George Hale takes a look at baseball cheating

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - LET ME START TONIGHT BY SAYING A COUPLE OF THINGS ABOUT THE CURRENT BASEBALL SCANDAL.

WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE ASTROS AND APPARENTLY THE RED SOX WAS WRONG. NO AMOUNT RATIONALIZATION WILL MAKE IT RIGHT. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL CRACKED DOWN AS THEY SHOULD HAVE.

CAREERS HAVE BEEN INTERUPTED AND PERHAPS LOST.
CHEATING IN SPORTS IS WRONG AND SHOULD NEVER BE TOLERATED IN ANY FORM. BUT LET'S NOT BE FOOLED BY ALL OF THE HAND WRINGING ANDCROCODILE TEARS BEING SHED.

THE SPORT OF PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL HAS BEEN DOGGED BY THIS KIND OF ACTIVITY SINCE THE VERY BEGINNING.
IN FACT, THE GAME ITSELF IS BUILT ON DECEPTION AT ITS CORE. EVERY PITCHER IS ATTEMPTING TO FOOL THE BATTER.
THE BATTER IS TRYING TO OUTGUESS THE PITCHER.
BOTH TEAMS ON THE FIELD HOPE TO FOOL THE UMPIRES AT SOME POINT IN THE GAME.

IT'S BEEN THIS WAY SINCE ABNER DOUBLEDAY STARTED THE WHOLE THING. PROBLEMS DEVELOP WHEN, IN TRYING TO GET AN EDGE, COACHES, PLAYERS AND EVEN THE OWNERS TAKE A STEP INTO OUTRIGHT FRAUD AND CHEATING.
WHAT IS TRANSPIRING NOW IS NOT NEW. IT'S JUST DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY. TEAMS WILL DO ANYTHING TO GAIN AND ADVANTAGE IN ANY SPORT.
COACHES READ INJURY REPORTS, GO OVER SCOUTING SHEETS, HAVE COMPUTERPROGRAMS THAT JUST MIGHT GIVE THEM THE EDGE.

BUT WHEN IT GOES BEYOND HONEST ATTEMPTS TO COME UP WITH A GAME PLAN SOMETHING IS BASICALLY AND MORALLY WRONG. TWO OUTSTANDING AND VERY BRIGHT BASEBALL MINDS ARE OUT OF WORK AS THEY SHOULD BE.

ALEX CORA AND A.J. HINCH MAY NEVER WEAR A UNIFORM AGAIN AND WILL HAVE A SCARLET LETTER ON THEIR RESUMES AS CHEATERS. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A BASEBALL HISTORIAN TO UNDERSTAND THAT BASEBALL HAS BEEN LOOKING THE OTHER WAY AT CHEATING FOR DECADES.

IT'S BUILT INTO THE DNA OF THE GAME. THE AMERICAN AND NATIONAL LEAGUE OWNERS BROUGHT A FEDERAL JUDGE
INTO THE COMMISSIONERS OFFICE IN 1920 BECAUSE PLAYERS WERE BETTING AND THROWING GAMES.

THE FAMOUS TY COBB WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST EVER.
HOWEVER, HE WAS NOT A GREAT BELIEVER IN RULES.
HE LOVED TO SHARPEN HIS SPIKES TO HURT FIELDERS TRYING TO TAG HIM OUT. IN 1944 PITCHER NELS POTTER WAS THE FIRST PITCHER EVER KICKED OUT OF THE FOR THROWING SPITBALLS. THE FAMOUS JOHN MCGRAW HAD A HABIT OF TRIPPING RUNNERS ROUNDING THIRD AS THEY PASSED HIS COACHING BOX. BOBBY THOMPSON KNEW EXACTLY WHAT PITCH WAS COMING WHEN HE HIT THE HOMER HEARD ROUND THE WORLD. THE GIANTS WERE CHEATING THE DODGERS.

OWNERS KNEW ABOUT THE USE OF STEROIDS AND LOOKED THE OTHER WAY BECAUSE FANS LOVED HOME RUNS AND FILLED THE SEATS IN STADIUMS TO TO WATCH GAMES.
ROB MANFRED, THE BASEBALL COMMISSIONER HAS CRACKED DOWN AT HE SHOULD THIS TIME. BUT DON'T BE FOOLED AGAIN.
CHEATING IN BASEBALL HAS PERSISTED THROUGH THE YEARS.
THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT IT BECAME MORE SOPHISTICATED AS TECHNOLOGY ADVANCED.

THERE WERE PLENTY OF WARNINGS AND THAT AS MANY AS EIGHT TEAMS WERE DOING IT. BASEBALL TRIES ITS BEST TO LOOK AND FEEL LIKE THE GAME WE GREW UP WITH
IN A BYGONE ERA. THE GREAT STARS OF YEARS AGO COULD NOT CONCIEVE OF APPLE WATCHES, SMART PHONES AND TV MONITORS. THEY CHEATED THE OLD FASHIONED WAY.
HOPEFULLY THIS IS A WAKEUP CALL. IT'S A SAD COMMENTARY THAT THE GREAT AMERICAN SPORT HAS FALLEN INTO
THE TRAP. THE RED SOX AND ASTROS WERE NOT ALONE.

IF YOU THINK THE ASTROS AND RED SOX WERE THE ONLY ONES PLAYING DIRTY THEN I HAVE A NICE BRIDGE OVER THE PENOBSCOT RIVER I WILL SELL YOU REAL CHEAP.

THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORT