Cheating ruins everything about sports. The Astros got what they deserved. – The Washington Post

House of Cards
If the Red Sox are also found guilty and punished as dramatically as the Astros already have been — with suspended executives, lost draft picks and multimillion-dollar fines — do we void Boston’s 2018 title? Or do we forever think of the Red Sox as an asterisk champion? Such questions can, and will, be asked and argued for years. And no one will approach a satisfying answer. This scandal is a perfect illustration of why cheating in professional sports is so bad. It ruins everything. There is no way to fix the damage. And that scar across a sport’s visage is permanent, as with the World Series 101 years ago that is still known by just two words: Black Sox. That is why it is so important to make every effort to catch cheaters and crush those who get caught with penalties that get the attention of the next person who is tempted to do the same. We never seem to understand the true weight of the phrase “integrity of the game” until some team or player tries to rip it to shreds to win. At moments such as this, we vaguely ....

You don’t have to knock down much of the edifice before fans, also known as customers, have reason to say, “Remind me again why am I paying attention to this.” If an MLB, NFL, NBA or NHL contest isn’t on the square — or if we can’t at least assume that there is a 99.9 percent chance that it is on the level — then that game is nothing. It merits zero attention. MLB’s punishment of the Astros — and Houston’s subsequent firing of successful general manager Jeff Luhnow and much-praised manager A.J. Hinch — has been a giant boulder heaved into the center of the lake of our pro games. The ripples of consequence extend toward the shores in all directions. Once we are reminded of the great damage that cheating does, we are forced to see the cheaters not as mere rascals and rule-benders but as profoundly selfish and destructive people whose lack of a moral compass cannot be shrugged off with rationalizations that make us feel comfortable. Such as “everybody does it” — when we know they don’t. .

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