Dodgers P Ross Stripling Says He'd Intentionally Hit Astros Batters Amid Scandal

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2020

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling delivers a pitch during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling divulged Friday that he would intentionally hit some Houston Astros batter with a pitch if given the opportunity. 

According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange Country Register, Stripling said, "I would lean toward yes," when asked about the possibility of doing so.

After an investigation, Major League Baseball found that the Astros used illegal means to steal signs during the 2017 season. Houston beat L.A. in the 2017 World Series in seven games to win the first championship in franchise history.

Manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were each suspended one year by MLB for their roles in the scandal, and they were subsequently fired by Astros owner Jim Crane.

Also, the New York Mets parted ways with manager Carlos Beltran and the Boston Red Sox moved on from Alex Cora. Beltran was an Astros outfielder in 2017 and Cora was the team's bench coach. They were both named as people of involvement in MLB's investigation.

Per Plunkett, Stripling began thinking about what he would do if he faced the Astros in 2020 when it appeared as though he and outfielder Joc Pederson were going to be traded from the Dodgers to the Los Angeles Angels last week.

The trade fell through when the deal sending outfielder Mookie Betts from the Red Sox to the Dodgers was delayed, however. As a result, Stripling and Pederson are still members of the Dodgers.

Since the Dodgers and Astros don't play in interleague action this year, Stripling won't have the opportunity to throw at Astros hitters until the World Series if both teams make it, unless he is traded.

Hinch and a few former Astros players in Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton and Marwin Gonzalez have apologized for the sign-stealing scandal. Current Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve apologized while addressing the media Thursday as well.

While Crane technically apologized as well, he also said, "Our opinion is that this didn't impact the game," which didn't sit well with many in baseball, including Stripling's Dodgers teammate, Cody Bellinger.

Many involved with the Dodgers, including their fans, feel like they were cheated out of a championship in 2017, so the bad blood between the Dodgers and Astros likely won't go away any time soon.

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