The start of the baseball season is delayed, but that isn’t saving Houston Astros players from getting hit by pitches.
Baseball is going to have to wait. Punishing the Houston Astros for cheating will not.
MLB announced on Thursday that it was suspending operations amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. The season will eventually begin, but right now we don’t know when that will be. For the time being, the only MLB action fans are going to get is by watching old highlights or playing the latest edition of MLB The Show.
Before coronavirus brought the baseball world to a screeching halt, a major storyline was wondering how teams would react to playing the Houston Astros for the first time since it was revealed they stole signs back in 2017. Rob Manfred made a point to instruct teams that hitting Astros batters with pitches was not the way to go about finding catharsis.
Fans at home don’t have to play by those rules.
Already we are seeing videos circulate of fans taking punishment into their own hands and hitting Astros batters in The Show.
It was already assumed, that even with Manfred’s declaration that hitting the Astros with pitches wouldn’t be tolerated, teams were going to do this anyway. MLB stoked the flames of the discourse by not taking away Houston’s 2017 World Series title, which is now widely acknowledged as something the team cheated to win.
Actual catharsis will come in the form of baseball fans coming together to collectively root against the Astros, rather than have violence brought upon their players. We may have to wait for that to happen, but for now fans seem to be getting the angst out of their system the safest way possible.