By Ken Reed
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred handed the Houston Astros severe penalties for cheating on Monday. Manfred suspended Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for a year for their role in using electronic equipment to steal the signs of opponents. He also fined the organization $5 million and stripped the Astros of their first and second round draft picks in both 2020 and 2021.
Following the announcement of the penalties, Astros owner JIm Crane then fired Luhnow and Hinch.
I didn’t expect that the penalties for the Astros actions would be that severe, but I’m certainly good with them. As a society, we have to have ethics and integrity in sports or their value is greatly diminished.
Manfred made a big statement yesterday about the importance of the integrity of the game. And he showed a lot of courage in doing so. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could learn a thing or two from Manfred. Unlike Manfred, Goodell simply gave the New England Patriots a slap on the wrist for their cheating escapades.
The actions taken by Manfred will send a positive message throughout the baseball world, from the professional level down to the little leagues.
I like it. It’s good for the game. And a good statement to young players.
Vince Lombardi reportedly once said that “winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” That’s the etho that those involved with the Astros cheating scandal apparently live by.
That’s a sad approach to sports. A “win-at-all-costs” (WAAC) mentality is an ego-based approach to sports and represents sport at its worst. On the other hand, a soul-based approach to sports is driven by the ethos of fair play and sportsmanship. That’s sport at its best.
There’s no place for WAAC competitors in sports — at any level. Hopefully, the penalties Manfred gave the Astros will reinforce that.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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