It follows the Houston Astros around like a cloud, even five seasons after it happened. The sign-stealing scandal surrounding the 2017 Astros and their World Series run still reverberates throughout Major League Baseball today.
Jokes and mentions about trash cans (used by the 2017 Houston Astros from the dugout to signal what pitch was coming) and asterisks (the World Series win was tainted because of the scandal in the minds of many fans outside the Lone Star State) still occur to this day, proof that baseball fans do not have a short memory.
Orioles vs Astros comin up and dillon is ready pic.twitter.com/GvwPkNc8ny
— Portland Pickles (@picklesbaseball) September 23, 2022
Is it time to move past the scandal and accept that the Astros are in fact one of MLB’s most successful franchises in recent years?
The team has won 100 or more regular-season games in three of the last four seasons after the 2017 title when a full 162-game campaign was played (excluding the pandemic-shortened 2020 season) and has made it to the World Series twice, including last season when Houston lost in six games to the Atlanta Braves.
For Astros, winning the World Series the only way to put the scandal in the past
Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve, two members of the 2017 squad who are still on the Astros today, issued apologies two years ago for what happened. This season, they’re both key parts of the team that will in all probability be the American League’s top seed when the postseason begins.
Two of the opposing teams most directly impacted by the 2017 scandal (the New York Yankees, who lost to Houston in the ALCS and the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team Houston beat in the World Series) could well be the greatest threats that stand between Houston and a World Series title in 2022. If Houston can navigate the postseason and win the Fall Classic this year, it should not only cap a tremendous season for the Astros, but also be enough for baseball fans to let the past (however murky it might have been) fade into the shadows.
Want to move on from 2017, Astros? Show you’re the best in 2022, and that you are the best because of what you did on the field, fair and square.