Mets fans poked fun at the Houston Astros off-field travails during a spring training game in Florida on March 8, banging on a trash can as Alex Bregman faced a pitch, in mockery of the cheating tactics used by the Astros in recent seasons.
The Athletic reported in November 2019 a claim by former Astros player Mike Fiers that, during the 2017 season, a monitor was installed near the Houston dugout where players could watch for an opposing catcher’s sign. They would then hit trash cans to signal to the batter what kind of pitch he could expect.
An investigation launched by Major League Baseball in the wake of Fiers’s statements found “Witnesses have provided largely consistent accounts of how the monitor was utilized.”
The Astros won the World Series in 2017. In the wake of the scandal, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred suspended the Astros’ general manager and manager. Despite the MLB investigation finding the scheme “player-driven”, no player was sanctioned. “Because virtually all of the Astros’ players had some involvement or knowledge of the scheme […] I am not in a position based on the investigative record to determine with any degree of certainty every player who should be held accountable, or their relative degree of culpability,” Manfred said. Credit: Neil T Z via Storyful