World Series Dodgers Red Sox Baseball

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw watches a hit by the Red Sox's Mookie Betts during Game 1 of the World Series in Boston in 2018. Kershaw is likely not finding humor in the news that the Houston Astros stole signs during championship games in 2017 and that the Red Sox may have followed suit under manager Alex Cora.

How about an “I’m sorry." Would that kill anybody? If it does, we’ll say nice things at your funeral.

I’m talking about the news earlier this week that the Houston Astros illegally stole signs during the 2017 season, and more importantly during their World Series win in seven games against the Dodgers.

The Astros stationed a camera in center field to steal pitchers' signs and banged on trash cans to relay them. Mike Fiers, a former Houston pitcher, spilled the story in November to The Athletic.

If I were more mature, which clearly I am not, I would find humor in the “banged on trash cans.” Cameras and trash cans are the perfect marriage of high and low tech.

I’m not sure Dodger pitchers — Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw — who got shelled in those games would find humor in it either. Darvish was labeled a choker by fans and Kershaw’s reputation in the off season, where he has not been particularly brilliant, took another hit.

A couple of days ago, after the Astros had been officially busted by Major League Baseball and fired both manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, owner Jim Crane apologized: “We’re addressing the problem. We apologize to our fans and our sponsors. We’re cleaning house and we’re going to move forward.”

“Apologize to our fans"? Do they care? I’ll tell you who does: about one million, grudge-carrying, we’re-not-over-it Dodger fans. They’d like to clean house and they’d like to start with your house if you’d tell us where you keep the Commissioner’s Trophy for having won the World Series.

“Our sponsors"? I hope they drop you like a hot rock. Ask for their money back along with the Coke, orange juice and beer they gave you.

Forget your fans and sponsors. How about apologizing to the Dodger fans? The fans, organization and the great Dodger in the sky?

The same invitation extends to the Red Sox, who employed Alex Cora, the Astros bench coach, who developed the sign-stealing scheme. Cora, who was fired a couple of days ago, became the manager of the Red Sox the following year and employed the same dirty tricks when Boston beat the Dodgers in the World Series.

MLB asked the Dodgers and all the other clubs not to comment on the penalties handed out to the Astros and the 2017 World Series. Are they out of their baseball-shaped heads? If the Dodgers can’t and won’t, their fans will: This stinks more than a carrion flower.

I’ll try to be mature. This isn't the end of the world. I keep telling myself that. Giving myself the pep talk.

There are way more serious and important things to think about and I should be thinking about those things but the more I think about those things the more I want to lose myself in games, sports and good red wine.

If it turns out the Dodgers did the same thing, then my righteous indignation means even less than it already does.

However, if they didn’t, I plan to keep riding this high horse until it gets tired, breaks down and is put out to pasture, which could happen very soon.

We’re ready for an apology. An apology, an address and a precise location as to the trophy case. Either way, see you next year without the trash cans.

Herb Benham is a columnist for the Bakersfield Californian and can be reached at hbenham@bakersfield.com or 395-7279.

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