Thus far – from Clayton Kershaw to Justin Turner – we have heard from a high percentage of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ fraternity on the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal. Still, one prominent figure has kept his thoughts to himself up to this point.
A figure that helped lead Los Angeles to its last World Series title in 1988.
Of course, that man is franchise icon Orel Hershiser. Until Wednesday when the man we call ‘The Bulldog’ went on AM570 LA Sports to talk with Petros and Money, his thoughts have remained silent.
The clip is well worth the listen, which you can do by clicking the link below. Right now, we’re going to take a look at what Hershiser has to say as a former pitcher who built his career on a deceptive arsenal of pitches and changing speeds.
— AM 570 LA Sports (@AM570LASports) January 30, 2020
As you might expect, Hershiser came hard with what he had to say. This is very good stuff.
“I had to pull over and get good reception to chime in, because this is terrible. What they did was a crime. It changed baseball completely – it’s not even a game of baseball when you know what pitch is coming. First of all, what you’re trying to do to the hitter is upset his timing. When you upset his timing he hits the ball weakly. Next, the hitter is trying to determine what pitch is coming; because each pitch has a pattern. Not only did they get to pregame plan on what was coming, but they could study the pattern of every one of these pitches.”
Thus far, no one who has stepped between the white lines has more effectively broken down what a distinct advantage the Astros’ tactics provided then Hershiser does in this segment. However, former-Dodger-turned-current-Dodger Alex Wood shared a similar sentiment when breaking down the weight of sign stealing.
Next, if you thought Hershiser was going to stop with that; you thought wrong. He believes that the punishment the Astros received was too weak. Notably, he points in the direction of commissioner Rob Manfred; which I admire.
“Vacate the World Series and also, the commissioner was too weak on the punishment. This is like committing a crime saying ‘you know what, we are going to give you immunity as long as you tell us how you did it’.” This is way higher than steroids.”
Finally, Hershiser points back to the players he faced in 1988 on the Oakland Athletics to prove a prime example. Think about what he says here, and how it applies to the present-day Dodgers.
“If Canseco, McGwire, Parker, Weiss, and all those guys in Oakland would have know what was coming with me, I would not have the job I have today and I would not be a bulldog, I would be a chihuahua. They changed lives.”
Undeniably, this is deep and passionate stuff. I’m not sure I have enjoyed hearing another guy talk about it more. The Bulldog has me ready to run through a brick wall over this right now. With that being said, what do you think of his remarks? Drop your thoughts in the comments, and thank you Orel for speaking from the heart!