As accepted, and expected, as sign stealing has been throughout baseball history, the backlash unleashed on the Astros seems a bit over the top.
But there always have been differences of opinion on the ethics involved in such thefts.
Don’t laugh. Baseball actually has unwritten rules that govern cheating. (Is it accurate to call something cheating when there aren’t rules against it?)
“Naked-eye” sign-stealing, as in without help from any mechanical or electronic aid, long has been viewed by most to be just fine. Commissioner Rob Manfred even said so in the report announcing yearlong suspensions for Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch because the team did its pilfering with the help of a camera.
“The attempt to decode signs being used by an opposing catcher is not a violation of any Major League Baseball Rule or…