A decade ago, the Houston Astros were in a vastly different place. Not only were they transitioning to the American League after 50 years in the National League, but their game stats were near the bottom of MLB rather than the top. Drastic measures for improvement were required if anything was to change. But in a major error of judgment, the front office took to underhanded measures as a way of solving problems.

In 2012, the Astros broke their own record from the previous season at 55–107, the worst in MLB that year. So perhaps it’s understandable that Houston was desperate to see its first World Series win in the next few years. But what management forgot was that baseball fans never forgive or forget, especially for cheating.

Portland Pickles Once Again Incite Baseball Fans on Houston Astros Sign-Stealing


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When newly minted Astros owner Jim Crane employed Jeff Luhnow as general manager in 2011, no one had predicted the trajectory the club would crash on. Taking a critically analytical approach, Luhnow changed the team’s fortunes by strictly focusing on numbers, however unpopular. The sign-stealing came later, using highly equipped technology and cameras.

But what got them caught in the end was how the players in the dugout warned the ones on the field – by banging on trash cans. The strategies evolved, and the Astros ended up winning the 2017 World Series. While baseball fans aren’t the most forgiving fans, this scandal caused a huge controversy that is still being talked about today.

So when a summer collegiate sports team, Portland Pickles, posted about it, fans had all kinds of reactions. The strange thing is, this wasn’t the first time they did it. The team’s mascot, a pickle, as one might expect, trolled the Astros last year when they played against the Baltimore Orioles. Dillon the pickle banged on a trash can outside Pickles Club in Baltimore, causing the crowd gathered around to laugh.

MLB Fans May Already Be Over the Biggest Scandal in Baseball

It’s not that fans won’t remember the Astros as ‘cheaters’ or that they won’t forgive MLB for not rescinding the team’s 2017 World Series rings. Players like Charlie Morton and Collin McHugh even expressed regret at not doing enough to stop what Luhnow was doing back then.

It’s just that, to many, that era is over. Although some expressed that they’d rather not remember the bad times, others criticized the Pickles for trying to stir things up.

Some wondered if the post was simply for the sake of social media engagement.

Some pointed out that the team won again last year, this time without cheating.


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Luhnow, for his part, staunchly denied his actions in the plea of ignorance. Then he threw everyone else under the bus, playing the blame game.

READ MORE – “We All Have Shown Remorse”- Carlos Beltran Reflects on 2017 Houston Astros Cheating Scandal


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It can sometimes be a delicate line to walk between cheating and doing everything one can to ensure victory. But MLB has clarified its rules better. It will be sad to see any such moves happening again when the rest of the league is working hard the honest way.

WATCH THIS STORY – Counting Down the Most Infamous Instances of Athletes Caught Cheating on Live Television