The latest major scandal in MLB is the Astros sign stealing. For years, rival teams suspected the Houston franchise of shady activity. In 2019, a former player revealed the truth to journalists. Mike Fiers said the organization used a video camera in the center field to film opposing catchers’ signs to the pitchers.
MLB investigated and confirmed that the Astros illegally used a camera to steal signs during their 2017 World Series-winning season and in 2018. Then they fined the Astros the maximum $5 million and forfeited their first and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts.
First of all, game-fixing is a problem in all sports, not just baseball. It can be worth thousands of dollars to people with bad intentions. A massive controversy embroiled the Chicago White Sox after they lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. In short, eight players took money from a gambling syndicate to throw the game.
The fallout saw Judge Kenesaw Landis appointed as MLB Commissioner to clean up the game. Landis banned them for life even though a public court acquitted them. ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson is the most famous of the names. But don’t expect to see him in the Hall of Fame anytime soon. To sum up, the scandal gave them the ‘Black Sox’ nickname.
At the end of the 1985 season, franchise owners came to a secret agreement. In short, to keep salaries and contract length down, they avoided competing with each other for free agents. Only four free agents out of 35 changed uniforms in the offseason. Then things got even worse the following year.
Andre Dawson only escaped Montreal by agreeing to any terms the Cubs offered. However, that turned out to be a third of his value. Jack Morris accepted arbitration because nobody put in a bid for him. In the end, the MLB Players Association filed three grievances. Finally, this played a role in the 1990s’ MLB expansion and the 1994 Players’ Strike.