The Houston Astros mired in a jaw-dropping cheating scandal, one that has left many fans and players feeling as though the team had averted more appropriately severe arguments, are set to embark on what should be a contentious, and challenging 2020 season.
Anger is just one of the emotions felt by players and fans alike who feel that the Astros got off easy with their punishment from MLB, and feel that their 2017 World Series championship, and player-awards, should have be rescinded. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has done the process no favors with some of his missteps, including baffling remarks that left people feeling more upset with how the entire process, from the act to the consequences has played out.
Backlash is something that the Astros have seen, and expect in the upcoming season, as they are preparing for Spring Training, but Astros’ outfielder Josh Reddick says that the team has received threats “every day” since their sign-stealing scandal came to the public light..
Reddick says that he has received threats that also targeting his family.
“You just see the first things in your suggested box and it just says, ‘I will kill your family. I will kill your kids. Blah blah blah,'” Reddick said, according to ESPN. “It’s depressing to read because it’s over a game of baseball. It’s not worth that kind of drastic measure.”
Reddick doesn’t expect things to calm down as the season kicks off, and fears that things could get to the point where he thinks “it could be very dangerous outside of the ballpark to even bring your family.”
“There are ways to add security to a lot of places on the road whether it be in our hotels, on the way to the field,” he said. “At the field, obviously, being a lot more hostile environment. Be a little crazier. I think, also, at the hotels because you see a lot of people line up at our hotels. They know where we stay, they know what times we usually go to the ballpark. And what time we get back.
“For me, myself having almost 5-month-old boys, it is going to be pretty scary because my wife is going to go want to come on a lot of road trips just because wanting to have my help in raising them and do our parenting thing. So it is definitely something you can think about every night.”
It’s going to be a tough season all around for the Astros, once considered an MLB elite team, but the scandal, loss of their manager and general manager, and loss of ace pitcher Gerritt Cole in free agency has many people feeling their MLB odds of being the same powerhouse that we have seen the past few years as slim.
Overall, Reddick just wants to ensure his family is safe.
“I think the best situation for us is to have our families be safe and ourselves be safe,” Reddick said. “But yeah, I think player unity is going to be a big thing. Especially with the way things are going now and way things will be in a couple of years to renegotiate stuff. I think that is one way the players need to get united. I think the more we are one on the same page and united it is going to be better for the whole game. It may take time the way this thing is being handled right now. I think ultimately the family safety is a big issue right now.”
Mostly, the threats have been social media based, so Reddick plans to “just avoid clicking on it.” Still, it’s something that upsets Reddick.
“I put a post of my kid rolling over for the first time and I gotta look down there and see ‘I hope your kid gets cancer,'” Reddick said. “It makes you really want to see that person in person. Really makes you want to go up to him and see what they would do if you put your face to their face and really get a little bit of retribution for yourself. Pisses you off.”