Controversy strikes our baseball world
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.