UPDATED, 11;55 AM: Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred today gave his first public interview regarding the sign-stealing scandal that has rocked the sport. He also took time to respond to the Los Angeles City Council’s resolution that urges MLB to give the tainted 2017 and 2018 World Series titles to the runner-up Dodgers.
The bottom line: Don’t hold your breath, L.A..
“I think the answer from our perspective is to be transparent about what the investigation showed and let our fans make their own decision about what happened,” Manfred told MLB Network on Wednesday.
He confirmed that the 2017 champion Houston Astros were caught using cameras to steal signs from catchers through the 2017 season but said the league still is probing 2018 champs the Boston Red Sox over allegations that the team also cheated.
“We haven’t concluded our investigation with the Red Sox,” Manfred said in the interview. “So it’s a little hard to take the trophy away from somebody who hasn’t yet been found to do something wrong. We don’t know what the outcome of that’s going to be.”
PREVIOUSLY, January 21: As Major League Baseball reels amid the sign-stealing scandal that has tarnished the Houston Astros’ first World Series title in 2017, the Los Angeles City Council is going to bat for the home team. It passed a resolution today urging MLB to award that championship — and 2018’s — to the runner-up Dodgers.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred last week affirmed that the Astros used a camera to steal signs from opposing catchers during the 2017 season, which ended with a Game 7 victory over the Dodgers in the World Series. The Astros fired their manager and general manager over the scandal, and the Boston Red Sox — who beat the Dodgers the 2018 title — also fired their manager, who had been as Astros coach in 2017.
“Athletes that don’t cheat want to compete fairly and want to earn their title,” said Gilbert Cedillo, who introduced the resolution with fellow L.A. Councilman Paul Koretz and reps the district where Dodger Stadium sits. “What we’re looking at is what the record will reflect, and clearly cheaters should not be rewarded. We don’t want this to become to the new normal.”
Added Koretz: “There have been scandals in the past over the century-plus that we’ve had Major League Baseball in this country. I’m not sure if we’ve had this documented an effort to steal two World Series, and we know the results. … I think that would be an appropriate payback.”
The councilmen noted that neither has been in touch with the Dodgers to see if the team would even want to be declared World Series champs. The resolution does not call for any legal action.
While MLB is likely to balk at the resolution, the sign-stealing scandal remains a hot topic as baseball prepares for spring training next month. The Astros were fined $5 million by MLB and stripped of their first- and second-round draft pick for the next two seasons.