The off season for Major League Baseball has not been a very pretty one.  From announcements of contracting 42 MiLB teams to rule and post season changes-- there has been plenty of push back from MLB fans.

None of these instances in the off season has been as bad as the "banging scheme" or "code breaker" that has exposed the Houston Astros of cheating and bruising the legacy of their 2017 World Series Championship.

The Astros used technology to send messages to members of the Astros organization about what pitches were going to be thrown.  If the pitch was a fastball, there was no bang on a can-- just silence.  If the pitch was an off speed pitch, there would be a bang on a trash can.

MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred, after a lengthy investigation, suspended the Astros General Manager and Manager for one year, fined the team $5 million dollars and took away the 1st round draft pick 2020 and 2nd round pick in 2021.  The Houston Astros subsequently fired GM Luhnow and Manager AJ Hinch.

This lead to much debate all over sports as to whether the punishment was too harsh, just right, or not harsh enough.

Instead of arguing about the punishment, we thought we should highlight a couple of MLB players who are having a little fun at the expense of the Houston Astros during Spring Training.

Chicago Cubs 1st Baseman, Anthony Rizzo was mic'd up during a game.  During his at bat, while speculating what pitch might be thrown, he took his verbal shot at the Astros- watch.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer is no stranger to controversy.  He is very active on Twitter and does not hold back in sharing his feelings about the "banging scheme" and the commissioner.  On Monday, he started tipping his own pitches to the batters.

Later in the game, Bauer's teammate, Derek Dietrich was being interviewed and said that Bauer tipping pitches was a reference to the Astros cheating.

"Trevor's not too fond of it (sign stealing), so he figured he's going to try something new this season," Dietrich said. "He's going to start telling the batter what's coming.  That way there is no ifs, ands, or buts about what's going on.  It's just, 'Here it comes, try to hit it."

Good to find some humor in baseball.  This season can't come soon enough.


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