The Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday requesting that Major League Baseball strip the 2017 Houston Astros and the 2018 Boston Red Sox of their World Series titles and award the trophies to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The city council resolution, co-sponsored by L.A. councilmen Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz, referred to Manfred’s report and the punishments levied, including one-year suspensions for Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch, who were subsequently fired, a $5 million fine and forfeiture of first- and second-round draft picks over the next two years.
Manfred on Wednesday said MLB had no plans to strip either team of its title.
“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, you know, yet been found to do something wrong,” he told Fox Business Network in his first interview since announcing the penalties. "We don’t know what the outcome of that’s going to be. I think that the second flaw is, you know, whatever the impact of the sign stealing was, it could have changed who was in the World Series. Absolutely unclear that the Dodgers would have been the World Series champion. 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.”
Koretz acknowledged on Tuesday that the requests of MLB made by the council are symbolic, but he asserted that passing the resolution wasn’t a move for attention but rather something done out of outrage.
“We know they were cheated at a real shot at a championship,” Koretz said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We have to send a message. If we don’t stand up for baseball, then the tradition of the national pastime may become flawed.”
Proud to see the City Council join in representing our City and making a stand against the culture of cheating. That is not the new norm nor will it be in the City of Los Angeles. The Resolution presented by @gilcedillo and I has passed unanimously this morning. pic.twitter.com/oQIPMkimAK— Paul Koretz (@PaulKoretzCD5) January 21, 2020
MLB did not have an immediate comment on the resolution.
“This crisis goes beyond the sport and the game,” Cedillo said. “It goes to the very core of being American. This could send an important message to little boys and girls that you need to play hard by the rules, or you can learn that cheating is the new normal. We want it to be clear that this city spoke up for its team.”
The Dodgers said in a statement last week that the team had been asked not to comment on any “wrongdoing” in the 2017 World Series and that MLB asked all teams not to comment on the discipline handed down to the Astros.
The scandal has already had a sweeping impact across baseball. One day after the MLB report dropped, the Red Sox parted ways with their manager, Alex Cora, who was bench coach for the 2017 Astros. The New York Mets did this same with their manager, Carlos Beltrán, who had been implicated in the Astros’ scheme.
Cora, who led Boston past Los Angeles in the 2018 World Series, was described in Manfred’s report as having participated in the scheme. Beltrán, who spent the final season of his playing career on that Houston team, was the only Astros player cited in the report.
However, no players on the 2017 Astros have received punishment from MLB, with Manfred stating he was “not in a position based on the investigative record to determine with any degree of certainty every player who should be held accountable, or their relative degree of culpability.” And the Astros kept their World Series title.
Koretz said last week that revoking the two titles and giving the trophies to the Dodgers would amount to “appropriate payback.”
“It’s important for us to raise our voice and to say that this is not the new normal, that this is not acceptable,” Cedillo said Tuesday, “and that the Houston Astros were not the champions nor the best team that year.”