As Major League Baseball expands its investigation into the Houston Astros sign-stealing allegations, one player who opposed the Astros during the 2017 World Series has expressed a notable amount of indifference in response to the tactics Houston reportedly used.
Yasmani Grandal, fresh off his new four-year, $73 contract with the Chicago White Sox, was a guest on 670 The Score in Chicago Thursday afternoon when he commented that the Astros "were doing whatever they can to win," by allegedly stealing signs and relaying pitches to the batters, before adding, "If you're not cheating, you're not trying, I guess. It got them a ring."
Yasmani Grandal on the Astros' sign-stealing scandal: "They're doing whatever they can to win. If you're not cheating, you're not trying, I guess. It got them a ring. ... The past is the past. It happened. People found out. Now, let's do something to fix it and keep on going."
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) November 21, 2019
It’s an interesting perspective considering the Astros got their ring at the expense of Grandal’s Dodgers during the 2017 World Series. That’s right in the wheelhouse of when the Astros’ alleged scheme was taking place.
Grandal was used sparingly by Los Angeles during the seven-game series. The veteran catcher appeared in Games 2 and 3, catching only two innings while the series was in Houston. That means he wasn't as connected to the sign-stealing saga as he could have been. Yet it’s something that easily could have impacted his chances to win a championship with Houston winning two of three games at home.
Also of note, there was talk that then Dodgers' pitcher Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the 2017 World Series. Darvish has since commented that he feels “conflicted” over the Astros sign-stealing allegations. Ultimately, Darvish took responsibility for his two poor performances during the series, but there’s another layer to this story that has fans going into sleuth mode.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Darvish recalled a game during the 2019 season in which he stepped off the mound multiple times because he suspected the batter’s attention was focused on the left-center field bullpen. Darvish later acknowledged he was referring to his Sept. 9 start against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. There was even video showing MVP runner-up Christian Yelich doing exactly as Darvish described.
As some keen observers have pointed out, Yasmani Grandal was also in the Brewers lineup against his former teammate on that night.
All it takes is a spark or two to fuel a ton of speculation.
This is def. something you say if you just left a team that’s cheating. @ChristianYelich
— Jordan Riddle (@jordan22riddle) November 21, 2019
This screams “Milwaukee did it too.”
— Ryan (@royalcub89) November 21, 2019
What’s important to note is that Darvish himself says he’s not outright accusing the Brewers of stealing signs. The league also says there is no reason to believe the scheme ‘extends beyond the Astros.’
While it’s juicy, Grandal’s indifference to one situation isn’t necessarily an admission of guilt in another. It’s eyebrow-raising sure, but some players really don’t care. Perhaps it’s even fair to say most players don’t care. Maybe that’s because a lot of players know something the league hasn’t yet discovered. And maybe it’s just because they feel it doesn’t really matter.
Whatever the case, the sign-stealing saga has created all kinds of paranoia. It’s an issue that will not be going away even when MLB makes its final ruling on the Astros.
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