UNITED STATES— MLB’s Commissioner can now suspend players without pay if caught stealing signs electronically, as announced on Thursday, July 30.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred now has the authority to suspend players without pay or service time if they are caught stealing signs electronically. Additionally, Manfred will be the one to determine just how many games the players who are caught will be suspended for.
According to the document outlining MLB’s new sign-stealing rules, managers will also continue to be held responsible. Also, in order to prevent sign stealing by electronic means, MLB has also hired an outside security firm to guard the entrance to teams’ replay video rooms. MLB is also thinking of editing the signs out of the footage that players are able to have access to during live games, no later than next season.
These changes were possibly made after the cheating scandal involving the Houston Astros during the 2017 season and World Series as many fans and MLB players were not satisfied with the punishment handed down.
Many MLB players were told by Manfred to not speak on the scandal once the investigation revealed the electronic sign stealing. However, during the Spring, many players spoke out against the Astros players as many felt they showed no remorse for cheating, in addition to them being granted immunity.