Con­tro­versy strikes our base­ball world

Antelope Valley Press - - SPORTS - Brian Golden Val­ley Press Staff Writer [email protected]­PRESS.COM

Sud­denly, con­tro­versy is the JetHawks’ mid­dle name. First, there was the non­sense of Ma­jor League Base­ball’s scheme to in­clude Lan­caster among 42 teams to be con­tracted in an in­sane Mi­nor League Base­ball re­struc­tur­ing.

Now the high­light of the Val­ley’s win­ter sports cal­en­dar, the Fourth An­nual JetHawks Hot Stove Ban­quet on Jan. 23 is draped in the new elec­tronic sign-steal­ing scan­dal.

The fea­tured speaker, who has dis­ap­peared from the pro­mo­tional an­nounce­ments, was sched­uled to be JetHawks Hall of Famer Ra­mon Vazquez — a trusted lieu­tenant of Puerto Ri­can coun­try­man Alex Cora, whose ten­ure as man­ager of the Bos­ton Red Sox was ended Tues­day.

Cora was men­tioned 11 times in Base­ball Com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred’s re­port on elec­tronic sign-steal­ing by the Hous­ton Astros against the Dodgers in the 2017 World Se­ries.

Hous­ton’s bench coach in 2017, Cora went on to man­age Bos­ton to one of the five most dom­i­nat­ing MLB sea­sons of the last 50 years while win­ning the 2018 World Se­ries.

Man­fred’s re­port al­leges Cora used the Red Sox replay room to steal op­po­nents’ signs.

The Dodgers are the vic­tim­ized other com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor in th­ese con­sec­u­tive World Se­ries scan­dals.

They’ve of­fi­cially de­clined pub­lic com­ment, most likely at the risk of MLB pun­ish­ment.

But it could also be be­cause this may only be the tip of the ice­berg.

As many as eight MLB clubs could even­tu­ally be im­pli­cated in this elec­tronic sign-steal­ing.

Man­fred has Base­ball’s great­est cheat­ing scan­dal on his hands since the Black Sox scan­dal of the 1919 World Se­ries.

He has to come down hard.

It only seems like ev­ery time he puts his foot down, the JetHawks are un­der­neath.

Twelve of the 25 mem­bers of Hous­ton’s 2017 world cham­pi­onship team were for­mer JetHawks.

Seven of Hous­ton’s nine starters in Game 7 at Dodger Sta­dium were Lan­caster alumni.

When the Lan­caster City Coun­cil pro­posed a con­grat­u­la­tory res­o­lu­tion to the “AstroHawks,” city staff got up and left the cham­ber in protest.

Turns out, it was an act of ex­tra­or­di­nary pre­science.

The framed res­o­lu­tion now hangs in the Astros’ Minute Maid Park of­fices.

Dodger fans shouldn’t hold out hope that the the two Worlds Se­ries ti­tles will be stripped and awarded to the Dodgers.

But the enor­mity of the scan­dal hints that what’s hap­pened so far is mere pro­logue.

Just the be­gin­ning.

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