Why Are Houston Astros Cheaters?

Frank Jones

Houston Astros Cheaters

The Houston Astros, a renowned Major League Baseball (MLB) team, found themselves at the center of a scandal that shook the foundations of the sport.

The Astros’ sign-stealing saga during the 2017 and 2018 seasons sparked widespread controversy and ignited debates about the integrity of the game.

By utilizing technology and implementing a systematic scheme, the Astros gained an unfair advantage over their opponents, leaving a stain on their reputation and achievements.

The fallout from the scandal reverberated through the baseball community, leading to consequences, criticism, and a renewed focus on maintaining the fairness and credibility of America’s pastime.

Why Are Houston Astros Cheaters?

The Houston Astros are considered cheaters due to their involvement in a sign-stealing scandal that unfolded during the 2017 and 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons.

The scandal involved the Astros using various methods to decode and relay opposing teams’ signs to their batters, gaining an unfair advantage in the game.

Here are an explanation of why the Houston Astros are regarded as cheaters

Sign-stealing Scheme

During the 2017 and 2018 MLB seasons, the Houston Astros implemented a sign-stealing scheme that involved decoding and relaying opposing teams’ signs to their batters.

To gain an unfair advantage, they utilized multiple techniques. One of the primary methods was using a video camera positioned in the center field seats to capture the catcher’s signals.

The footage was then transmitted to a monitor near the dugout, where players or staff members deciphered the signs. To alert their batters about the upcoming pitch, they resorted to banging on a trash can, creating a distinct sound signal.

This systematic cheating allowed the Astros to anticipate pitches and significantly influence game outcomes.

Technology-assisted Cheating

To execute their cheating scheme, the Houston Astros took advantage of technology. They strategically placed a video camera in the center field seats to capture the signs conveyed by the opposing team’s catcher.

This footage was then transmitted to a monitor located near the Astros’ dugout. Players or staff members closely analyzed the signs displayed on the monitor to determine the upcoming pitch.

To relay this information to the batter in real-time, they resorted to a rather unconventional method – banging on a trash can. Each specific bang pattern corresponded to a particular pitch type, providing the Astros’ batters with an unfair advantage during their at-bats.

Involvement of Key Individuals

The sign-stealing scheme employed by the Houston Astros involved key individuals who played crucial roles in its execution. Players, along with bench coach Alex Cora and designated hitter Carlos Beltran, were instrumental in devising and carrying out the strategy.

They actively participated in decoding and relaying signs to the batters. Furthermore, it was revealed that manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were aware of the cheating but failed to take necessary action to stop it.

Their knowledge and inaction implicated them in the scandal and contributed to the Astros’ reputation as cheaters.

Consequences and Penalties

Following the investigation into the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, Major League Baseball (MLB) imposed severe consequences and penalties. Both manager A.J.

Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were handed one-year suspensions by MLB. The Astros organization took further action by firing them. Additionally, the team was fined the maximum amount of $5 million, as per MLB rules.

Furthermore, the Astros suffered a significant blow to their future prospects as they lost their first- and second-round draft picks in both the 2020 and 2021 drafts.

These penalties aimed to hold the team accountable for their cheating actions and deter future misconduct.

Criticism and Tarnished Reputation

The Houston Astros faced widespread criticism and incurred significant damage to their reputation as a result of the cheating scandal. Fans, media, and fellow players expressed outrage over their actions.

The team’s achievements, particularly their 2017 World Series victory, were heavily scrutinized and questioned, with many considering them tainted.

There was widespread belief that the punishments imposed by MLB, which mainly targeted management and spared individual players, were inadequate.

Many argued that the players involved should have faced personal consequences for their role in the cheating, leading to ongoing debates about the fairness and integrity of the Astros’ success.

Ethical and Integrity Concerns

The Houston Astros’ cheating scandal raised profound ethical concerns surrounding the fairness and integrity of baseball.

Their systematic sign-stealing scheme, enabled by technology, exposed the challenges of effectively regulating and enforcing rules in an era where advanced methods can be employed for deceptive purposes.

The Astros’ actions not only called into question the legitimacy of their achievements, including their World Series victory, but also eroded the trust and respect of fans and fellow players.

The scandal underscored the imperative for sports organizations to maintain a level playing field, preserve the integrity of the game, and restore the faith of stakeholders in fair competition.

Lessons Learned and Future Outlook

The Houston Astros’ cheating scandal served as a catalyst for Major League Baseball (MLB) to implement various measures aimed at preventing future instances of cheating.

MLB has since increased monitoring systems and implemented stricter penalties to deter misconduct. The scandal acted as a stark reminder of the significance of upholding the integrity of the game, emphasizing the need for transparency and accountability.

The incident highlighted the ongoing need for vigilance and continuous efforts to prevent cheating, ensuring that professional sports maintain their fairness and credibility in the eyes of fans, players, and stakeholders.

How Did Astros Get Caught Cheating

How Did Astros Get Caught Cheating

Source: inquirer

The Houston Astros’ cheating scandal came to light after several key events and revelations. Here’s a point-by-point breakdown of how they got caught:


The first significant step in exposing the Astros’ cheating was the whistleblower, Mike Fiers. Fiers, a former Astros pitcher, revealed to The Athletic in November 2019 that during the 2017 season, the Astros used a system involving a center-field camera and trash cans to steal and relay signs to their hitters.

2017 World Series

The Astros’ alleged sign-stealing scheme became particularly notorious when they won the World Series in 2017. Their success raised eyebrows and led to suspicions from other teams and fans.

Public Videos and Speculations

Even before Fiers’ revelation, some fans and baseball analysts had noticed suspicious behaviors in Astros’ games. Videos circulated on social media showing Astros players making loud banging noises in the dugout, leading to suspicions of sign-stealing.

Confirmation from Former Players

Following Fiers’ admission, other former Astros players and team personnel came forward to confirm the existence of the sign-stealing system. This added credibility to the allegations and increased the pressure on Major League Baseball (MLB) to investigate the matter thoroughly.

MLB Investigation

In response to the mounting evidence and public outcry, MLB launched an official investigation into the Astros’ sign-stealing practices. This investigation took place two years after the initial claims were made, but it allowed MLB to conduct a comprehensive and thorough examination of the allegations.

Witness Interviews

As part of the investigation, MLB interviewed current and former players, coaches, and team personnel from the Astros organization to gather evidence and testimonies related to the sign-stealing allegations.

Electronic Sign-Stealing Evidence

The investigation revealed that the Astros used a real-time video feed from a camera positioned in center field to observe the catcher’s signs. Once the sign was deciphered, someone in the Astros’ dugout would relay the information to the hitters by banging on a trash can, providing them with an unfair advantage.

Houston Astros Punishment for Cheating

In January 2020, Major League Baseball (MLB) completed its investigation into the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal and announced significant punishments for the organization and individuals involved. The punishments included:


The Houston Astros were fined a sum of $5 million. This was the maximum allowable fine under MLB rules.

Loss of Draft Picks

The Astros lost their first and second-round draft picks in both the 2020 and 2021 MLB drafts. Losing high draft picks can have long-term implications for a team’s ability to acquire top talent and build for the future.

Manager and General Manager Suspensions

The Astros’ manager, A.J. Hinch, and general manager, Jeff Luhnow, were suspended by MLB for the entire 2020 season. Both Hinch and Luhnow were subsequently fired by the Astros in the aftermath of the investigation.

Team Owner’s Actions

Although not officially part of MLB’s punishment, Astros owner Jim Crane took further action by firing Hinch and Luhnow once the investigation’s results were made public. Crane also made public apologies for the team’s actions.


Did any individual players on the Houston Astros face punishment for their involvement in the sign-stealing scandal?

No, individual players were granted immunity in exchange for their cooperation during the investigation, resulting in no personal punishments.

Were there any allegations of the Astros using electronic devices, such as buzzers, to receive signs during games?

Some players accused the Astros of wearing buzzers, but MLB denied finding any evidence to support these claims.

Did the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme continue into the 2019 season and postseason?

The MLB investigation found no evidence of illicit sign stealing by the Astros during the 2019 season or postseason.

How did the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal impact their 2020 season?

The Astros faced hostile crowds and hecklers during their 2020 season, which was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What changes did MLB implement to prevent future cheating scandals?

MLB enhanced monitoring systems, increased penalties for rule violations and focused on ensuring transparency and accountability to prevent future cheating incidents.

To Recap

The Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal stands as a stark reminder of the far-reaching consequences that cheating can have on the integrity of professional sports.

The systematic and technology-assisted scheme employed by the Astros brought forth significant backlash, tarnishing their reputation and casting doubt on the legitimacy of their achievements.

The scandal prompted Major League Baseball to take action, implementing stricter measures and penalties to prevent future cheating incidents.

It served as a wake-up call to the importance of upholding the fairness and transparency of the game, emphasizing the need for continuous vigilance and efforts to maintain the credibility and trust of fans, players, and stakeholders.