When Dusty Baker became the Houston Astros‘ manager in 2020, he took over a team coming off a highly controversial sign-stealing scandal. However, while Houston received plenty of hate from fans on social media last year, they escaped the boos at opposing stadiums due to COVID-19. Now, the Astros are paying for the actions they committed in 2017 and 2018. Baker isn’t happy about it, either, and has voiced his frustrations. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, though, has a strong message for him, as he believes that Baker and the Astros need to “suck it up.”
Dusty Baker is frustrated with the amount of hate the Astros are receiving
After stealing signs during 2017 — the year they won the World Series — and part of 2018, the Houston Astros are finally receiving boos and more from opposing teams’ fans following the MLB investigation that concluded in early 2020.
While the Astros certainly deserve it, some fans are taking it too far. In a recent game against the LA Angels, fans first threw an inflatable trash can over the outfield wall. This was obviously pointed toward the team stealing the signs and then relaying them to the batters by banging on trash cans. No, an inflatable trash can isn’t too bad. It can’t hurt anyone. However, not long after that, fans then threw an actual trash can over the wall.
Dusty Baker became the Astros’ manager after their sign-stealing scandal, but he is tired of the way fans are treating his team.
“You can tell the amount of hostility and the amount of hatred in the stands,” Baker said, according to the New York Post. “How many in the stands have never done anything wrong in their life? We paid the price for it. How many people have not cheated on a test or whatever at some point in time? I mean it’s easy if you live in glass houses, but I don’t think anybody lives in glass houses.”
He continued: “I think that sometimes we need to look at ourselves before you spew hate on somebody else. It’s a sad situation for America, to me, when you hear things – I mean what are the kids supposed to think in the stands? And some of them are kids that are following their parents. It’s sad to me. People make mistakes. We paid for ours, and I wish they’d leave it alone.”
As the New York Post pointed out, the Astros didn’t really pay “the price for it.” Their manager was fired, but the MLB didn’t punish any players.
Stephen A. Smith said Dusty Baker and the Astros need to ‘suck it up’
Following Dusty Baker’s comments, which came after the Astros’ game on April 5, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith appeared on First Take. While he gave Baker a lot of praise, he also thinks that it’s time for him to “suck it up.”
“He’s one of the best managers, as far as I’m concerned, the game has ever seen,” Smith said on the April 6 episode of First Take. “… He wasn’t a part of the cheating scandal where they were stealing signs … but the bottom line is that it happened. And because it happened, Dusty Baker can’t be old school in this situation; even though he’s obviously an old school individual, he’s gotta suck it up and deal with it because that’s the team he inherited. You have personnel on your franchise that won a World Series that was on the verge of winning two World Series in three years — Altuve, Correa, Springer, and all of these boys — we know they can play; we know they’re big time. That’s what makes their actions even that much more egregious.”
Smith continued: “No one has forgotten what y’all did. A lot of people out there still think your title was illegitimate, that your run to the World Series was illegitimate. And so that’s the way it goes. Suck it up and deal with it. That’s what happens when you cheat.”
Smith makes some great points. Dusty Baker and the Houston Astros better get used to the boos, too. They’re only six games into a long season.
The Houston Astros are off to a hot start
Despite the hate they have received so far, the Houston Astros are off to a hot start as they are 5-1.
Alex Bregman has been hitting the ball well, as he is .429 at the plate and has recorded two home runs and six RBIs. The pitching has also been solid, only allowing 16 earned runs through six games.
As much as fans hate to admit it, the Houston Astros proved last year by going to the ALCS again that they’re still a good team. They will probably continue to contend for that AL crown yet again this season, too.
Stats courtesy of ESPN