Cubs' Javy Baez: 'It Sucks' Hitters Can't Review Video in-Game Because of Astros

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2020

Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez hits a single in the sixth inning in a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez lamented the elimination of in-game video for the 2020 MLB season in the wake of the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

"To be honest, it sucks because I make my adjustments during the game," Baez told reporters Monday. "I watch my swing. I watch where the ball went, where the contact was. I'm mad. I'm really mad about that we don't have it."

He added:

"We didn't cheat. We're not cheating, and we got to pay for all this. It's tough ... but a lot of players are struggling, too. A lot of stars are struggling, and I'm just one more.

"The way that it is is not the way we play baseball. And I need video to make adjustments and during the game. It doesn't matter who is there to watch us. It doesn't matter if we have all the police the MLB wants to send over here."

Baez has struggled throughout the coronavirus-shortened 60-game season. He's posted a .205/.246/.365 slash line with six home runs and 18 runs batted in through 41 appearances. His .611 OPS is on track to set his lowest mark since his debut campaign in 2014 (.551).

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The 27-year-old Puerto Rico native has also posted a nearly break-even 0.1 WAR after ranking sixth among all MLB shortstops in that category (9.7) over the past two years combined, per FanGraphs.

Chicago has racked up wins, leading the NL Central and ranking fourth in the NL with a 24-18 record, despite Baez's lackluster production and a mediocre offense (tied for 14th in runs scored).

The two-time All-Star said he'll continue to speak out about the rule change.

"We need video [back], and I'm going to keep trying to bring it back because we need [it]," Baez said Sunday.

Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash previously lashed out at the decision in August, calling it "asinine" and an "injustice to players:"

MLB levied punishments against the Astros in January, including a maximum allowable $5 million fine and the forfeiture of their first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts.

The ensuing rule changes related to video were enforced on all 30 organizations, however, and it's become a major talking point with the playoffs on the horizon.