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Thiel: 'Whole lot more' to cheating scandal that has engulfed Mariners' division rival

Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
The left field scoreboard in the 14th inning of a baseball game between the Mariners and Astros June 6, 2019, in Seattle. The Astros won 8-7. Some Mariners fans wonder whether 2020 will be different with Houston implicated in a cheating scandal.

In a new development in the cheating scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles City Council has passed a measure asking the league to award the Dodgers the 2017 and 2018 World Series titles. 

LA lost the World Series in 2017 to the Houston Astros, who were found to have cheated by using technology to steal pitching signs. The Boston Red Sox also are being investigated for this; the Dodgers lost the title to them in 2018.

KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel says the council's move is "symbolic of the rage going on in baseball." He talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about the scandal, which involves one of the Mariners' division rivals.


Thiel noted that the general manager and manager of the Astros, as well as former Astros bench coach-turned Red Sox manager Alex Cora, were suspended by the league and then fired by their teams. But he said there was a glaring omission from the league's report on its investigation.

"They never made a player responsible," Thiel said. "The report by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that this was player-driven, but no players have been suspended.

"That's the thing that fries me. The perpetrators are still at large. MLB doesn't want to do anything mostly because this hurts business. An independent investigator would've punished players."


Thiel said he doesn't think this will be too much of an issue when the Mariners play the Astros as part of the American League West division this season.

"It's possible that without cheating the Astros are going to be a lesser team, but I don't know what's going to happen with the Mariners unless and until MLB revisits this issue and decides to punish players.

"I don't really see that happening but anything that hurts the Astros would, in theory, help the Mariners. But I think the Mariners have a lot of their own issues and this is going to be far secondary to a consequence in 2020." 

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Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.