Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred Wednesday rebuffed the Los Angeles City Council’s call for the Dodgers to be awarded the 2017 and 2018 World Series titles due to revelations the Houston Astros illegally stole signs in their championship year.
The Astros defeated the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series, while the Boston Red Sox — managed by the Astros’ 2017 bench coach, Alex Cora — defeated the Dodgers the following year.
Speaking to Fox Business, Manfred said a resolution approved by the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday calling for those titles to be awarded to the Dodgers is problematic at best.
“We haven’t concluded our investigation with the Red Sox, so it’s a little hard to take the trophy away from somebody who hasn’t yet been found to do something wrong,” Mandred said. “We don’t know what the outcome of that is going to be.”
Manfred also said that despite the sign-stealing, there’s no guarantee the Dodgers would have won the 2017 World Series.
“It’s absolutely unclear that the Dodgers would have been World Series champion,” he said. “I think there’s a long tradition in baseball of not trying to change what happened. I think the answer from our perspective is to be transparent about what the investigation showed and let our fans make their own decision about what happened.”
The Astros have already fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch, and Cora has parted ways with the Red Sox, although Cora has not been formally punished by Major League Baseball for his role in the sign-stealing scandal. The New York Mets also parted ways with manager Carlos Beltran, who was alleged to have helped devise the sign-stealing system while in Houston.
The Los Angeles City Council resolution was introduced by Councilmen Paul Koretz and Gilbert Cedillo. While generally acknowledging there is little chance of the Dodgers being awarded the World Series titles, Cedillo said the resolution made a statement against cheating in general.
“Athletes that don’t cheat want to compete fairly and want to earn their title,” said Cedillo, who represents the district in which Dodger Stadium is located. “What we’re looking at is what the record will reflect, and clearly cheaters should not be rewarded. We don’t want this to become to the new normal. I can’t fathom … winning a title by cheating and then putting it up on the mantle as if it was legitimate.”
Koretz added: “This country needs to receive a message that cheating is not OK. We need that message now more than ever.”