Over a week ago, Kansas City Royals super-utility man Whit Merrifield voiced his displeasure over the Houston Astros, and the All-Star continued to offer his thoughts about their illegal sign-stealing Friday.
“It sucks. It sucks for players. We felt like we got stabbed in the back. We feel like we got money taken out of our pockets,” the 31-year-old told Chris Russo on High Heat.
Merrifield’s candid comments follow similar ones he made in January when he discussed how the Astros’ illegal sign-stealing may have cost him his first All-Star Game appearance and a possible Silver Slugger.
“I’m going to consider myself an All-Star with all this stuff that’s come out (about the Astros) because Jose Altuve took my spot that game,” Merrifield told Clubhouse Conversation at the time. “So we’ll put an asterisk by 2018, and on top of it, we’ll go ahead and throw in a Silver Slugger (which Altuve won) for good measure.”
Merrifield discussed the difference between the sign-stealing scandal and baseball’s steroid era, and speculated that the trash-can banging might have only been one of the ways Houston cheated.
“In my opinion, correlating it to steroids. Steroids is an indirect way to cheat. You put your body in a better position to go out and play the game and hope that it translates into becoming a better player,” he explained. “What they did was a direct way of cheating. They directly affected … they had an advantage over everybody else and to me, it discredits everything those players have ever done.
“Beating on the trash can. That’s what just came forward. If you do that, there’s multiple ways that they went about their cheating that we didn’t have a chance to uncover,” Merrfield added. “It’s a terrible look for the league, we’re supposed to be a fraternity of players. It’s unfortunate. Hopefully, it’s something we’ll learn from and it’ll never happen again.”
On Jan. 13, Major League Baseball announced disciplinary action against the Astros for the illegal use of electronics to steal signs which included stripping the team of draft picks, a $5-million fine, and suspensions for manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow.
Hinch and Luhnow were subsequently fired by the organization.
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