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Sen. Ben Sasse calls Astros ‘miserable cheaters’ during Amy Coney Barrett hearing

Senator Ben Sasse on Wednesday was the source of one of the oddest scenes of an already-off-the-rails confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett when he condemned the Houston Astros as “miserable cheaters.”

Sasse, R-Nebraska, used his five minutes of allotted time to use the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal as a segue to a broader question later posed to Barrett. Sasse opened his remarks by signaling a shift from “constitutional structure to baseball for a minute.” 

“I’d like to talk about the Houston Astros, who are miserable cheaters,” Sasse said as he acknowledged his colleague John Cornyn, who represents Texas, per USA Today. ” … I think all baseball fans know that the Astros cheat. They steal signs. They bang on cans. They’ve done a whole bunch of miserable things, historically.” 

Following an investigation by Major League Baseball into allegations the Astros stole the signs of opposing teams during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, the organization was fined $5 million and stripped of first- and second-round draft picks in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

The fallout from the scandal also led to the dismissals manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, not to mention league-wide condemnation and mock and ridicule throughout this year’s spring training.

“They deserve to be punished probably more than they have been,” Sasse said of the Astros.

Sasse then made note of how the Astros are currently trailing the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 in the ALCS. He next queried Barrett whether it would be unfair if the Astros asked the umpires to take it easy on them.  

“We can’t have two sets of rules, right?” Sasse asked. 

“Right,” Barrett affirmed. 

“I think some what we’ve seen in the questions over the last three days are trying to get an umpire to agree to a different set of rules for different teams,” Sasse said.  

For what it’s worth, the Astros will look to stave off elimination Wednesday night in Game 4 at the neutral-site Petco Park. First pitch is scheduled for 8:40 ET.