Home Run! The Astros Win a Ticket to the World Series Amid Sign-Stealing Scandal
The Houston Astros have earned another trip to the World Series, their third in five seasons, after their 2017 controversial championship was tainted by the team’s sign-stealing scandal.
On Friday night in their hometown, the Houston Astros defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-0, buoyed by two of their youngest players, Luis Garcia and Yordan Alvarez, to win the American League Championship Series, four games to two.
In 2019, before losing the Fall Classic to the Washington National in seven games, an investigation found that the Astros had engaged in sign-stealing in 2017 which ended with them beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in a seven-game World Series, according to ESPN.
The scheme allegedly involved banging a trash can with a bat to communicate upcoming pitches.
The win that has since been mired in controversy, resulted in a $5 million fine and the Astros owners firing the team's then-general manager, Jeff Luhnow, as well as General Manager A.J. Hinch, with no players suspended.
With Friday’s victory, it will be 72-year-old Dusty Baker's second trip to the Fall Classic as manager and his first since leading the San Francisco Giants to the NL pennant in 2002.
"Hey, I’m going back to the World Series!" Baker reportedly told a cheering crowd at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros have been shadowed by that dark cloud in recent years — and it continues to be a topic of debate for angry sports fans — but the team has stated that it is committed to rebuilding public trust in the wake of Friday’s triumph.
Amid the team’s earlier ALCS adversity, Astros shortstop Carlos Javier Correa reportedly said the team never gave up.
''It's a relentless team,'' Correa said. ''We stick together. We're a family. We fight back and we never give up.''