal off-speed pitches to using the live video feed used for replay reviews located behind the dugout to wearing buzzers on their body that would signal what pitch was coming to creating a sophisticated computer program called “Codebreaker”
So when Eastbay’s February catalog showed up in mailboxes across America over the weekend with Bregman on the cover and the slogan “ALWAYS EARNED, NEVER GIVEN” printed on it, fans and more than one Major League Baseball player were more than a little dubious.
Wait when did Eastbay start selling trash cans? https://t.co/4yRBDHF6wl— Judson (@JudsonK17) February 9, 2020
What dim person designed this cover??— de te (@dtfromnj) February 10, 2020
On the plus side for the company…