Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred came down on the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday for their illegal entry into a Houston Astros’ database that contained all the organization’s baseball secrets.
St. Louis, as its penance, must pay the Astros $2 million and surrender its top two picks in the 2017 amateur draft – Nos. 56 and 75 overall.
As BND sports scribe David Wilhelm points out, the penalties could have been much worse. The fine is a relative pittance and there are other sources of young baseball talent, namely the Latin and Asian player markets.
It seems MLB took leniency since it determined — as the Cardinals have always contended — that former player development director Chris Correa was the loan, rogue influence in the scandal and he’s serving a four-year term in federal prison.
National sports pundits have taken a much darker view of the penalties, suggesting that the sanctions should have been much stiffer, considering the seriousness of the offense and its lack of precedence. Here’s what they are saying:
▪ National baseball writer Ken Rosenthal says MLB should have come down harder.
▪ ESPN’s Buster Olney called the penalties sparked “outrage.”
▪ Cardinals got off easy. Correa, not so much, says the New York Times.
▪ Bob Nightengale says the stain on the Cardinals’ reputation is biggest penalty.
▪ The Cardinals “picked the right league to cheat in”?
▪ Where the punishment didn’t go for enough, according to Forbes.
▪ Mark Saxon says having the investigation over with is a win.
▪ Jerry Crasnick: “Hacking scandal is a wakeup call.”