From Craig Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus on January 16, 2020:
“Not everything that is acceptable in moderation should be tolerated in the extreme. As fans, we cannot bargain with the players or ownership, we cannot write the terms of the CBA. We cannot enact a fix to the problem of teams intentionally fielding a lineup that isn’t their best because they’re incentivized not to. We can stop providing cover for these actions just because those incentives exist.”
I wrote those words in September of 2018, about teams manipulating the service time of prospects, and why it was an ethical failure. They might as well have been written today, about Astros or the Red Sox and their use of technology to steal signs. Where the manipulation of service time is in a grey area of the CBA, though surely in bad faith, using technology to steal signs is an explicit violation of the rules.
To excuse as “borderline unreasonable” the idea that someone who had to choose whether to break a rule to get ahead would opt not to do so is a disservice to the millions of people who operate within legal, ethical, and moral parameters every day. It’s a slightly altered version of the admiration on display when people congratulate Uber for failing to operate within regulatory bounds simply by having the audacity to declare themselves not something which they clearly are.
Read the full article here: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/56388/astros-cheating-ethics/
Originally published: January 17, 2020. Last Updated: January 17, 2020.