Congressman Bobby Rush Calls for Congressional Oversight on MLB Cheating Scandal

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2020

Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch protests a call during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

In a statement issued Friday, Illinois Congressman Bobby L. Rush called for a hearing to be held by the Subcommittees on Oversight & Investigations and Consumer Protection & Commerce regarding the sign-stealing scandal in Major League Baseball:

As a result of MLB's investigation into the Houston Astros illegally stealing signs during the 2017 season en route to winning their first World Series title, both general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were suspended for one year.

The Astros fired both Luhnow and Hinch this week. Further, former Astros bench coach Alex Cora left his post as manager of the Boston Red Sox and former Astros player Carlos Beltran agreed to part ways with the New York Mets after being hired as their manager in November.

The Red Sox are under investigation for reportedly using their replay room to steal signs during the 2018 season. The Red Sox won the World Series later that year.

As part of his statement, Rush wrote, "It is clear that Major League Baseball is firmly in the midst of 'an ethical crisis.' Cheating in any sport is anathema, especially in professional sports. Many children, and adults for that matter, look up to professional athletes as a testament to the American dream and what is possible through hard work and determination. This latest fiasco is nothing short of a gut punch to those ideals."

Congress has gotten involved with sports many times over the years, but perhaps the most famous case occurred during the 2000s when MLB players were called to testify in front of Congress about steroid use.

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The sign-stealing disgrace is undoubtedly already the biggest scandal in baseball since then, and it is wide-ranging enough that government intervention may be inevitable due to the impact it has had on the fairness of the sport.

If a congressional oversight hearing does occur, it is possible that Luhnow, Hinch, Cora, Beltran and several other current and former Astros and Red Sox will be brought in to testify.