Major League Baseball has already announced a number of significant penalties for the Houston Astros in the wake of the cheating scandal that has tainted the 2017 World Series, and even more could be on the way for the Boston Red Sox for their cheating in 2018.
A $5 million fine, the loss of four draft picks, year-long suspensions for since-fired employees; that’s not nothing. However, it was never going to be enough for fans who think that an unprecedented punishment — vacating the tainted titles — is the only proper response to an unprecedented cheating scandal.
It appears some of those fans make up the Los Angeles City Council.
L.A. City Council wants a World Series trophy (or two)
The L.A. City Council is expected to vote on a resolution urging MLB to recall the World Series trophies presented to the Astros in 2017 and Red Sox in 2018 and award them to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
Councilman Gil Cedillo reportedly said he expects the resolution to be approved, though it’s not known when the vote will be held. He added that neither the Dodgers nor his constituents asked for the resolution (the Dodgers, like all other teams, have been asked by MLB to not comment on the matter).
From the Times:
“This is an equity and justice thing,” Cedillo said. “Who was the best team in 2017? Who was the best team in 2018? It was the Dodgers. They got beat by teams that were cheating.
“Do they need to be told that they shouldn’t have a title?”
There probably shouldn’t be as much support for awarding the titles to the Dodgers, though.
The Dodgers getting 2017 and 2018 rings would be very silly
There is no shortage of reasons for why retroactively awarding the 2017 and 2018 World Series to the Dodgers would be a very bad idea.
For one, even if you say the Astros’ and Red Sox’ championship seasons are completely forfeit, who’s to say the New York Yankees — who also lost to both of the World Series champions in the playoffs — wouldn’t have won them instead?
That’s not to mention the likelihood that very few, if any, of the Dodgers would actually want a ring or trophy that wasn’t won on the field. There’s been enough talk of the Astros and Red Sox deserving an asterisk next to their titles; it’s hard to see re-awarded back-to-back World Series trophies for the Dodgers being much better.
And while MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s report determined that the 2017 Astros continued their cheating into the postseason, the initial report from The Athletic on the Red Sox sign stealing indicated the team stopped using their system before the postseason. Boston’s 108 regular-season wins might have been ill-gotten, but their five-game domination of the Dodgers in the World Series — at least at this point — seems to have been clean. We’ll see what Manfred turns up as he investigates the Red Sox next.
MLB has made it clear that the 2017 and 2018 trophies are staying put. The team owners will say they don’t believe their titles are tainted as fans roll their eyes. Players will insist they weren’t really involved, and if they were, they had qualms about the whole thing and only did it because of clubhouse pressure. All ceremonies and remembrances of both playoff runs will come with an uneasy awkwardness, or maybe — just maybe — shame.
At some point, you simply have to accept the Dodgers lost two World Series to teams that cheated each year. It’s an awful feeling for fans and a black eye for the sport, but a hollow trophy ceremony and insistence on an alternate reality wouldn’t make it any better.
The trophies are tainted forever, no matter who holds them.
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