Chicago Cubs: Does cheating really matter to baseball?

Houston Astros (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Houston Astros (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

If the Chicago Cubs were to cheat at baseball, would it matter? How about the Red Sox or the Astros?  What about the Cubs getting away with it while the former teams got caught?

Let us say the Chicago Cubs got caught cheating, hypothetically. Or they didn’t get caught, but clearly, they were. Would you take away their World Series Trophy? (Also hypothetically.) Would it matter? Interesting question. And this article will explain it–or not. Whatever your take on it, it’ll be fulfilled.

In a piece by Rachael McDaniel by Fangraphs, the question was posed ‘does cheating matter?’ And I immediately thought, ‘Yes, it does.’ Then it dawned on me, the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo ‘cheats.’ You don’t think so? Remember when he digs into the batter’s box to the rear side? I can’t find it on YouTube, but I know it exists. I’ll find it.

Take Gaylord Perry‘s spitter. He won 314 games. He generally is considered a great pitcher. But why? He ‘doctored’ the ball. Doesn’t that classify as cheating? It should. But it’s not likely, because Perry got away with it, so to speak. So does cheating doesn’t qualify if it’s not caught?

Joe Niekro was part of that. In a game against the Angels in 1987, the knuckleball was unhittable. Maybe it’s likely that an emery board and some sandpaper was discovered on him? The emery board was for filing his nails. And the sandpaper was for when the emery board got wet. Emery board?

Knuckleball. Let that sink in for a minute.

Likely, you won’t be swayed by any argument for the other side. Whether for or against, you won’t waver on it.  And I get it. Rizzo isn’t cheating, fudging the rules? Maybe. But Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and others on my ‘cheating’ list? Nope. And the 1919 ‘Black Sox’–except for ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson. He gets a pass. He didn’t even meet with any of the gamblers, according to reports.

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In all honesty, you believe what you believe. ‘Institutional accountability, as McDaniel put it.

"People’s livelihoods matter. These are not just things that matter within the laws of the snow globe, pine tar on fingers, and cork in bats. They matter in real life. That, I think, is worth caring about."

Bravo, Rachael.