Astros’ Baker pleads for an end to opposing fans’ cheating jeers
Manager said fans need to tone down vitriol aimed at his team
What Astros manager Dusty Baker has seen and heard from angry fans in Oakland and Anaheim the past few days has convinced him to finally say enough is enough.
After enduring four days of taunts and jeers from A’s fans about the Astros’ illegal sign-stealing system from 2017 and 2018, Houston was greeted with even more vitriol from Angels’ fans Monday night.
“You can tell the amount of hostility and the amount of hatred in the stands,” Baker said after the Astros lost for the first time this season when the Angels rallied for a 7-6 win. “How many in the stands have never done anything wrong in their life? We paid the price for it. How many people have not cheated on a test or whatever at some point in time. I mean it’s easy if you live in glass houses, but I
don’t think anybody lives in glass houses.
“I think that sometimes we need to look at ourselves before you spew hate on somebody else. It’s a sad situation for America, to me, when you hear things — I mean what are the kids supposed to think in the stands? And some of them are kids that are following their parents. It’s sad to me. People make mistakes. We paid for ours, and I wish they’d leave it alone.”
Unfortunately for Baker and the Astros, the vitriol
may just be getting started.
On Monday, trash cans were tossed onto the field, including a life-sized inflatable one, to mock the Astros’ practice of banging on trash cans after using video monitors during games to steal opponents’ signs. The same “Astros suck!” chants Baker and his team heard in Oakland resurfaced in Anaheim while anti-Astros sentiment continued to grow as Houston played in front of crowds for the first time since the pandemic began.
The Astros were able to silence the noise in Oakland over the weekend by blistering the A’s during a one-sided, four-game sweep, outscoring them 35-9.
“Honestly, we just crushed them from pitch one to the last pitch of the whole series,” Astros rookie outfielder Chas McCormick said of their series against the A’s.
Getting crushed by the fans, though, is a different story. Some say that’s part of the consequences for cheating since Astros players didn’t face any penalties for their illegal scheme. Others paid the price — the team’s general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch lost their jobs and the organization was fined and docked draft picks.
Baker, though, would like his players to just move on from the scandal.
“You can’t carry that scarlet letter around all your life,” Baker said. “We’ve paid the price. How many times can you say you’re sorry? That’s all you can do. All you can do is go on with your life. There aren’t many saints walking around on this Earth, and if there are I don’t recognize them.”