Mike Francesa: Astros Will Get Hit Hard If Ownership Knew About Sign Stealing

Mike's On
November 19, 2019 - 6:40 pm

The Astros could be in a lot of trouble.

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Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke Tuesday from the league owners meetings about Major League Baseball’s current investigation into an alleged system of sign stealing used by Houston. Manfred wouldn’t speculate about the punishments that could be handed down, but he promised a “really, really thorough investigation” and left the door open for severe consequences.

Mike Francesa discussed all the drama on his show on WFAN on Tuesday afternoon. Francesa thinks the Astros might receive significant sanctions, especially if the people at the very top knew about what was going on.

“I think you could be hitting them pretty hard,” said Francesa on his 'Mike's On' show. “Especially if the owner knew, I think it’s even harder. Because if it went to the top and he condoned it, then I think it’s really on such a level that the entire organization needs to be completely attacked from top to bottom by the commissioner.”

This scandal has engulfed the league so soon after the conclusion of what was a thrilling World Series. Washington’s historic victory over Houston has already been forgotten as attention has turned to what the Astros might have done during their 2017 triumph. It has turned into an ugly situation for the league, and especially for the Astros franchise.

The claims of cheating by the Astros grew louder after a video from Twitter user "Jomboy_" found video evidence of what appeared to be the team’s sign-stealing audio signaling in action. “Jomboy,” whose real name is Jimmy O’Brien, joined Joe and Evan on WFAN earlier in the day.

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Francesa also noted that sign stealing has historically been a part of the game, but that doing it electronically clearly crosses a line.

“The crime itself is one that baseball is very used to, stealing signs. What they cannot tolerate is the use of surveillance equipment being planted, which is against the spirit, the letter, the interpretation of any laws. You cannot have that … I don’t think anybody believes what they did completely changed any of their outcomes, but they just cannot go about it the way they did and get away with it.”

Francesa was asked by a caller if he thought the Astros could be at risk of losing that 2017 World Series championship, but the host didn’t believe that would be the case.

“Taking away the Championships? No. I do not. I don’t think that would ever happen.”

Click on the audio player above to listen to the full segment from Tuesday's show with Mike Francesa.