On the Astros ‘Apologies’ and Looking Ahead to 2020

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I try not think about what might’ve been. ‘Cuz that was then, and we have taken different roads. We can’t go back again, there’s no use givin’ in. And there’s no way to know what might’ve been” – Little Texas

Three years ago from right now, I was as excited for a baseball season as I had ever been. The Dodgers seemed like a team of destiny, one for the record books. And I was right.

The Dodgers won the most games in that organization up to that point. They steamrolled through the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS. They handled the Chicago Cubs with ease, winning the NLCS 4-1. And then the World Series against the Houston Astros happened.

This morning, the Astros organization attempted to apologize and explain what happened in 2017 and beyond. It tracked along the same lines that they had been taking ever since the Commissioner’s report came out last fall. Little remorse, blaming it all on upper-management, a real “we are sorry we got caught” vibe. The owner Jim Crane said it “probably” didn’t affect the game. He feels no need to reach out to the Dodgers. Let’s just look ahead to 2020, he said.

I won’t rehash all the statistics from the World Series. We all know what happened, and we all know where things started to turn. Game 5 would have never turned out the way it did if the Astros not had help.

The Astros are going to have to deal with the repercussions of their actions all season long. More players and teams than just the Dodgers are rightly upset with their manipulation of the game, their lack of remorse and their lack of respect shown for the game. I have a feeling that quite a few helmets will be buzzed and a cacophony of boos will rain down on them wherever they go.

As with all of life, there is nothing that can be done to change the past. Even if the Astros came out with true, contrite apologies, even if the league took the unprecedented steps to take the title from Houston (which I think they really should do), it doesn’t change what happened.

I, myself am going to finally let that season go. I’m going to move on from the fact that Clayton Kershaw‘s legacy has forever been altered. That Andre Ethier will never have a World Series ring. That I saved up and spent a chunk of change flying across the country to see my team in a World Series game at Dodger Stadium, an item long on my bucket list, just to see the Championship stolen in front of my eyes.

Yes, I’m going to take Jim Crane’s advice and look ahead to 2020. Because this is the first time since 2017 that I’ve really felt excitement about this team again. 2018 was definitely a hangover season. 2019 just didn’t have it. But this year, there is hope.

Because now, the front office did its work and has built this team to win, and win now (and with a farm system ready to keep the wins going). Management listened to its fans and the need for a better team. The team went out and got the best available player it could, who also happens to be one of the top-five players in all of the Major Leagues.

This Dodger team is stacked from top to bottom. Mookie Betts at the top, Cody Bellinger in the middle, and bright young stars like Gavin Lux and Will Smith down the lineup. While the pitching might have some question marks, it’s a deep rotation with young, talented arms and still battle-scarred veterans. The bullpen now has another flamethrower to add to its arsenal. The Dodgers have the resources to get an impact pitcher at the trade deadline, should there be a need for that. Add the bonus of now knowing they were cheated out of a World Series win, and there will be nothing but focus on winning one this season.

It’s time to look ahead, because good things are coming for this team. And I for one can’t wait to watch it all unfold.

 

65 thoughts on “On the Astros ‘Apologies’ and Looking Ahead to 2020

  1. Well said Andy.

    Let me be the first to suggest we fans put forth a Class Action Suit against the Astros, with a Boston option. I think damages would be easy to prove.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Andy can’t we get over this and just move on. And Kershaw legacy was established over many, many playoff games. The legacy is that he was one of the worst postseason performers ever, based on his career numbers.
    It is what it is and the one game was pretty much par for the course for him.

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    1. I’m not telling anyone how to deal with it, I am saying that I am moving on. And I’m also saying that had Kershaw been able to pitch in game five like he didn’t get one, his legacy and narrative would have been changed for the better

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ya should have said, suck it up cupcakes! Even Kersh could not explain what happened out there. He was not making bad pitches. They just were not swinging at stuff he usually got swing and misses on.

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  3. Andy that was a chunk of change! Last few years Ive been to several playoff games. Nothing like it! But the WS ticket is too rich for my blood! I salute you! That game 6 win was special. But game 7 was an absolute dud! Heartbreaking! But this year we will break the drought!

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    1. I was lucky that some friends let me stay with them, so I didn’t have hotel cost. And I waited till the last minute to buy tickets. But yeah I think it cost me about $1800. I’m already starting to say for this year

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Astros should have voluntarily given up the title since Manfred wasn’t willing to take it from them.
    Also one of the higher salaried guys on the team such as Verlander or Altuve should have set an example and donated his WS winning share to charity. He wouldn’t miss it but it would have been a good gesture and at least it would have gone somewhere worthwhile.
    Now, the other players in MLB are still not going to be happy with what went down today and we’re going to see some head hunting. If I’m Doc I tell my pitchers under no circumstances do we do that. It could lead to a back and forth scenario where one of our guys gets hurt. Time to move on and win it this year.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t care if Houston voluntarily gives up the title or not, we didn’t win it either way. Verlander further proved what a gigantic prick he is by making jokes about it. I don’t care that he doesn’t apologize for it but to come out and be a wise-ass on TV is just B.S. You better believe if the cheating would have been done to him instead of the other way around he would crying like a little baby.

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    1. I saw part of the Verlander interview and all I saw was that he didn’t want to comment on what he did or didn’t tell any of his teammates. What jokes were you referring to?

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      1. His speech when he recurved his Cy Young award. He tried making jokes about the Astros being more technologically and analytically advanced than others. The camera showed CC Sabathia in the crowd when he said that and it looks like Sabathia was ready to fight.

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      2. Ah, I thought you were speaking about today’s stuff at camp. I saw some clips of his speech (although not all of it) at the Cy Young ceremony and I really thought that he didn’t realize how bad his comments sounded. My feeling was that he meant to talk about their approach to analytics and didn’t even have the sign stealing in mind, but I could be totally wrong about that. Only after other people groaned/laughed did he smile in an embarrassed sort of way when he realized how people took it. It will be interesting to see how the Astros season goes, whether they’ll be doing everything they can to show that they’re good enough to win without cheating or whether the pressure of this whole thing plus the fan response just makes the team collapse completely.

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  6. I moved on as soon as the series was over. But that is just the way I am wired. I knew after the second inning of game 7 that they were not coming back from Darvish’s meltdown. You cannot change the past. No more than you could change the moment back in the 70’s when Reggie stuck his hip out, obviously interference, and the ump did not call it. Big inning follows, chance at winning the series slowly melts away. When the allegations of sign stealing came out, I initially said, so what? Then when I found out how they went about it, I got irritated. I dislike cheaters. Never have done it, never will. But that BS press conference Houston had, the disingenuous way they handled the whole thing makes me just a tad bit pissed. Have some cojones. Step up and be a man. Take responsibility for YOUR actions and own up to it. Don’t blame it on a guy who was fired a couple of month’s ago. You used the system and benefited not only financially, but personally from what you did. I am more irritated with baseball commissioner Manfred because he meted out what is now turning out to be a less than deserved punishment. I don’t want the Dodgers declared Champions, it would be an empty title. But vacating, and taking those rings away would be the right thing to do. Since it is also coming out that Beltran bullied a lot of people into this scheme, that he should be given a pretty hefty fine. And they haven’t even finished the Red Sox investigation yet. No one knows what kind of punishment they will receive. Like I said, I do not like cheating. This is one reason I do not think that Bonds, Clemens, McGwire and anyone else who was caught in all that PED crap should ever be in the Hall. For Bonds it is doubly bad because the guy would have been a first ballot pick without using steroids. Same with McGwire and Clemens. You do not get better like he did as you get older. Which brings me to Pete Rose. I saw Pete play many times. Always admired the way he played the game and his constant hustle. He was easily a first ballot player. Rose committed what is in baseball, the cardinal sin. This goes all the way back to the huge black eye of the Black Sox scandal. Betting on games is bad enough. But betting on games that you are in a position to influence the outcome of is the cardinal sin. He was the manager, he could change lineups, pull pitchers and pretty much make any decision which could help winning or losing. 8 players from the Sox got lifetime bans from a commissioner that was a no nonsense guy. And in the face of over whelming evidence, he agreed to the lifetime ban imposed by Giamatti. He also has never apologized to the fans or the Reds organization for what he did. He has never accepted responsibility for his actions. And it that sense, he lost any amount of respect I had for him. I am sure he does not care. Pete has shown himself to be a very self serving person. He has even petitioned for reinstatement because of the Astro-Red Sox stuff. He makes a lot of money in personal appearances and card shows. I am not sure what he charges for an autograph but I have heard it is up there pretty high. He is still revered in Cincy despite all of this. Because of his lack of remorse, and because he has not taken responsibility for what he did, my personal feeling is that the all time hits leader in MLB history, should never be enshrined in the hall.,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If the Astros and Sox can where their rings, Pete Rose should be given a shot at the HOF. At least Rose bet with his team and not against it, so you can’t say he “threw” any games. Do I think he is an upstanding citizen, hell no! Do I think the HOF is full of not so wonderful outstanding citizens, hell yes! The Astros directly manipulated the games, no question about it, hell you aren’t even allow to glance back at the catcher when you are in the batter’s box because it gives the hitter an unfair advantage. The Astros did the ultimate “glance back in the batter’s box”. The MLB Brass proved to be a bunch of whores, their only concern was for the effect on the cash haul impact of dealing with a severe punishment on the Astros.

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  8. What Pete Rose did doesn’t even compare to what the Astros did and yet MLB in all of its wisdom chooses to ban Rose for life for betting on his own team to win a game and give the entire Astro’s team immunity for stealing 2 championships. I’m sorry but that just doesn’t add up to me. MLB is only worried about protecting its bottom line.

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    1. What Rose did is the Cardinal sin. Whether he bet on his team to win or not. That rule is on every wall in every clubhouse majors and minors. It is considered the worst thing you can do., And whether he bet on the Reds to win does not matter. It is the fact that the man was the manager. He was in a position to affect the outcome of the game win or lose. How frippen hard is that to understand. Yeah, there are some bad eggs in the hall. Ty Cobb and Landis were total racists. That was the way things were back then. What the Astros did they did as a team an individuals. They made up their minds to go against the rules. Rose did the same damn thing. You cannot condemn the Astros for breaking the rules and in the same breath exonerate Rose. Rose never admitted he was guilty, and never took responsibility for his actions. And yet he took his punishment and never said a word. He accepted the ban. That’s on him. Oh yeah, what Rose did does compare to what Houston did. Maybe not in your mind or anyone else’s, But it sure as hell does to the commissioners office and the leaders of MLB.

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      1. If what Rose did compares to what the Astros did (or vice versa) how come Rose was banned for life and Beltran received no penalty whatsoever. His penalty was doled out by the Mets but MLB did absolutely nothing to him and he is now considered the prime mover behind the entire scandal. As you said, you can’t condemn the Astros and exonerate Rose. You also can’t condemn Rose and do nothing to Beltran.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Different commissioners. Different times. I think Manfred has no cojones. Giamatti did not suffer from that malady. Beltran and Cora both deserve a harsh penalty. And the owner of the Stros gets off with a 5 million dollar fine. But the fact still remains, and has been since 1919 that gambling is the biggest no no on the board. If those who play the game cannot abide by that simple rule, they deserve exactly what they get.

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  9. Kind of hard to believe that 30 plus people, who spend more time with each other than with their wives and family, for 5 month, didn’t all know what was going on and participate. On the other hand who knows how cheating impacted the series outcome. The yankees have the same reason to be outraged as the dodgers.

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  10. They are counting on us moving on. I say they got away with it and there may not be anything we can do about their lying cheating vulgar inept ignorant disgraceful behavior but vote them out of office….. oh wait, wrong guys….. there may not be anything we can do about changing the results from their lying cheating thieving behavior, but shutting up and moving on is, in my opinion, absolutely the wrong thing to do. I say we hound every one of the participants on social media and at the ballpark until everyone of them gives a public apology and donates their ill begotten gains to charity. No threats or illegal behaviors, just keep reminding them we know who you are and we know what you did.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I know some might think I am pretty hard on Rose. Fact is, I do not like cheating in any form. I do not condone breaking the rules in any way. And what Rose did was break an old old rule.

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  12. While MLB and Mr. Manfred (Wimp of the Year award winner) they apparently cannot go back and punish the Houston Players, I have a solution for the 2020 season – Houston Astros Pitchers should have to ANNOUNCE EVERY PITCH THEY THROW FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON. I wonder how they’d like that?

    I don’t care if the go 0-162 for the season, or what impact it has.

    Give them a taste of the own medicine.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I like the trashcan lid to the pitchers mound.

        You’re right Scoop, It is a total shame at what a bunch of guys did, lying and cheating, then turn around and say it was everyone else’s fault, oops I’m talking about the House. OKay, it is a shame at what a bunch of players got away with and then rewarded for lying and cheating, then have the balls to soft sell it and basically apologize without apologizing to the people. The owner is a total clown and would do himself a big favor if he never got in front of a microphone again.

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  13. I’m just getting a chance to catch up with you guys, bear I couldn’t agree more with, on your Pete rose takes, glad you took a stand, this Astro scandal has some people forgetting how taboo Pete’s transgression was.

    I’ve always thought there was more damning info in the Rose report, because Pete took the suspension. And kept quiet until after Giamatti passed away.

    The Astro report was released to the media, Pete’s report was never made public, as long as he agreed to take the ban. You gotta ask yourself, what did Pete have to hide if he was willing to take a ban rather than to have the report made public.

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    1. Presently Keith, there is no firm date on when that will come out. The Rose case was never made public. Most of the speculation was that the evidence was so damning that Pete just did not want his fans to see how bad it was. He accepted the lifetime ban without any protest. I am pretty sure his lawyer told him it would be the best thing to do. And another thing, people forget that Rose went to prison for not claiming income from autographs and such. The rule Rose violated was Rule 21 Misconduct (d). The rule reads. Betting on Games, Any player, umpire, or club, or league official, or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has the duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible. Rose bet on games he was involved in as a manager, therefore he was in a position to affect the outcome of the game. ESPN did it’s own investigation and found Rose bet on games when he was playing also. That report was made public. In 2015 Rose applied for reinstatement with Manfred. Manfred later ruled against it. The thing is, Rose has never shown any remorse over his actions. He lives in Vegas now and still bets on games. He obviously has an addiction to gambling, and even though he underwent therapy for that, it has not helped. Manfred stated he did not think Rose fully appreciated how his actions reflected badly upon the game. As a player, he was as hard nosed as they come. That has probably worked against him in this. He is not one to just give in and accept what he did. The players from the Black Sox did what they did because they were working for peanuts and the owner rarely kept his promises. He promised them a bonus if they won the 1917 pennant. His bonus? A case of stale champagne. Guys like Cicotte, who was at the end of his career, and others probably wanted to get even by losing. The one guy in all that I give a pass to was Jackson. He was illiterate. He just went along with guys he felt were a lot smarter than he was. And he played hard during the series. Another, Buck Weaver swore he never took anything, and his play in the series backed that up. But he was named by the gamblers who set it up. Jackson had an excuse…he was not all that smart. Rose has no excuse. He was a smart player and it showed. He just did not read the fine print in the rules.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All true. And it’s my opinion cheating your way to a World Series Championship is much worse than betting on your team to win. It’s my opinion Rose has paid enough. There are only a few acts that I believe call for life sentences. What Rose did is not one of them. It’s the Hall of Fame. Put him in and tell the story. The Astros? Strip the title, suspend and fine each player. They need to pay for what they did. Once that is done we can all move on.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Scoop, I honestly believe that if Rose had shown some sort of contrition, he would have been reinstated and would be in the hall already. Unfortunately that has not been the case. He has come off in interviews as arrogant and defiant. I know he played that way, but with the powers that be, you just cannot act like that. He jumped on the Astros cheating and is using that as an argument to get back into baseball. Not sure that strategy will work. As a ballplayer, he definitely should be in there. But part of the reason he is not is his own attitude.

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  15. REgarding the Rose thing: We forgive rapists, child molesters, murderers etc., they serve their time (not damn long enough if you ask me) and they are set free to pursue their lives. Yet Pete Rose was a dumbass who bet on baseball, (probably the least of the stupid things he was involved with) nor did he bang on trashcans to directly affect the outcomes of games and yet he gets a life sentence banishment from the HOF. His achievements on the field are unquestioned and were not obtained by cheating, like some of the cheating PED knuckleheads we have mentioned previously, even those knuckleheads have a chance to be voted in (I hope that doesn’t happen). Give Rose the same chance, he can either be voted in or not allowed to enter the HOF. We aren’t talking about Rose being made a manager or GM of any team, we are talking about a post-career award for play on the field. Don’t get me wrong, I think Rose is not very smart and is a loathsome personality, but he did kick ass all over the field at multiply positions, give him a chance on the writers’ ballots and let the chips (pun intended) fall where they may.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I doubt forgive is what we do for the above mentioned offenses. And yeah, they get off on parole and some stay the straight and narrow and do not go back to their former activities. I myself think Rose is one of the best I ever saw. As a ballplayer he was hard nosed and played to win every night. Reinstating Rose with a proviso that he cannot manage, coach or become involved in the day to day operations of a team would be ok in my book. As for the writers voting him in, well not many saw him play. It would be on his reputation only and using the record books. He would in no way be a unanimous choice. I think, I do not know this to be true actually, that there might be some form of they do not want him to profit from being enshrined in the hall. He makes a lot of money doing card shows and such. I think another reason he is blocked is that the commissioners office listen’s to some of the players on the veterans committee and most have been most outspoken on keeping Pete out of the game. One of the most vocal has been Hank Aaron. Aaron also stated that he thinks those who cheated should be banned from the game period. I have a lot of respect for Aaron and his opinion. The guy played the game the right way, and in my mind is the rightful owner of the HR record. He faced death threats when pursuing Ruth, and a lot of racist slurs. Class man and a classy player.

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  16. Oh by the way, the percentage of convicts accused of the kinds of crimes you mentioned that do the same thing once they are released is pretty high. That’s why sexual predators are monitored so much.

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    1. He’s from South Africa. Farhan took a chance on him last year and wound up cutting him loose. Maybe our pitching coaches will have more success. He walked almost 9 men per 9 innings in A and AA ball. I’m guessing he won’t be named our closer on opening day. On the other hand Koufax was crazy wild before he wasn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, Sandy was all over the place. Funny thing about that was it was not a pitching coach who found the solution, but the back up catcher. Norm Sherry. He was catching Sandy in a B game in Florida. He told him to quit trying to throw the ball so hard and just play catch. Koufax pitched shutout ball that day, and history was changed. Just think if someone had thought of that in 55 or 56 when he was a rookie…

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      2. I just googled “Norm Sherry” and he’s still around, 88 years old.
        Let’s start a GoFundMe page and take up a collection to get him to Camelback and let him work with Lovegrove. We could be talking about a HOF closer here.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I knew Norm. He lived a couple of houses from me back in the early 60’s in Highland Park. Us kids used to shag balls for him and Larry and a couple of other players and a bat boy named Lefevbre before they would head to Vero. Huge park called Arroyo Seco. I met him again while I was in the Army at Ft. Bliss. He was the manager of the Angels farm team in El Paso. One of his players was Kurt Russell, the actor.

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  17. How is this for rubbing it in your face…..the first 3 bobble heads this year are Belli, Muncy and Drysdale. The Muncy bobble is him pointing to the ocean telling Mad Bum to go get it out of the ocean……..and that bobble is being given out when they are playing guess who…….the Giants. Too bad Mad Bum is a D-Back now…..

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  18. Yadier Alvarez spotted in camp today. Surprised many since he has been on the restricted list since he left his team last August. All the players now have numbers on the official roster on the web site. They gave Peters # 70.

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  19. Jamie Wright back in Dodger blue. Will be working with minor league pitchers on a development level. Just a question since I am having a running feud with some moron on twitter….anyone ever read anywhere that the Dodger fan base is considered the most aggressive of all the fan bases? I think this guy is nuts……

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      1. Like getting in someones face after a game and wanting to fight. Harassing fans of other teams in an aggressive manner. Hell. I give em all crap when the Dodgers are winning, but I do it with a smile.

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      2. OK, so he was referring to fans at the ballpark. I’ve seen bad behavior at all kinds of sports venues and with fans supporting all kinds of different teams and you’re right, the beer has a lot to do with it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I have seen a few fights, not many. I remember going to a game against the Braves and for some reason the section I was sitting in had a bunch of Braves fans doing that irritating Tomahawk chop. They were pretty vocal, but not what you would call aggressive. This was when the Braves were really good. But fans can be real pain in the rear when they want to be. Doesn’t matter who they root for. I just don’t see that Dodger fans are any more aggressive than any other fans. I have watched the games when Pantone 294 takes over a section of the opponents ball park, and even as loud as they get, I have yet to see some sort of altercation.

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      1. I am pretty sure he is from Boston. I doubt he has been to Dodger Stadium in years. In all the years I have been going there I can count the number of times I have seen a physical altercation on one hand. I also think he believes that there have been a lot more incidents like the 2 guys beating up that Giant fan a few years ago. I told him I have never seen that kind of behavior. I also said beer and anger are not a good combination. I remember a couple of years ago, a Dodger fan was stabbed to death in SF after a game. Worse behavior I ever saw at Dodger stadium was in the mid 70’s when the Reds were playing and some fans in the LF pavilion threw some stuff at Rose.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Face it Andy, I like to argue, but this guy is over the top. You cannot call out an entire fan base based on the actions of some. 4,000,000 plus fans are not all aggressive. And that is just the ones in LA.

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    1. They are just bitter over Betts and want to take it out on all Dodger fans. They are being small and petty and will never listen to reason, just like Astros fans

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      1. You could probably say the same about us Andy if our owners with lots of money decided to trade Bellinger and Kershaw to the Red Sox to get under the tax. We’re just lucky the shoe is on the other foot this time (or you might say the glove is on the other hand). They may get a little more angry when they find out that Dugo may not be physically ready to start the season.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There are idiots in every fan base, it’s true. I would hope that our beat writers and bigger bloggers wouldn’t stoop to what these guys are, and I hope I don’t ever have to find out.

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  21. I also think a lot of it has to do with this run the Dodgers have been on the last few years. When McCourt was running the team and they were not winning it was no where near this bad. And same thing in the 90’s. People just cannot handle someone besides there favorite winning year after year. Some of the stuff Padre fans post is so laughable, I just cannot take them seriously. They try that oh it has been 30 years….I respond with when have you won one>?? Like NEVER!

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  22. I don’t know how they define “aggressive” but as far as I’m concerned the most obnoxious fans are east coast fans, hands down. I mean all over the stadium, from the cheap seats to the field boxes. It is loud, it is obnoxious and it is over the top with the insults hurled onto the field, hurled at each other, etc.
    As far as bad behavior, there are bad thugs in all the stadiums and in their parking lots, booze, drugs and gang related shyte is a big culprit. I won’t take my family to any games anymore, just to stupid and ugly. In fact, I don’t attend many, just don’t want to put up with that bullshit anymore.

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    1. Where are your going? I’ve taken my kids to games in Philly and Boston by myself and I’ve never had to shield them from anything worse than people drinking beer

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      1. As a West Coaster, the vile talking fans are very noticeable to me, especially at east coast NFL games, They just come across as very caustic and irritating. I was not speaking of physical violence.

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      2. Well football may indeed be different but I’ve never encountered any of that at baseball games, New York and DC included

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  23. Can’t wait to see Bregman and Altuve’s asses on the ground. Everyone and their mom is gonna be headhunting this season. They’ll be lucky to escape the season without a concussion, fuck thinking about a pennant

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