A governing body for the nation’s second largest city ordered one of the oldest professional sports organizations to withdraw two international awards due to allegations of theft.
Los Angeles City Council has strongly urged Major League Baseball (MLB) to strip World Series championship titles from the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros because team members were caught stealing game signals from the opposing team in the years 2017 and 2018.
Council unanimously passed a resolution demanding MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred “recall the World Series Commissioner’s Trophies and award them to the Los Angeles Dodgers [instead]” according to ESPN.
The legislation came after the commissioner released a nine page statement, detailing allegations from former Astros Pitcher Mike Fiers that his team participated in decoding signals that violated MLB rules back in 2017.
“[Bench Coach Alex] Cora arranged for a video room technician to install a monitor displaying the center field camera feed immediately outside of the Astros dugout,” Manfred said in the statement. “One or more players watched the live feed of the center field camera on the monitor, and after decoding the sign, a player would bang a nearby trash can with a bat to communicate the upcoming pitch type to the batter … generally, one or two bangs corresponded to certain off-speed pitches, while no bang corresponded to a fastball.”
In the same year the Red Sox were caught transmitting sign information the team gathered from a replay review room to members in the dugout who wore smart watches.
“The incident received significant media attention, and I issued a press release on Sept. 15, 2017, announcing the fine for the Red Sox,” the commissioner said. “MLB regulations do, however, prohibit the use of electronic equipment during games and state
that no such equipment ‘may be used for the purpose of stealing signs or conveying information designed to give a club an advantage.’”
The findings prompted Manfred to recommend Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager Andrew Jay Hinch be suspended for an entire season, a $5 million fine, and the team forfeiting four draft picks within the first two rounds. The pair were eventually dismissed over the incident while the Red Sox also farewelled Cora according to ESPN.
The commissioner described the incidents as a worrying lack of “sportsmanship and fair competition” and promised to handle the allegations with “utmost seriousness.”
The Dodgers have not won the World Series since 1988 and more recently lost to the Astros after seven games in 2017 and the following year lost again to the Red Sox after five games.