It's November 1, 2017. Game seven of the World Series. The location is Dodger Stadium, in Los Angeles. There's a ground ball to second baseman Jose Altuve. His throw to first base ends the game The Houston Astros have won the game and the first championship in the team's history.
If you're an Astros supporter, that night was your greatest moment as a fan. Your team went through a lengthy dry spell before winning it all. Almost sixty years of failure. Only fans of a few teams can relate to the despair and heartbreak of all that losing. They can also relate to the ecstasy you felt that night.
Two years have now passed since that night in California. That championship team is in the news. They're the face of the newest sports scandal. The electronic sign-stealing story ranks in baseball infamy with the Black Sox, steroids and Pete Rose.
The Astros punishment was fairly heavy. Their general manager and manager were suspended from baseball for a year and then fired by the team. They also lost their top draft picks for the next two years.
Plenty of people think the Astros got off easy. As of yet, there is no direct punishment for any of the players involved. They also got to keep their World Series title. No vacating of the championship. Not even an asterisk in the record book.
While other MLB teams have been warned not to talk about the Astros, we have heard from a couple of other players who feel like they've been cheated out of a championship. CC Sabathia of the Yankees and Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers think the Astros players are wearing World Series rings which should belong to them.
But what about Astros fans? How are they dealing with this? The only situations I can compare this to are college teams that have had their championships voided due to NCAA violations. Louisville basketball and Southern California football have both had championships vacated. Their names have been cleared from all record books. Yet, I've seen fans of both schools claim those titles. The teams are still revered in their hearts and their memories. I imagine the same thing will occur in Houston, especially as the scandal get a little distance.
So, Astros fans, what do you think? How are you feeling about this? And for fans of other teams, if this was your team, and it may be as more information becomes public, what would you think?
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