After what many are calling a lax punishment for the Houston Astros, fans and pundits alike have wondered how other teams will retaliate against the franchise. Besides suspensions and later firings for manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Lunhow, the Astros appear to have gotten off rather easy. Players were granted full immunity so that the league could conduct an investigation, something that will never be overturned. Fans have also taken issue with owner Jim Crane’s press conference in which he stated that the cheating didn’t impact games.
Several high profile players have already ripped the Astros including Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge and Trevor Bauer. “Everybody knows they stole the ring from us” Bellinger said to reporters two weeks ago.
While regular season action is still yet to begin, the baseball world is perhaps already seeing what will be in store for the Astros in 2020. In just five spring training games (counting split squad), Astros players have been hit by a total of 7 pitches. Alex Bregman became the 7th when he was plunked in yesterday’s action.
Almedys Diaz – who wasn’t with the Astros in 2017 – was hit by Jose Urena. It’s unclear whether or not it was intentional, but Urena has been suspended for throwing at hitters before. We don’t know for sure if any were intentional and at least a couple don’t appear to be, but seven is also quite the number. If this persists, the MLB may have a problem on their hands.
Astros players, as expected, have been getting booed left and right this spring. When Bregman got plunked, there was certainly some applause. George Springer was met with thunderous boo’s during an AB against the Yankees and swung out of his shoes trying to silence the crowd.
Whether Astros players are already being targeted or not, 2020 is certainly going to be quite the ride for the franchise.