@LankyRyan said in Astros cheating Scandal:
@rb9andrus said in Astros cheating Scandal:
I think that this is getting blown up a bit, yes they took sign stealing to far. Yes they were testing the limits of what was ok and not ok. But how often was it used? How often did it help. Even if you know a breaking ball is coming and you lay off doesn't mean it won't catch part of the black. Or if you know it is fastball, doesn't mean you can catch it. It is a hard game to play, and because of that guys have always been trying to cheat a little. We only go after the guys who get caught, while so many others act like they haven't done something similar. A lot of things still have to go right even if you know what the pitch is.
But knowing what the pitch is is more than half the battle.
I played semi pro/collegiate ball for a couple seasons and there was a dude on my team who could throw GAS 97+ MPH. But he had like no usable offspeed pitches and walked a ton of guys. When we'd take live BP off him, the pitching coach would use it as an opportunity for him to work on his offspeed and would call out to him "change up" or "curveball" loud enough for everyone to hear it. When he wasn't walking dudes or beaning dudes, we hit it when we knew it was coming. We didn't hit it if we didn't know it was coming.
If you're geared up for that quick of a fastball, it's incredibly difficult to make the adjustment to an offspeed pitch. Unless you know it's coming. To act like that in itself isn't a huge advantage is just blind.
It's a massive advantage, compounded even more so at the MLB level.
It isn't "taking an advantage" or "testing the limits". It is 1000% cheating, and there is no way to validate it, and there is no minimizing it.
To your point, "If it's high, let it fly. If it's low, let it go."
If you know the pitcher is throwing a slider, curve, or change, you know how it's going to break.
If it's up, it will probably hang int he zone. If it's down, it's almost definitely a ball.
I can't imagine how easy hitting would have been in college with "guess pitch" mode on lol.