The Houston Astros are the talk of Major League Baseball, and not for a single good reason. Houston was found guilty of using illegal means to steal the opposition's pitching signs over the course of the 2017 season, which ended with a World Series title.
Astros players didn't do themselves any favors with their general lack of empathy and understanding. The "but everyone else is doing it" excuse thrown around by fans and defenders has been met with anger.
And you can count Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw among those not interested in hearing anyone try to explain all this away.
“The only thing that bothers me is the real-time stuff,” Kershaw said, via Sports Illustrated. “I’m sure a lot of teams were going up to that line, but once [Houston] started doing it in real time and using technology in real time, that’s what separates it.
“I’m sick of people saying that everybody was the same, that everybody was doing it. No. We weren’t all doing that. That was separated from everybody else.”
Kershaw dominated in Game 1 of the 2017 World Series for the Dodgers, as well as for the early portions of Game 5. However, after holding a 4-0 lead, Kershaw surrendered six runs in the fifth inning to the Astros.
In his interview with SI, Kershaw revealed that he didn't use multiple signs with the Astros on base; he used a single sign with a runner on first, and it burned him. Unfortunately for him, he played in Minute Maid Park, with a camera placed in center field to help intercept his signals. And the rest is history.
Even though Houston's cheating scandal cost Kershaw his best chance of hoisting the Commissioner's Trophy, he feels better knowing that a similar controversy will never happen again. Because the next time a team dares to step out of line this drastically, the punishments will be truly historic.