Astros seeking revenge on all the ‘haters’ during playoffs?
The Houston Astros entered the 2020 MLB season as the biggest villains in baseball thanks to the damning results of an investigation into their sign-stealing practices.
The coronavirus pandemic prevented fans of opposing teams to properly vilify the Astros at road games, but Houston’s players are believed to be nevertheless looking for payback after being dragged through the mud for most of 2020.
Astros players are telling people behind scenes they’re focused, mad, and very into the idea of avenging themselves against what they consider haters. Like, say, the A’s, Yankees, Rays and Dodgers. Will be good theater. People who know these guys think they can run the table.— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) October 7, 2020
Astros outfielder Josh Reddick, who has been nothing short of defiant throughout the fallout from the sign-stealing scandal, sounded off this week on the feeling inside the team’s clubhouse.
“All the Dodgers fans that probably still hold that grudge are going to be out here voicing their opinion,” Reddick told reporters. “It’s all about silencing the haters, that’s what all this year was about. The trash talk seems to be a little bit more running, and I love it.”
The Astros barely qualified for the postseason with an underwhelming 29-31 record, but have looked the part since by sweeping the Minnesota Twins in the Wild Card round and staking themselves to a commanding 2-0 series lead in an ALDS showdown with the division-rival Oakland Athletics.
For Astros players to say they’ve been mistreated is an egregiously dubious stance given how the organization violated myriad norms and compromised the game of baseball’s integrity with their cheating. The case can be made that the nearly universal backlash to their transgressions was a justifiable collective response.
That being said, teams are always looking for a motivational “Us Against the World” narrative, and it sure sounds like the Astros found one that is working remarkably well for them.