Monday was another eventful day at spring training sites throughout Florida and Arizona when it came to ballplayers weighing in on the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. To no surprise, most of the reactions from major leaguers were in the venomous and vitriolic vein.
Perhaps that is partly why Bryce Harper’s measured response when asked Monday about the fallout from the Astros’ cheating ways may have gotten lost amid all the noise.
Interestingly, Harper made note of how the Astros’ cheating had far-reaching implications. The Philadelphia Phillies superstar specifically mentioned how New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge lost out to the Astros’ Jose Altuve in AL MVP voting in 2017.
Aaron Judge finished runner-up to Jose Altuve for the MVP in 2017— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) February 17, 2020
Bryce Harper had some thoughts on that and more with the Astros' sign stealing pic.twitter.com/i8N7gpfbZI
“Of course, the guys like [David] Robertson getting shelled in [Houston] in ’17, that’s tough as well,” Harper said when asked about who he feels was wronged by the scandal, per Elite Sports NY. “That’s kind of World Series or not, for those guys. And guys like Aaron Judge, going through in ’17, absolutely killing it that year. He gets beat out by a great player in Altuve.”
Altuve, it merits noting, won the 2017 AL MVP in a landslide, netting 27 of 29 first-place votes for a season in which Houston employed technologically sophisticated methods to steal signs on the way to a World Series victory.
Still, it was clear from the get-go that Judge — who of course plays for one of the teams that have been left most embittered by MLB’s investigation into the Astros’ sign-stealing practices — shared the opinion of many MLB players when it comes to the scandal.
Last month when the findings of MLB’s investigation were released, the Yankees slugger deleted a tweet in which he had congratulated Altuve on winning AL MVP.
Things have gone from bad to worse for the Astros as the widespread condemnation of their cheating continues to be the biggest talking point during spring training. Odds are the backlash is not about to let up anytime soon.
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