Rob Manfred said repeatedly that the Astros' cheating was "player-driven." No players were punished.
There's a reason for that: MLB and the MLBPA cut a deal early in the investigation granting immunity for honesty.
Here's why and how that went down.https://t.co/XWkyUGsvCz
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) January 22, 2020
Source: Manfred justified that decision by saying it would have been “difficult and impractical” to punish players, given that virtually all of them had knowledge of or were involved in the operation to use technology to illicitly obtain and relay opposing catchers’ signals.
But there is a simpler explanation for why no players were penalized: The league and the MLB Players Association struck an agreement early in the process that granted immunity in exchange for honest testimony, according to several people familiar with the matter.The deal is a sign of MLB’s desire for a speedy and conflict-free investigation, the continuing power of the baseball players’ union and the fragile state of the sport’s labor relations. The promise of amnesty allowed the league to interview 23 current and former Astros players during the two-month investigation.
The league was quick to make such an offer, these people said, in part because it did not believe it would win subsequent grievances with any players it attempted to discipline. That’s partly because of a bureaucratic shortcoming: The Astros’ front office never discussed with players the league’s admonitions against using electronic devices to steal signs, according to Manfred’s statement.
Here’s the part I have a problem. The electronic devices were not discussed. This is just a way for baseball to cover their asses from a real crazy controversy that frankly they would have no idea how to handle. So there’s that. It seems like Manfred decided to look the other way when it came to electronic devices and basically he bent to the knee of the players.