by Rex Hastings

Major League Baseball’s sign-stealing scandal puts a black eye on the sport at a time when it doesn’t need negative headlines.  The Astros had no choice but to jettison their manager and GM.  The Red Sox were next, preemptively kicking Alex Cora to the curb, while the Mets said “so long” to Carlos Beltran.  More punishment is coming, and fans of the game agree that it needs to be severe.  But we now know that it won’t be. 

MLB’s decision to grant players immunity as part of its investigation is ridiculous on its face.  All clubs were warned after the Red Sox got caught stealing signs electronically, but this warning was obviously ignored.  To then insulate the cheating players from fines and punishment will only encourage more cheating.  Giving these cheaters a free pass will likely prove problematic for MLB in 2020 and beyond.  The good news? This will surely be fun to watch.

The pitchers that got lit up by the Astros and Red Sox can’t be happy about any of this.  The league basically spat in their faces when they sent out the following memo:

To:  All pitchers who were victims of the sign stealing scandal

From:  MLB

Please be advised that no hitters will be disciplined by us.  If you want justice, you are on your own.

Hugs and kisses,


The result of this?  Well, let’s just say that the 2020 season could very well go down in history as the “plunkiest” season ever for Astros and Red Sox hitters.  I wouldn’t want to be Altuve or Bregman stepping to the plate in the ninth inning when the Astros are down 8-0 and the bases are empty, would you?  Up and in.  High and tight  Rib cage righteousness. However you say it, here’s hoping that justice will be served at 95 m.p.h. 

Cue up the Charlie Daniels Band, it’s time for some good old-fashioned chin music!

Payback’s a bitch, and every hitter involved has it coming.  Even spring training games could get interesting, and that’s right around the corner.

In any case, rumor has it that the Astros and Red Sox hitters are preparing for the inevitable plunkings by watching video of Don Baylor.  I’m also told that the Astros will be introducing new padded uniforms for 2020, below, that may offer a bit more protection…

sumo astro

To celebrate the upcoming 2020 “plunkfest” we have listed a few products, below, that may help mark the occasion:

If a cheating Astros/Red Sox hitter gets a well-deserved drilling, why not treat yourself to a new cordless drill?

“Up and in” fastballs are sure to make a comeback this season (the close shave pitch, so to speak). Why not pick up a fresh pack of razors?

If you see a deserving hitter take one on the ribs, fire up the grill and celebrate with some bbq ribs of your own!

Rex Hastings is a columnist

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