Detroit Tigers: Matthew Boyd ready to let the Houston Astros scandal go.
By Jon Erkkila
The baseball world has been revolving around one story for the entire off-season and it wasn’t Don Kelly getting hired to be a bench coach in Pittsburgh. The Houston Astros cheating scandal has engulfed the sport on a near-daily basis chewing up news cycles usually devoted to the NFL Draft.
Players are incensed and entire fan bases, especially in New York and Los Angeles, would be willing to wage war on the Astros organization. People want the World Series title stripped and they want players punished.
Clay Bellinger has been bellicose in his criticism. Nick Markakis wants Houston players to take a beating but might settle for a tar-n-feathering. Mike Trout actually spoke. It’s been as nasty as facing an Aroldis Chapman pitch without wearing a buzzer.
Can the Astros ever catch a break? It turns out they can! Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd was quoted by MLB.com writer Jason Beck today after Boyd’s Spring Training debut against those same dastardly Astros. Boyd is ready to toss some flour on the raging grease fire of acrimony swallowing the sport.
Boyd after facing the Astros via Jason Beck’s Twitter account:
—Matthew Boyd on Astros getting booed: “Honestly, just gotta let it die. What’s done is done. I know how everybody feels, but no one’s going to change anything now. The punishment’s handed out, the line has been drawn in the sand. Hopefully, that shuts it down.”
More Boyd on Astros: “It’s just best for everyone to move forward. They have to live with it. That’s more than enough punishment. We just keep moving forward and playing the game.”—
You can see Boyd’s point. Commissioner Rob Manfred already started the Astros won’t be stripped of the title and immunity was granted to the players involved. While an investigation of the Boston Red Sox is ongoing, the Astros story is out there. Things aren’t likely to change from this point. Opinions are already pretty hardened. Few will be changing their minds anytime soon. It’s all just yelling and moaning now.
Boyd is also correct in saying the Astros players, including ex-teammate Justin Verlander, will just have to permanently live with it. The ignominy won’t be easy either, it’s truly a lifetime anchor around their neck even if they win another World Series with this core group. Indeed, Hall of Fame status could easily get slowed for some Astros players depending on their perceived involvement.
Boyd got his point across. The Astros were caught. Teams know not to do it again. It only takes the spotlight off the field for too many players to be at war in the press over the scandal for much longer.
Perhaps real games being played on Opening Day will tamp down much of the daily drumbeat of the scandal. That is until the Yankees face the Astros and someone gets plunked. Or the day Mike Fiers takes the hill in Houston. Really there is any number of scenarios where the cheating scandal will crop up again and again.
Matthew Boyd might be ready to let it go. The baseball world and the baseball media are not on the same page as the Detroit southpaw, however.