Assemblymember Bloom Urges MLB to Hold the Houston Astros Accountable for their Actions

Thursday, January 23, 2020

SACRAMENTO – Earlier this week, Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) introduced House Resolution 74 to condemn the shameful behavior by the Houston Astros in the 2017 World Series. HR 74 requests that in addition to the penalties already imposed, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball remove the 2017 World Series title from the Houston Astros, impose penalties or fines against players on the 2017 Astros team found to be complicit, and calls upon the Commissioner of MLB to require Houston Astros owner Jim Crane to publicly apologize.

“Lies and dishonesty have become so pervasive in American culture that one may think cheating, not baseball, is the national pastime,” said Assemblymember Bloom, who added, “Professional ballplayers and teams are looked up to by children, and should behave accordingly. Likewise, when their behavior is egregious, they should be held accountable.”

During the 2017 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers won an historic 104 regular season games, the most in baseball and reached their first World Series since 1988. The World Series was played between the American League champion Houston Astros and the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The 2017 World Series was one of the most entertaining World Series in history. A seven-game series, the Astros defeated the Dodgers, four games to three, to win their first World Series in franchise history.

In 2019, Major League Baseball launched an investigation into allegations made against the Houston Astros after former Houston pitcher Mike Fiers told The Athletic that the Houston Astros used technology to steal signs during the 2017 season when they won the World Series. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred’s investigation documented in a report, revealed that the Houston Astros used cameras and video monitors to steal the signs of opposing catchers at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, then signaled those signs to their hitters before pitches throughout the 2017 regular season and playoffs. The report also reveals that virtually all of the Astros’ players had some involvement or knowledge of the scheme and that most of the position players on the 2017 team either received sign information from the banging scheme or participated in the scheme by helping to decode signs or bang on the trash can.

On January 13, 2020, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the Astros’ punishment, which includes a year-long suspension of Manager A.J. Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow, a $5,000,000 fine, and stripping the Astros of their first-and-second round draft picks for the next two years. Houston Astros Manager A.J Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow were subsequently fired.

“The integrity of Major League Baseball is in question, due to its decision to grant full immunity to the Astros players, while knowing each player was involved or knew about the scheme. When an entire team is involved in cheating, each member should bear the consequence. So far, there has been zero accountability from the Houston Astros organization nor the players. Players make millions and sports franchises are a playground for billionaires. The $5 million fine is chump change for these cheaters whose owner hasn’t even bothered to apologize. Fans across the country, including those in Houston, who shell out their hard-earned money to watch games deserve better.”

Richard Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.