Giants

Cody Bellinger says Astros stole World Series from Dodgers in 2017

Cody Bellinger says Astros stole World Series from Dodgers in 2017

The Houston Astros cheated during their 2017 World Series run. 

And yet, Houston hoisting the trophy at the end of it all while being drenched in champagne, only was part of the impact felt from the electronic sign-stealing scandal. That season, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve took home AL MVP honors -- an award that should have gone to Yankees' Aaron Judge. 

"I thought Manfred's punishment was weak, giving them immunity," Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger told reporters on Friday. "I mean, these guys were cheating for three years. I think what people don't realize is Altuve stole an MVP from Judge in '17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us."

In 2017, the Dodgers were the Astros' opponent in the Fall Classic that went to seven games. The playing field obviously wasn't even during the World Series, and Bellinger believes the Dodgers would have snapped their Fall Classic drought had it not been for the Astros' sign-stealing.

Bellinger said the team had been doing the cheating for three seasons which could mean the Astros' participation that consisted of the technology, trash-can banging, and possibly buzzers, occurred through the 2019 season, and up until A's pitcher Mike Fiers blew the whistle

On Thursday, the Astros held an anticipated press conference to offer apologies or lack thereof. Owner Jim Crane and star third baseman Alex Bregman offered insincere apologies and were taken to task by fellow players for not showing contrition.

Crane, the Astros' owner, also contradicted himself saying in his opinion, the sign-stealing didn't impact the game, then less than a minute later, said: "I didn't say it didn't impact the game."

The Dodgers, over the past several seasons, have towered over the Giants and the NL West. Imagine knowing that was the case, but the team above you did it illegally and with a major advantage. That's what the Astros did to the entire league. 

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This stretches beyond just a World Series title. Essentially, everything the Astros touched that season, and possible seasons beyond could be considered tainted. Bellinger, a rookie in 2017, got a taste of what that was in his first season as a major leaguer.

Season after season, the Astros were in the thick of the playoffs -- they were the team to beat, the best team in baseball in certain arguments. Bellinger being upset is validated. 

If Giants, Dodgers never moved West, MLB might look very different now

If Giants, Dodgers never moved West, MLB might look very different now

Back in the mid 1950's, Major League Baseball hadn't conquered the West Coast.

But that changed in 1957 when the Giants and Dodgers were granted permission to move from New York to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively.

Both teams played their inaugural season in California in 1958.

Baseball hasn't been the same since, relocating or adding teams all over the West Coast.

But how would MLB look today if the Giants and Dodgers hadn't moved West? According to the MLB Cathedrals' Twitter account, the Dodgers wanted a new stadium in Brooklyn in 1957, but were denied, leading to the two teams moving.

So MLB Cathedrals ran through the hypothetical scenario with real-world info and some fan input to see what the league would look like today if the Dodgers had been allowed to stay in Brooklyn.

First, the San Francisco Giants in their current form wouldn't exist. The New York Giants would have moved to Minnesota in 1959.

In 1961, the Washington Senators moved to Los Angeles and became the Angels.

That same year, the American League adds two expansion teams: The San Francisco Seals and a new club in Washington, D.C. According to MLB Cathedrals, the Seals would play at Seals Stadium until a new ballpark could be built for them.

In 1962, the National League expands, adding teams in Houston and Los Angeles. Because the Dodgers stayed in Brooklyn, the Mets are never created. The new team in LA is called the Stars, meaning the Giants and Dodgers names never exist.

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When MLB Cathedrals conducted the experiment Saturday, they had Oakland getting an expansion team, the Oaks. On Sunday, in a new version of the experiment with more info and fan polls, Oakland never gets a team.

Here's how the AL and NL look as of 1998, according to MLB Cathedrals.

Based on these projections, Major League Baseball and baseball in the Bay Area would look very, very different.

Giants' Mauricio Dubon shares hilarious story of meeting Hunter Pence

Giants' Mauricio Dubon shares hilarious story of meeting Hunter Pence

Mauricio Dubon is living the dream of every young Giants fan right now. 

Dubon moved to Sacramento when he was 15 years old to live with a host family -- leaving his family in Honduras -- in order chase his dreams of playing baseball. He attended his first Giants game as a teenager in 2010, sitting in the center field bleachers as Tim Lincecum pitched the Giants closer to a division title. As a young shortstop he idolized Brandon Crawford, and now is his teammate and will be Crawford's double-play partner on many occasions this season. 

When Dubon first made his Giants debut in late August after being acquired in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, he certainly could feel his fandom come alive. The same can be said for when the team brought Hunter Pence back this offseason.

"The first time I saw Hunter at FanFest, I asked for a picture, actually," Dubon said on the latest episode of The Giants Insider Podcast. "I asked him for a picture, yeah. 2014, with the whole speech and everything -- as a fan, you kind of get excited. As a player, you get even more excited." 

Dubon said he had to get away from the Giants' veteran players last year when guys like Tim Lincecum, Angel Pagan and many others came back for Bruce Bochy's final game as San Francisco's manager. The young infielder simply couldn't help but get giddy seeing his childhood heroes. Dubon even used Pagan's salute celebration in high school. 

Now with Pence in the fold and Pablo Sandoval returning to San Francisco, Dubon doesn't see why the Giants couldn't shock the world again once the season returns amid baseball's suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[RELATED: How Dubon is staying ready after missing first Opening Day]

"I keep telling people that when were we favorites -- I say "we" as a fan -- when were we favorites to win a World Series in '10, '12 and '14? Never," Dubon said. "So why's it gonna change right now?

"We have the same veterans. Same hunger, probably even more. We got guys that are willing to do anything to win a game. I think we have a pretty good chance of [winning] the whole thing." 

Dubon is expected to be manager Gabe Kapler's do-it-all utility man up in the middle at second base, shortstop and center field this season to keep his athleticism in the lineup. And while his fandom always will live within him, he could be a major key to the Giants brining their next World Series trophy back to San Francisco.