Oh boy, the Houston Astros are big-time fucked. I mean, when your college buddy asks you “how you feelin’ about the exam” and you say “what exam?” fucked. Accidentally deleting your most recent save in Halo fucked. Getting that “hey, we need to talk” text fucked.
I’ve only been alive for about a quarter of a century — sounds disgustingly old when you say it like that, eh mate? — and in my time on this Earth, there have been about five major sports scandals on this level, four of which you actually care about (the other being the 2006 Italian football scandal where iconic clubs such as Juventus and Milan were found to be involved in match-fixing, but that’s a history lesson for a different day).
There was the Steroid Era in the baseball, there was Tim Donaghy fixing games in the NBA in the early 2000s, and there was Lance Armstrong getting caught using steroids. And I well and truly believe that this latest bombshell Astros scandal ranks right up there with the best worst of ’em.
But what makes the Astros scandal far more malignant for the sport’s reputation than any of the other earth-shattering sports scandals of the last 25 years is that it took place in the age of technology.
High-tech cameras. Text conversations. Social media. You name it and the Astros likely left a tiny piece of evidence there.
Take this August 2018 tweet from their official account, for example. While certainly not evidence, it is merely an omen of the accidental bread crumbs that the team was leaving in their wake that has now finally caught up to them.
Further examples of said breadcrumbs:
Perhaps worst of all, though, I fear for the consequences of the sport itself. Baseball was already a dying sport and has been for some time, so the fact that they seem to be involved in some sort of major scandal that compromises the integrity of the game every decade can only further kill appreciation for the game.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him firstname.lastname@example.org