Who knew banging dirty trash cans in a dugout could be such a windfall for ambulance-chasing attorneys?
Instead of well-dressed middle-aged white men in TV commercials pointing to the camera and asking the following: “Did you or one of your loved ones suffer an injury due to a careless truck driver? Were you injured in an offshore accident, or did you take (insert medication) and now have troubling urinating in public? If so, we can help.”
Now they can simply ask, “did you play against the Houston Astros from 2017-19? If so call us at 1-800-B-E-A-T-C-A-N. That’s once again 1-800-B-E-A-T-C-A-N.”
The lawsuits against the 2017 World Series champions have already begun.
Former journeyman pitcher Mike Bolsinger is suing the team for essentially ending his career as he was fired by the Toronto Blue Jays after getting rocked by the Astros in 2017, which at first glance is like a bad story pitch on an episode of AMC’s “Better Call Saul.” Yet, it is reality.
An Astros fan named Adam Wallace has also filed a suit against that the team “deceptively overcharged” its fans.
The lawsuit has become news due to the fallout from last week’s public apologies by the Astros. If you need a brief recap on why the Astros needed to plead for forgiveness in the first place, Major League Baseball conducted an investigation, spurred by an interview former Astros pitcher and current A’s pitcher Mike Fiers, in which MLB uncovered that the Astros were guilty of stealing signs using cameras and then banging on trash cans during the 2017 World Series title season.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred punished the team by suspending both its manager (A.J. Hinch) and general manager (Jeff Luhnow) for a year, fined the team $5 million and took away draft picks. Astros owner Jim Crane then fired both men that same day.
The Astros had been staying silent for the past month or so until they arrived for spring training this past week where an attempt at apologizing took place.
They all came off as scripted sincerity.
It was like watching a disgraced politician apologizing for sexing up his secretary while making his wife stand nearby for the cameras, or seeing a 12-year-old boy being forced to apologize to his teacher for making fart noises with his armpit during a math test.
It was a bit of train wreck.
The reaction to the apologies throughout the big leagues was fast and furious.
Longtime Astros nemesis, and All-Star pitcher, Trevor Bauer cited Crane saying, “’We don’t think it affected the game.’ You’re either lying or you’re a (bleeping) idiot. And (you) don’t become a billionaire owner of a team by being a (bleeping) idiot. So, you’re lying.”
The harsh criticism wasn’t relegated to just Bauer.
“I mean these guys were cheating for three years,” Los Angeles Dodgers star and reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger said. “I think what people don’t realize is Altuve stole an MVP from (N.Y. Yankees Aaron) Judge in ’17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us.”
In the days since, former league MVPs Kris Bryant, Mike Trout and 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg are just of the names that have chimed in with their thoughts on the Astros.
Hell, even Buffalo Wild Wings got in on the action.
The national chain caught hell from Astros fans as they tweeted out the following: “THAT’S how you punish a team that cheats” in regards to the news that Manchester City received a ban from UEFA. BWW has since backpedaled its social media sassiness.
The blasting of the Astros even made recently-hired manager Dusty Baker publicly ask the league to stop any premeditated retaliation — this after Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling said he would “lean toward yes” if the opportunity presented itself for him to hit an Astros batter this season.
Atlanta outfielder Nick Markakis said on Tuesday that “every single guy over there needs a beating.” That was a day after a sports bookie placed the over-under for how many times the Astros would get plunked this season at 83.5.
Who’s ready for the dozens of classic “hold me back bro” fights this season?
This is the just the beginning.
The Astros will undoubtedly be loudly booed in every road stadium this season — the profanity-laced venom that will be spewed their way during batting practice is going to be on another level. Not to mention you know there will some sort of knucklehead out there that after one too many ballpark beers is going to rip his shirt off and want to fight an Astros player or fall flat on his face while trying to get out of the stands for said fisticuffs. Looking at you Boston and New York fans.
If that does happen, that means there will be plenty more lawsuits to be filed. Like I said before, who knew banging a dirty old garbage can could be such a goldmine?