To me, the most embarrassing part of the 2017 Astros cheating scandal is how bad they were at hiding it. I’m not naive enough to think that teams worth millions of dollars are all beacons of moral purity, but I do think that if you are going to cheat, you should absolutely not get caught. Banging on a trashcan to communicate what pitches are coming in real-time during home games is…not subtle? How embarrassing, I thought, to cheat and get caught! But somehow this whole scandal has become even more of an embarrassment a full four years later.
Carlos Beltrán, former Astros designated hitter and the only player named in the MLB investigation into the cheating scandal, has a new job as an on-air analyst for the YES Network. He is set to appear on a (pre-recorded) segment of CenterStage with Michael Kay where he spoke for the the first time since the MLB investigation concluded.
The Athletic obtained a transcript of the program, which airs Monday, and…well.. let’s just look at a quote from Beltrán:
“A lot of people always ask me why you didn’t stop it,” Beltrán said. “And my answer is, I didn’t stop it the same way no one stopped it. This is working for us. Why you gonna stop something that is working for you? So, if the organization would’ve said something to us, we would’ve stopped it for sure.”The Athletic
I, too, would like to make a statement: Yes, it is true that I set up a camera behind the teacher’s desk to point at the test key so that I could copy the answers, and had my friend Tim loudly and obnoxiously cough signals to the multiple choice answers, but the teacher never said EXPLICITLY that I couldn’t! She never came directly to me and said that I couldn’t do this. So then why would I stop doing it? It was working! I got 100s on every test and ruined the curve for everyone. If she would’ve just said something to me, I would’ve for sure stopped.
What a terrible excuse. This man has had four years to formulate a response to this scandal and this is the best he could come up with?
First off: No shit it’s working! Cheating works!
Second off: I understand the impulse to push responsibility onto management. I also think that the coaches of this team should have put a stop to this immediately. But not only was Beltrán a full-grown adult in 2017, he was a veteran player and clubhouse leader. The team nicknamed him “The Godfather.” And while I have only seen that movie once, and I fell asleep during parts of it, my understanding is Godfather is a position of responsibility and one that requires some ownership of one’s behavior, which Beltrán has still yet to do.
Beltrán has been lying since the beginning of the investigation. He lied to The New York Post, saying that he was not aware of the camera in center field that was being used to steal signs. In that same interview, he expanded his lie to say that, in fact, the team, “took a lot of pride studying pitchers [on] the computer […] That is the only technology that I use and understand.”
Beltrán is still using this same argument that he didn’t really do anything wrong after the team was investigated and found to have broken the rules by MLB. He’s still dodging around the truth in this interview. He explains that he, “didn’t feel we were really crossing a line.” He says that the Astros, “felt in our hearts that we were being more efficient and smarter than any team out there.”
No you didn’t! You absolutely did not! You believed that you were being more efficient and smarter by, let me say it again, hitting a TRASHCAN WITH A BAT? That is the stupidest and least efficient way to cheat I can think of! What’s crystal clear is how bad of a scheme this was to begin with:
“We felt that when teams are coming to our ballpark (Minute Maid Park), we felt that some teams have something going on,” Beltrán said. “So we felt that we needed to create our own (system), you know, and that’s what happened.”
Beltrán still believes that this whole scandal wasn’t fair, that they weren’t doing anything wrong. The reason he can’t seem to apologize earnestly for his role in the scandal is because he clearly doesn’t believe he needs to. So far, that’s worked out fine for him. None of the 2017 Astros players received a suspension from MLB. Guess they’ll have to figure out on their own what they did wrong.