Oakland Athletics pitcher Chris Bassitt says Major League Baseball was only scratching the surface when it investigated the Houston Astros for stealing signs in 2017 and 2018.
Bassitt said on The Chris Rose Rotation that the Astros' cheating was an open secret and that they were far from the only team stealing signs:
"We knew they were cheating. Like, we knew what was going on. Every team in the big leagues knew what was going on. ... This is not to open up a massive can of worms, this kind of thing. But like, Houston was not the only team doing stuff. Like, there was a lot of people doing stuff. It was just un—I mean, fortunately, but unfortunately, only one team essentially got caught doing it or was the guinea pig of it to like clean the whole entire league up."
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Athletics pitcher Chris Bassitt says on the <a href="https://twitter.com/RoseRotation?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RoseRotation</a> a lot of teams were cheating, not just the Astros <br><br>"Jomboy and the internet had to shove the proof into MLB's face before they did anything." <a href="https://t.co/uzYMKS7i7B">pic.twitter.com/uzYMKS7i7B</a>
The Astros were part of a major investigation that revealed players used video cameras to steal signs and tip pitches to batters over the course of two seasons, including when they won the 2017 World Series. Manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for the 2020 season by MLB and then fired by the Astros over their knowledge of the scheme. No players were punished under an agreement with Major League Baseball for their cooperation.
The Boston Red Sox also parted ways with manager Alex Cora for taking part in stealing signs as Houston's bench coach. An investigation into the Red Sox found the team stole signs in the 2018 season, but a replay operator was found to be the main culprit.
Boston brought Cora back ahead of the 2021 season.
Stealing signs has long been part of baseball, but the use of technology took it to a new level—one that had to be rectified. Advancements in technology made a controversy like this inevitable, and it wouldn't be a shock if Bassitt is right that the Astros were essentially a scapegoat.
That said, Bassitt said the game has been cleaned up in the fallout of the Houston scandal, so we may never know how prevalent the issue became.