Major League Baseball Will Survive The Sign Stealing Integrity Issue

The game will go on.  

There were some whispers of concern going into the new season. Something was wrong with the outcome of baseball’s previous World Series. But spring training was starting and the rumors were fading into oblivion. It would be forgotten by the beginning of the season. The season was the 1920 season and there were allegations that some members of the Chicago White Sox might have taken money from two-bit gamblers and threw the World Series allowing the Cincinnati Reds to beat them in eight games. But there were always rumors about betting and some people over a half century of baseball were banned because of baseball betting. The American League and National League were established bona fide entities and the betting scandals of the past seemed to have little impact on them. The whole fixed games story might have faded away except there was a suspicion that a 1920 Chicago Cubs-Philadelphia Phillies game was rigged. Investigators looking into the allegation quickly decided to give the 1919 World Series a second look. Eventually eight players were indicted and were acquitted of game fixing. The players were banned from baseball. One hundred years later, a cloud hangs over Major League Baseball and there are questions about the integrity of the 2017 and 2018 World Series. 

Baseball will survive the sign stealing ordeal just as it survived the 1919 World Series fix. As it survived players being arrested for drug use into the 1980s and the players taking illegal steroids which could have landed them in jail in the latter part of the 20th century and labor stoppages. Financial partners have never demanded money back from a what might not have been bona fide a championship event. Baseball brought in a judge, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, to clean up betting problems a century ago. Landis got rid of Chicago and other players who may have bet. MLB will figure something out this time too.

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)