Here’s the unspoken part about this Astros sign stealing, and before that the PED epidemic.
Aside from cheating the game, these players embezzled money from their teams. Did any of them give it back?
Marwin Gonzalez is a prime example. According to all reports, nobody benefited more from the illegal sign stealing than Gonzalez. You just have to look at the stats to prove that.
Here’s a guy who the year before drove in 51 runs, and that was high for him by far.
Then, suddenly, he becomes an RBI machine. Driving in 90, leading a very productive Astros teams in that department in fact. His OPS went from a very bad .694 to a very good 907.
His salary went from $3.75 million in 2017 to a huge contract with Minnesota a year later, $12 million in 2019 and another $9 million this year.
Would they have given that the the Marwin Gonzalez of 2012, ’13, ’14, ’15, or ’16? No. Not even close.
This was a guy who, up until then, had a lifetime batting average of .254, a career OPS of .683, and an OPS+ of 89.
He was a below average hitter. His salary reflected that. Until he cheated.
His OPS+ was 146 in 2017. It went from a career 89 to 146. Remember, 100 is league average.
It’s no surprise that in his first year with his spiffy new contract in Minnesota, Gonzalez reverted back to average. Without help he was hapless.
He hit a respectible .264, driving in only 55. Decent numbers but that wasn’t the Marwin Gonzalez the Twins paid for.
Nope, that Marwin Gonzalez was a fake. That Marwin Gonzalez cheated the Twins out of their money. Oh, but thanks for the money.
Did he offer to give it back? Did the union offer to give it back? Did Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens or Sammy Sosa or Juan Gonzalez offer to give back the huge salaries they received as a direct result of cheating?
They got to keep it.
It’s hard to look at baseball players with respect anymore. Yes, it’s wrong to paint the group with the same brush. But it’s a dirty group.
In the mid-eighties, the owners were charged with colluding to cheat the players out of their salaries. They paid a dear price for that monetarily.
The players cheated the owners with inflated numbers in the PED and sign stealing scandals.
What is their penalty? Bigger contracts.
That will teach them.