COLUMN: As I See It – Cheating Houston Astros are the perfect team for Trump’s America
From our earliest days of learning – whether it’s morals we’re taught at home, in kindergarten or Sunday school classes – we are instructed not to cheat and to play fairly.
Yet we all know that in the real world there are those who love to cheat, will never play fairly and will do anything to win.
With the cheating Houston Astros having recently won the World Series, it’s clear that they are a team that exquisitely represents Donald Trump’s America.
Both of them have histories of cheating their way to victory.
As recently as 2017, the Houston Astros were caught using a sophisticated sign stealing system that signaled Houston’s batters what kind of pitch was coming their way. Think about it; they knew if they were facing a fastball or a curve ball.
They used that sign-stealing system throughout the entire regular season and playoffs. If there was ever a need for an asterisk in sports, their World Series championship is it.
It’s hard to imagine a more tainted victory.
In other sports the Astro’s championship would have been revoked, forever removed from the record books. Instead, not a single player was fined or suspended. Two coaches were fired, the team lost some draft picks and was fined a paltry $5,000,000. That’s sofa money. The Astros make way more than that in any single regular season home game, of which they have 81. The team never really paid a meaningful price for cheating.
Put another way, they were (handsomely) rewarded for cheating.
That brings us to the former president. His Trump University was forced to pay $25,000,000 to students who were swindled out of a meaningful education from his fake university. Trump’s charitable foundation was forced to shut down after a judge described a “shocking pattern of illegality.” And the twice-impeached, one-term president is currently under investigation for cheating on his taxes and for trying to cheat in the 2020 election.
Here’s a stat that puts Trump’s win-at-all-costs cheating and criminality in crystal clear perspective. In his four years in office there were 215 criminal indictments in his administration. Barack Obama’s administration had none in eight years.
The Mueller Report documented 140 visits between Trump’s administration and Russian entities, even though Russia is the sworn enemy of the U.S (or at least was, before Trump started sucking up to Putin). There is hard evidence that the Russians helped Trump cheat his way to victory in the 2016 election. Just a couple of weeks ago a Russian oligarch admitted Russia meddled in the 2016 election to benefit the former president.
There is a considerable faction of people who believe that “win at all costs” is a totally justifiable way to get through life. Win a World Series by giving your batters the huge benefit of letting them know what pitch they are about to face? No problem. Win the presidency with help from Russians? Great!
In this “the ends justify the means” mentality, the Astros and the former president are a perfect match.
How anyone can cheer for a team that cheated its way to victory is a mystery.
How anyone can support Trump, who bragged about grabbing women by their genitals, separated babies from their parents, literally put children in cages at the border and who recently said that Putin was “savvy” and a “genius” for his brutal and immoral war in Ukraine, is something sociologists, historians and psychologists will be studying for decades. But how any Christians – here in southern Manitoba or anywhere – can support a man who has never shown a speck of a single Christian virtue in his entire life, is utterly beyond rational comprehension.
There is some debate in the sports community whether the Astros should officially be considered a dynasty because they won the World Series in 2017, appeared in the 2019 and 2021 World Series (losing both times), and won it this year.
What isn’t up for debate is the fact they were caught red-handed in a cheating scheme during which they won the World Series. What also isn’t up for debate is the fact that the former president has been cheating people and getting away with it for decades.
And just like the Astros, it’s a very open question if he’ll ever have to pay any real price for all that cheating.