Lawmaker calls for hearing into MLB cheating scandal

Lawmaker calls for hearing into MLB cheating scandal
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Rep. Bobby RushBobby Lee RushMLB, Congress play hardball in fight over minor leagues Democrats praise Romney for breaking with GOP on convicting Trump Democrats criticize Medal of Freedom for Limbaugh as 'slap in the face' MORE (D-Ill.) on Friday called for the House to hold a hearing into an ongoing cheating scandal in Major League Baseball (MLB) that has ensnared three teams so far. 

Rush said the House has an “imperative” to investigate the cheating allegations, which was sparked by revelations that the Houston Astros used techniques to alert batters of upcoming pitches that violated MLB rules. The Astros employed the practice during the 2017 season when they won the World Series.

“As you are aware, Major League Baseball is in the midst of a cheating scandal so serious that it has called into question the results of the 2017 World Series,” Rush wrote in a letter to three chairs of relevant committees and subcommittees.

“I believe it is our ethical and moral imperative to investigate the Major League Baseball cheating scandal fully and to determine the extent to which this cancer has spread,” he added. 

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The letter was sent to Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteOvernight Energy: Panel gives chairman power to subpoena Interior | House passes bill to protect wilderness | House Republicans propose carbon capture bill | Ocasio-Cortez introduces bill to ban fracking House passes Protecting America's Wilderness Act Vaping execs tell lawmakers that e-cigarettes are not meant for young people MORE (D-Colo.) and Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyA disaster for diplomacy and the Zionist dream The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders repeats with NH primary win, but with narrower victory Hillicon Valley: Judge approves T-Mobile, Sprint merger | FTC to review past Big Tech deals | State officials ask for more cybersecurity help | House nears draft bill on self-driving cars MORE (D-Ill.). The lawmakers chair the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, respectively. 

The mushrooming scandal has already led to the firings of the general manager and manager of the Astros, the manager of the Boston Red Sox, who served as the Astro’s bench coach in 2017, and Carlos Beltran, who was expected to become the manager of the New York Mets and was a player on the 2017 Astros team.

The scandal centers around allegations, which have been supported by video evidence, that the Astros used a camera near center field in their home stadium to figure out the upcoming pitch by the sign the visiting catcher sent to the pitcher. A staffer near the dugout would then bang on a trash can a certain number of times to indicate which kind of pitch was coming.

MLB observers have begun speculating that the team’s alleged cheating extended beyond just the 2017 season and that some players may have worn vibrating devices on their body while batting that would buzz depending on the pitch that was about to be thrown. Baseball's investigation found no evidence that players were wearing such devices.

Rush said the investigation must probe how widespread the cheating was and if the punishments from the MLB and the individual teams were severe enough. 

“While both Major League Baseball and its teams have taken action against specific individuals, we must determine if the league, and its teams, reacted sufficiently and with enough haste, or whether the punishments were tardy and lacking. We must also determine if there was a systemic failure on the part of Major League Baseball that not only allowed this scandal to occur, but to fester,” he wrote. 

“We must use this oversight of organized sports to maintain the highest ethical standards.”