Teams Complained About Astros Cheating for Years, Beltran and Darvish, Grace Returns, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Teams Complained About Astros Cheating for Years, Beltran and Darvish, Grace Returns, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Little Girl, who turns nine this week (which is nuts), is down with the flu. She rarely needs ‘ole dad these days, so I am taking the opportunity to make myself useful to her, providing food and drink and tissues and medicines all the amenities of a five-star influenza joint.

  • The Washington Post drops the latest bombshell on the Astros cheating scandal, with 10 to 12 teams(!) complaining to the league about the Astros’ rampant cheating over the course of several years(!):

  • The article presents an “open secret” around baseball that the Astros were cheating in all kinds of ways going as far back as 2016 and through 2019 (so much so that the Washington Nationals made specific preparations to hinder the Astros’ cheating in the dang 2019 World Series – in part because so many people came out of the woodwork to warn them in advance of the series!). Why in the world did it take Mike Fiers going public for the investigation to really ramp up?
  • Also, with A.J. Hinch failing – suspiciously – to deny the use of buzzers, the questions about Jose Altuve’s now infamous walk-off homer in the 2019 ALCS has executives talking (an anonymous exec, via the Post): “You’re covering up and holding your shirt closed when you hit a homer to win the pennant? Who ever hit a home run to win the pennant and goes to the clubhouse and 20 seconds later comes out in a different shirt? No. You celebrate with your teammates.”
  • More here at The Athletic on Carlos Beltran’s role, together with Alex Cora, in deciding that the front office’s illegal “Codebreaker” scheme wasn’t going far enough, hence the video monitors and trash-can-banging. Remember how the Astros kept hinting that Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches … watch Beltran discussing it now, with the knowledge we now have, and it makes you very, very angry:

  • Again I say: the Astros should no longer be permitted to claim a 2017 World Series title. They cheated, rampantly, on their way to the postseason and then on through the postseason. The title should be stripped. It’s clear as day now.
  • Although we noted the competitiveness of the Cubs in the initial PECOTA projections this week, we didn’t discuss the bizarre NL East, which has – among other things – the Braves winning fewer games than the Cubs:

  • Speaking of the Braves, this is not what you want to see:

  • And speaking of projections, this is the most insanely bad position group projection I think I’ve ever seen on a team that fancies itself a contender:

  • That’s below average (2.0 WAR) at every single position except right field, and even that is only barely above average. It’s been true all offseason, but lord. If the Rangers want to compete in the AL West, they need a major offensive infusion.
  • With Starling Marte shipped out to Arizona, the former center fielder there is taking his job in Pittsburgh:

  • Like all Pirates at this point, Dyson will be eyed as a midseason trade candidate if he performs well in the first half – he could wind up a useful bench piece on a contender down the stretch.
  • A star hitter from the ’90s finally returns to the Cubs organization – no, not that guy, the other guy:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.