No Houston Astros players were disciplined by Major League Baseball for their role in the team’s sign-stealing scheme, but there’s a growing sense that opposing pitchers may try to punish them this upcoming season. While he didn’t say he would partake, Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale believes Astros hitters could face an increased risk of being plunked in 2020.
Sale was asked on Sunday about the possibility of pitchers throwing at Astros players, and he said players are “welcome to handle things how they want.” The left-hander insists he is strictly focused on trying to help the Red Sox win another World Series, but he wouldn’t be surprised if pitchers “do what they feel is necessary” when facing Houston.
Chris Sale on how players might look for payback … pic.twitter.com/yflPZEPc0t
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) February 16, 2020
For what it’s worth, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in his interview with ESPN’s Karl Ravich on Sunday that he will send a memo to the league discouraging retaliation against the Astros. Manfred also indicated that there could be harsher punishments than usual if those situations arise, which led to criticism from fans who believe Astros players should have been suspended for stealing signs.
Rob Manfred on ESPN just said he will send a memorandum to all teams discouraging retaliation against the Astros. He cited that throwing at Astros hitters is inappropriate, and increased punishments will be in play.
As opposed to ZERO punishment for the players who cheated.
— Phil Mackey (@PhilMackey) February 16, 2020
We have already seen one pitcher admit he was considering throwing at Astros hitters if given the opportunity, and it seems like a virtually certainty that the issue will come up at some point.
Regardless of what happened, you would hate to see a player get seriously hurt. MLB has a responsibility to police that no matter how hypocritical fans or players may find it.
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