Miller: Astros' Punishment Could Be "Significant"

The Astros have been accused of using outfield cameras to steal signs

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
November 14, 2019 - 8:47 am
Astros vs Dodgers

USA Today Images


The 2017 Houston Astros were a feel-good story; now, however, they could be the scum of the league, as the Astros reportedly used outfield cameras to steal signs that season.

How serious are these accusations?

“It’s pretty serious from the standpoint that it’s against the rules and it’s pretty blatant,” Bleacher Report MLB insider Scott Miller said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “If baseball investigates and finds a lot there – and by the way, there’s been smoke there where the Astros are concerned, and other teams. It’s no secret. That’s why when there’s meetings at the mound, everybody covers their mouth with gloves. It’s why every time a playoff game is moving along at a fairly good pace, then there are base runners, then all of a sudden it seems like the pace grinds to a halt, especially with runners on second. Every club in the playoffs changes their pitcher-catcher signs.

“So the Astros have been at the forefront of the analytics movement, of the computer movement, of the technological revolution in the game,” Miller continued. “There’s been a lot of whispers throughout the game that the Astros have been doing this sort of thing. While other people have written about the Astros being suspected of this, this was among the first pieces to cite specific examples.”

The Astros would reportedly bang a trash can to let hitters know that an off-speed pitch was coming. On one such occasion, George Springer hit a home run.

“The 2017 postseason was known as the Wild Wild West, especially the 2017 World Series between the Astros and the Dodgers,” Miller said. “That season, sign-stealing seemed to peak.”

It’ll be interesting to see how baseball handles these reported transgressions.

“The punishments could range from fining the Astros or any organization caught blatantly doing this,” Miller said. “It could range from fining that organization a large amount of money all the way to basically suspending executives if they knew of what was going on – almost like the NCAA when coaches or administrators get fired for lack of institutional control. That would be comparable. So you could have large fines, you could have suspensions or firings. It’ll be very interesting to see what turns up with the Astros thing.

“It’s going to be very interesting to see if baseball is able to prove this,” Miller continued, “and if baseball has the guts – if they do prove it – to give the Astros what might not be the death penalty, but would be something significant and close to that.”