Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve, Tropicana Field
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The Houston Astros are (almost) definitely guilty of stealing signs illegally. I took it upon myself to help MLB think of possible punishments for the organization.

Kelly's Comments

It’s a sad day when a scandal like the Houston Astros’ illegal sign-stealing rips its way through Major League Baseball. Nobody wants to see the game disrespected.

We here, at Elite Sports NY, are just sick about it. As such, it brings me no pleasure to announce that I feel a responsibility to MLB and its fans. That responsibility is to recommend possible punishments for a team that would shirk the integrity of the game in such a way.


Word has come down from Jeff Passan of ESPN that severe penalties are possible. As such, Allison Case and I took it upon ourselves to come up with some potential punishments on the latest episode of the Bleacher Creatures podcast. Here are a few of our suggestions …

The Houston Astros now play all their home games at Tropicana Field

The easiest way to ensure no one will ever cheat again is to threaten them with Florida. As fans of the AL East can attest, playing at The Trop is an absolute nightmare every single time.

Probable home runs routinely make their way up to the catwalk of the dome and plummet for loud singles. A dark magic takes hold of that stadium with the sole intent of causing as much mayhem as nine innings can handle. Forcing the Astros to play at the Trop sends a clear message to the league that cheating will not be tolerated.

As an added bonus, the Trop is always empty so any further attempts to relay signs with audio cues will be discovered immediately.

Jose Altuve has to wear his uniform in Aaron Judge’s size

I have no reason to accuse Jose Altuve of participating in the illegal sign stealing. By all accounts, he seems to be a genuinely honest person who would never disrespect the game.

Unfortunately for Altuve, he’s one of the best players on the Astros and he’s very short. Forcing him to wear a jersey that would fit 6-foot-7, 282 pounds of pure rock muscle would both inhibit his ability to play well for the Astros and be really funny.

Alex Bregman has to turn his social media accounts over to an old lady who thinks it's google and he can't tell anyone

This one is a personal favorite because we all know how active Bregman is on social media. It’s also safe to assume that something damning appeared on his Instagram seeing as he deleted everything.

Given that fact, I think it would be appropriate to turn his social media account into a string of pie recipes and disturbing WebMD searches. Sure, this may take away the personality that baseball fans love, but sacrifices have to be made to ensure that cheating is a thing of the past.

The front office must relocate to Staten Island

This one speaks for itself. Staten Island is a nightmare. The Houston Astros’ brass belongs there.

Starting pitchers can only throw six innings a game

Given the shortcomings of the Houston bullpen in 2018, this punishment ensures that it continues. The Astros live on the backs of their phenomenal starters. I say we take that away.

This is by far the most practical punishment to destroy the Astros but it may be a tough one to get past the player’s union.

The Astros front office must take six semesters of ethics classes with college students

As a former college student, I can confidently say that college students are the worst. Every class has the jerk that thinks they know better than the professor. The students complain about every non-perfect mark on their papers. The professors make you break into small groups and work on projects as a team.

I imagine the Astros executives won’t really fit in with that group. However, ethics is an extremely important concept that they seem to be lacking. As such, I see no alternative to forcing them to operate in that environment on a day to day basis for three years.

Eventually, they’ll learn that cheating is wrong, and if they happen to get trapped in a hacky-sack circle in the quad, so be it. Just an added bonus for those invested in the punishment of the organization.

We have a lot more ideas, but we’d like to see what Major League Baseball does. It’ll probably be fines and suspensions or something boring like that, but if they want to get creative with it, they can reach out anytime.


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