Major League Baseball has plenty of dark moments throughout its history, and it looks like we are in the midst of another. This week, it was reported the Houston Astros stole signs using technology during their World Series run in 2017. If teams can pick up signs in real time during the game and relay the information back to the dugout, that's totally legal. But the moment teams use cameras and other forms of technology to deliver signs in real time, that's when the line is crossed.
To refresh your memory that this isn't the first dishonorable occurrence to take place in baseball, here are six of the most infamous cheating scandals in MLB history.
6. Indians Corked Bat Incident (1994)
Former Cleveland Indians slugger Albert Belle is not the first player to use a corked bat, and he definitely wasn't the last. But how many times has a teammate crawled across a ceiling grate to the room it was locked in to retrieve it? Back in 1994, Belle had his bat confiscated by the umpires because it was corked, but Indians relief pitcher Jason Grimsley retrieved it by doing just that. MLB even brought in a former FBI agent to carry out the investigation once it figured out what happened.
5. George Brett's Pine Tar Incident (1983)
George Brett's reaction gets more attention than the actual story, but in 1983 in a game between the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees, Brett hit a home run in the ninth inning to give his team a 5-4 lead. However, Yankee manager Billy Martin came out and argued that Brett's bat had too much pine tar on it. The umpires agreed and called him out, thus leading to a Royals loss. Kansas City protested and it was actually reversed, leading to the game being resumed the next day and the Royals winning.
4. Braves International Signing Scandal
This all came to a head in 2017, so it's still pretty fresh in our minds. The Atlanta Braves were found to have circumvented the international signing rules from 2015-2017, leading the MLB to remove 13 prospects from the organization in addition to banning John Coppolella, the Braves GM at the time, from baseball for life. The organization was also hit with sanctions with regards to how much it could spend internationally until 2021. Maybe they were punished too severely, but MLB certainly got their point across and won't stand for that type of behavior.
3. Mitchell Report
The 409-page Mitchell Report, which was released in December 2007 by former Senator George Mitchell, defines an entire era of Major League Baseball. The report named 89 players, all of whom allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs, including superstars like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte. This moment shifted the entire baseball landscape, and not for the better.
2. Pete Rose Betting Scandal
All-time hits leader Pete Rose is a surefire Hall of Famer. However, he received a lifetime ban from the sport after it was revealed he bet on games during his time as manager of the Cincinnati Reds, which is the No. 1 rule in baseball you can't break. It's still a topic of conversation today, and this happened back in 1989. The MLB has since denied multiple appeals for Rose to be reinstated.
1. Black Sox Scandal
This story is well-known by most, and helped paved the way for Rose's ban. Eight players on the Chicago White Sox allegedly decided to intentionally throw games in the 1919 World Series in exchange for payments from a group of men running a gambling operation. The players were banned for life and the incident turned into a curse for the franchise, as it took the White Sox over 80 years to win another championship. It's still the biggest scandal in the history of the sport.