It was already clear that the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as the L.A. area in general, are going to harbor some major bad blood against the Houston Astros for cheating in and winning the 2017 World Series.
It’s understandable. Losing out on baseball’s ultimate accomplishment in a seven-game series only to find out the other team was cheating will create some anger.
Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling, who is likely staying with the team after a trade to the Los Angeles Angels fell through, took things a step further on Friday when asked about what he might have done had the Astros become a division rival in the AL West.
His answer was “probably” throwing at them when the opportunity presented itself.
When he thought he was being traded to the Angels, Ross Stripling started wrestling with whether he would intentionally throw at an Astros hitter to retaliate. He concluded he probably would, at the right time, in the right place. I think it’s a fascinating question.— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) February 14, 2020
That is quite the answer from one of the more jovial and even-tempered players on the Dodgers roster. Admitting such a thing now might lead to some kind of punishment down the line, though.
Stripling probably isn’t alone either, and not just among the Dodgers, but all of MLB.
The Astros are baseball’s villains now
The Astros are facing an entire season of being treated like MLB’s greatest villains. The team finally apologized Thursday after a humiliating offseason that saw its lone World Series title tainted after one of its former players came clean about a scheme in which the team relayed pitcher signs to hitters through a camera, dugout-adjacent monitor and trash can banging.
The apology was widely criticized, especially among other players, as insufficient and laughable at points, like when owner Jim Crane claimed his team’s cheating “didn’t impact the game.” Per Stripling, the Dodgers watched the apology at a team facility and came away unimpressed.
Of course, intentionally hitting a player always comes with unavoidable dangers. No pitcher in the world has perfect command, and all it takes is a fastball in the wrong place to ruin a career or even a life.
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