Cincinnati Reds star Joey Votto thinks the Houston Astros may be catching too much heat from their sign-stealing scandal across the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Votto said Wednesday on the Dan Patrick Show that MLB fans should move on and that "the idea that [the Astros] were the only ones doing something wrong just baffles me."
Dan Patrick Show @dpshow
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Reds?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Reds</a> Joey Votto said that we need to move on from booing the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Astros?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Astros</a>. <br><br>"The idea that they were the only ones doing something wrong just baffles me." <a href="https://t.co/bYEfX9OY12">pic.twitter.com/bYEfX9OY12</a>
The Astros opened a two-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on the road on Tuesday.
Dodgers fans seemed to feel especially aggrieved in the wake of the scandal since Houston beat Los Angeles in the 2017 World Series. Not surprisingly, they didn't hesitate to heckle the Astros before and during Tuesday's game, a 3-0 win for Houston:
The cliche that time heals all wounds may not apply in this situation.
Votto isn't the first MLB star to raise doubt about whether the Astros have been the only guilty party.
"I definitely think others were," San Francisco Giants third baseman Kris Bryant told USA Today's Bob Nightengale in March 2020, when he was a member of the Chicago Cubs. "I don’t know if other teams were doing it that same way, but people are always trying to find a way for that competitive advantage."
Writing for Bleacher Report in October 2019, Scott Miller reported some around the league described the Astros, Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks as being "especially adept with technological surveillance." Cleveland, the Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers were implicated as well.
In general, cheating is nothing new. Be it on an individual or organizational scale, MLB personnel will always look to get an edge on the opposition. Pitchers using foreign substances on baseballs is only the most recent example.
That isn't to absolve the Astros, but it's safe to assume they weren't the only ones within the last few years who may have skirted MLB's rules in pursuit of wins.