For heaven’s sake, the racist Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott got suspended in the 1990s for owning a Nazi armband. But at least she didn’t destroy the integrity of the game.
Crane pooh-poohed the burning wreckage smoldering at his feet. “Our opinion is, this didn’t impact the game,” he sniffed.
Let me ask you: If Drew Brees knew when the blitz was coming, do you think that might impact the game? If Steph Curry knew when he was going to get double-teamed, do you think that might impact the game?
Now there’s talk that pitchers from other teams will impact Asterisks batters with fastballs to the ribs and—oh, the irony—probably get suspended for it. I can’t blame them. Trying to guess which pitch is coming is the whole art of hitting! Otherwise, it’d be like a blackjack player knowing what card was going to be flipped over next. You guess a curveball is coming, and you get a fastball? You look like a drunk trying to kill a moth. You know a curveball is coming? You look like Ted Williams. “Me, going up to the plate, knowing what’s coming?” the Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout said dreamily the other day. “Be pretty fun up there.”
In 40 years of covering sports, I’ve never seen athletes so mad. I’m with them. “Every single guy over there needs a beating,” the Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis said. “If someone cheated me out of winning the title … I would be F*^king irate!” LeBron James tweeted. “[They should] be out of baseball for the rest of their lives,” Hank Aaron said.
The Asterisks say they’re sorry. If they mean it, there’s plenty they could do to make this right.
First, they could go to Minute Maid Park and take down the 2017 World Series banner. Then burn it.
Second, they could give away the $429,000 each of them got just for—cough—“winning” that World Series. (The Baseball Assistance Team would be a nice choice.)
Third, they could pawn their World Series rings and give all the money to the former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mike Bolsinger—who, after getting shelled by the grifting Asterisks during one game in August 2017, never pitched in the bigs again.
Fourth, their star José Altuve could give back the 2017 MVP award he robbed from the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge (who says he’s “sick to my stomach”).
Fifth, they could ask Major League Baseball to formally vacate the title they won. Why not? It’s been done before by people with actual consciences.
When an undefeated Cornell realized it had won a 1940 football game with the help of a fifth down against Dartmouth, the team famously gave back the victory. When the running back Reggie Bush was found to have accepted massive under-the-table gifts to play football at USC, he gave back his Heisman Trophy. When it was revealed that the guys from Milli Vanilli weren’t even singing on their own album, they had decided to give back their Grammy when the Recording Academy beat them to it.