If Guilty As Charged, Astros Should Lose 2017 Title, New Poll Insists

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If Guilty As Charged, Astros Should Lose 2017 Title, New Poll Insists

Post by admin » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:18 am

If the Houston Astros are found guilty of using electronic devices to steal signs, they should lose their 2017 world championship.

That’s the finding of a brand-new Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted by telephone, that surveyed 712 adults via land-lines and cell phones this week.

A whopping 52 per cent of those asked said the team should lose its world title, while 35 per cent said no and 14 per cent had no opinion. The poll has a 3.7 per cent margin of error.

Most participants in the poll – 69 per cent – believe other teams also use electronic devices to steal signs even though such chicanery violates baseball rules. On the other hand, 13 per cent said other teams were not involved and 18 per cent said they did not know or had no opinion.

Just 15 per cent felt electronic sign stealing was more serious than the use of performance- enhancing drugs.

After the Boston Red Sox apparently used an Apple Watch to steal signs when playing the arch-rival New York Yankees in 2017, Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred fined the club and warned that further use of electronics to steal signs would be met with severe penalties. At minimum, that would invariably mean heavy fines and lengthy suspensions.

Manfred said Thursday he is considering all the evidence, taking it seriously, and will take his time deciding upon penalties. The issue was exposed when Mike Fiers, who formerly pitched for the Astros, told The Athletic that Houston used electronics to steal signs. While sign-stealing is as old as the game itself, using technology to do so violates baseball law.There is precedent for players, coaches, managers, and team executives to be suspended – sometimes for a season or even a lifetime – for violating baseball rules. Eight members of the Chicago White Sox were handed lifetime bans for allegedly fixing the 1919 World Series although evidence against the, disappeared during their trial.

The most notorious suspensions were clamped on Shoeless Joe Jackson, a star slugger on the so-called “Black Sox,” and career hits leader Pete Rose, accused of betting on his team as player and manager of the Cincinnati Reds. As a result of their actions, neither is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Although Jackson’s records have been expunged from the baseball record book, no team has ever lost a world championship it won by commissioner’s edict after the fact.

“The Astros case is particularly challenging,” said Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll and former executive director of CBS Sports, “and the public feels an unprecedented punishment may be under consideration.”

That punishment could include suspensions for current major-league managers A.J. Hinch, pilot of the 2017 Astros; Alex Core, who advanced from Houston bench coach to Boston Red Sox manager in 2018; and Carlos Beltran, who completed his playing career with the 2017 Astros before the New York Mets made him their new manager earlier this month.

Several reports suggested Beltran, then in his last season as a player, was the main instigator of a sign-stealing network that included one or more cameras, an ear-piece, and a dugout garbage pail that a player banged with a bat to let hitters know whether a fastball or breaking ball was coming. He has denied all such allegations.

Also accused of sign-stealing at Minute Maid Park by the New York Yankees, whom they defeated in the 2017 and 2019 American League Championship Series, the Astros ran into hot water during the 2019 playoffs when front-office official Brandon Taubman yelled at three female sportswriters in the Houston clubhouse.

After earlier denials, he lost his job. The Seton Hall Poll is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute, part of the Stillman School of Business. Conducted regularly since 2006, its findings have been published in USA TODAY, The New York Times, Washington Post, The Associated Press, Reuters, Baseball America, and ESPN.

Results were recently chosen for inclusion in iPoll by Cornell’s Roper Center for Public Opinion. The latest poll was conducted by telephone from November 18-20 among adults in the United States.

Seton Hall offers more than 90 rigorous academic programs to some 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. One of the nation’s top Catholic universities since its founding in 1856, it accepts and encourages students of all religious backgrounds. Seton Hall is located in South Orange, New Jersey, 14 miles from New York City.

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