4 Not-so-obvious Lessons Learned From The Astros Scandal – Baseball Notes

4 Not-so-obvious Lessons Learned From The Astros Scandal


[This is from our weekly newsletter – sign up to stay up to date!]

I’ve had a few people reach out and get my take on the sign stealing situation with the Astros.

Now that the dust has settled a little bit, there are 4 not-so-obvious things that I think we can learn from this.

Let’s go in ascending order to make this really dramatic 🙂

4.  Your behavior impacts everyone around you.

Astros fans – I love you.  But man what a bummer.  The organization has just been associated with being one of the worst cheaters in sports history and the good people of Houston are left to pick between two camps:  1) Be really bummed about it  or 2) Fight back.

“Everybody else was cheating too!”  “It didn’t help them that much”  “They said they’re sorry what else do you want from them…lets move on already”

Camp number 2 is a reasonable reflex but man…..what a bad look.

And I get it, I was a young, teenage Giants fan during the peak Barry Bonds years. 

When our loved ones step out of line (publicly) we want to have their back so we will make up any fairy tale necessary to rationalize how this isn’t as bad as it looks.

….and now we all look bad.

Lets all be mindful of future temptations and the bad habits that we allow in our lives….because the people we love could be dragged into the swamp as well.

3.  Caution: There is an extra penalty for succeeding while cheating

Have you ever heard of Juan Centeno?  How about Tyler White?

These two were also Houston Astros at points during the 2017 season.  But do you think their lives are being impacted like the best players on that team?

Of course not.

And that’s an extreme example but as this controversy ages it won’t be even the Marwin Gonzalez’s and Jake Marisnick’s who will be forever associated with this mess.

It’s Bregman, Altuve, Springer and Correa.

The stars.

Just like you’ve likely never heard of Bobby Estalella and Paxton Crawford, yet they were as “guilty” as Bonds, Clemens and McGwire in the steroid era.

And it sounds like other teams were blurring the lines on sign stealing (though it seems no one went to the lengths of HOU) but those teams didn’t win the World Series.

The level of outrage people will direct toward a “cheater” will be very proportional to how much success they achieved along the way.

Like it or not, this is reality.  Learn from this.

2.  People like sincerity

I have really enjoyed watching MLB players be so genuine on this topic.

Players are so mad at the Astros and commissioner that all their cliche’s have gone out the window and they’re letting it rip!

Like Correa talking in the locker room that first day of spring training was like WHOA, we’re really talking here!

And by no means has all player commentary been solid, but I really have appreciated that these guys are sharing exactly what they feel.

(The exact opposite of this would be Crane’s press conference where he seemed insincere.  Fair to say people didn’t like that!)

We’re so used to messages that are so professional, careful and lacking personality that we don’t even judge them negatively, we just view them as normal.

But what that’s done is it has made messages that are very authentic REALLY stand out.

This is something we can apply to all areas of life.  

In my old business (selling building materials) I was so concerned about sounding professional and like I knew everything that every email and conversation just seemed a little cold.

Maybe cold isn’t the right word…but just regular.

So when I finally decided to give Baseball Notes a real effort I wanted to be as real as possible.  

I have no degree in psychology.

I am not a trained therapist.

I’m a dude that had his own struggles, has searched for answers and found some and is now trying to help people going through something similar.

And crazy thing is…..people like the message more because of it!  I think if I had all sorts of degrees and certifications that people would relate to me less.  Wild right?

So the lesson – be yourself.  I bet people will like the true you more than you realize.

1.  You must be extremely careful when following along

My son LOVES basketball and a few years ago – I think he was 7 – we took a road trip up to OKC to watch the Warriors play the Thunder.

(I grew up a Warriors fan and since they’ve become incredible my son loves them too).

It was a pretty historic occasion: Kevin Durant’s FIRST game in OKC since joining the Warriors.

And the crowd was ON FIRE.

I have never heard booing so loud and so hostile.

And my son was COMPLETELY freaked out.  With only 2-3 minutes into the game he was on the verge of tears and was begging to go to the bathroom (and we had just went!)

So when we got to the concourse I got him to admit that he was really scared and that he didn’t understand why everyone was screaming such mean things at Durant.

And I said, “They’re not really mad, they’re just kinda pretending for the sake of fun.”

He’s like, “THEY’RE PRETENDING???  I don’t believe that.  Why are Oklahoma fans so mean??”

And I said, “Look, this is the danger of following along.  These are good people in here, probably every single one of them.  If any of these people saw Durant in an elevator they’d ask for a selfie.  But once other people started booing, they all felt like it was no big deal to leave their principles behind to be unkind.”

After I said it I thought to myself, “Did I just say that?  That was good advice!  Where did that come from” lol.  

But this Astros situation keeps reminding me of that story.

Altuve, Correa, Springer, Hinch, Cora….everyone else.  I don’t know them but I’ll bet you they’re very good humans.   It’s doubtful that any of them would go to these lengths on their own.

And you wonder how some of the most outspoken opponents on this topic would behaved.

If they found themselves in a situation where all their teammates were taking advantage of sign stealing and the coaching staff and management was encouraging it…..

…would they have stepped up to say no?

That’s why we have to be SO mindful of the environment that we are in and that we create and make sure that all of our behaviors line up with what we’re associating with.

That’s it for today, excited for season to get going.

Go get em today guys!!

Baseball Notes

PS #1.  “Bitterness is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die”   I recognize booing is fun for people just to let loose a bit but that’s how I personally feel about it.  That negativity is not welcomed in my life.

PS #2  Speaking of negativity, I almost fought a guy at that OKC game, lol.  We were in the upper deck at Chesapeake Arena and like 10′ from the dang roof, and it’s cup your hands and shout into your neighbor’s ear to talk kinda loud.  Deafening.  And probably 300 times during the game this dude one row behind us and a few seats to the right shouted “COWARD.  COWARD.  KEVIIIIIN!!  YOU’RE A COWAAARD…..


Hundreds of times.  And it’s like a freaking timeout and he’s still going.  Then he would kick the seat in front of him (a 75 year old Thunder fan who asked him repeatedly to stop) when the Warriors was score.  That stadium was full of good people but he may not have been one.  And first off, calling a 7′ athlete a coward from the upper deck is the DEFINITION of irony, and second off – clean it up man.  We exchanged a word or two and I was sitting in my seat wondering “What would happen to my son if I get arrested in another town?  Would he come with me?  Would he have to stay at the arena?”  I would have looked it up but I couldn’t get WiFi in there.  I concluded I should probably try to avoid this.

PS #3  I just asked my son while typing this “Hey what do you think of when I say the word “Coward”?  No hesitation: “The guy behind us.  Kevin Durant.”  LOL.  He said “Cupcake and Marshmallow too” (another guy was calling Steph soft like a marshamallow)

PS #4  Baseball season started for us this past weekend with a local warm up tournament.  Really fun to get back out there.  

PS #5  Something really exciting is coming to the Baseball Notes world soon, be checking your emails and facebook the next couple of weeks for more!

About the Author cmcgill

Leave a Comment: