It's been more than 78 hours since Major League Baseball issued its report into the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal that has now cost three managers and one general manager their jobs, and the anger across the league is growing each day.
After Carlos Beltrán and the Mets mutually agreed to "part ways" (a pleasant way to say he was fired), speculation surfaced on social media that José Altuve and other Astros players were wearing an electronic aid under their jerseys to steal signs during the 2019 postseason. Altuve, through agent Scott Boras, unequivocally denied the allegations that he has "ever worn an electronic device in a major league game—ever."
Former Rays outfielder Tommy Pham, now with the Padres, played against the Astros in the 2019 ALDS and clearly wasn't buying it.
Pham's tweet came in response to one from New York Post columnist Joel Sherman about commissioner Rob Manfred telling Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci last week that the league's investigation into the Astros found no evidence that wearable electronic technology was used to steal signs. "We found no Band-Aid buzzer issues," Manfred told Verducci. "There's a lot of paranoia out there."
Paranoia results, at least in part, from a lack of trust. And players across baseball, already feeling cheated by Houston and the Red Sox (still under investigation for their alleged use of video replay to steal signs), turned to their social media accounts to voice their displeasure with the scandal that could have more layers to it.
National League MVP Cody Bellinger, who lost to the Astros in the 2017 World Series as a rookie with the Dodgers, didn't say anything about the scandal until Thursday, when speculation and photos surfaced that suggested Houston was using the electronic devices.
It is worth noting that Manfred did not punish any of the players because they cooperated with the investigation. He would have had to go through the MLB Player's Association, and it would've been too difficult to determine which of the Houston players were cheating.
Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood made it known he thought the Astros' stealing signs was worse than taking performance-enhancing drugs.
And he also added to Bellinger's tweet:
Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman, whose manager would have been Beltrán had he not been fired for his involvement in the sign-stealing operation, also took to Twitter to address the situation.
Giants third baseman Evan Longoria weighed in:
As did his former Rays teammate Chris Archer, who's now with the Pirates:
Archer's Pirates rotation-mate Trevor Williams made a joke blaming Sports Illustrated for this debacle because of our cover 2014 predicting the Astros would win the 2017 World Series.
So Trevor, are we the Illuminati? I would issue an unequivocal denial. But after all that's transpired this week, would anyone believe us, anyway?