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. 

Former Giant Randy Winn describes feeling of month-long hot streak

Former Giant Randy Winn describes feeling of month-long hot streak

A starting pitcher can take control of a game and singlehandedly lead his team to a win, but in general, it's hard for baseball players to will their team to victory day after day.

Starters pitch once every five days and position players know that even on a five-hit night, you're dependent on your own pitchers standing tall, and every time you reach base, you have to wait a couple innings for another chance to impact the game.

But every once in a while, a hitter gets so hot that it seems he's carrying his team for weeks at a time. The Giants last truly experienced this in 2018, when Brandon Crawford briefly thrust himself into the MVP race and earned an All-Star selection with an absurd stretch in May and June.

Buster Posey won the MVP award with his second half of 2012, and Melky Cabrera dragged the Giants to plenty of wins earlier that year before failing a PED test. In the first half of this century, Barry Bonds could carry the lineup for weeks, even seasons, at a time. 

Randy Winn experienced that after being traded to the Giants from the Mariners in 2005, and that year he had his own hot streak that to this day is one of the most impressive in franchise history. Over the final 30 games of that season, Winn had 54 hits in 123 at-bats, good for a .439 batting average. He hit 11 homers, 13 doubles and three triples, with a slugging percentage of .862 and OPS of 1.331. 

On this week's Giants Insider Podcast, Winn recalled what it felt like to get that hot for such a long period of time. 

"Nothing felt different -- everything just felt really, really easy and really slow," Winn said. "Whenever I felt like I wanted to take a pitch, the pitcher would throw a ball. If in my mind I was thinking, you know what, he might throw me a changeup, and he would throw me a changeup and it was very hittable. When anybody describes 'the zone' or being on fire, what they say is always the same: Everything was really slow, I was really relaxed, and my mind was really clear.

"When I think back on that time or other times when I was hitting really well, those are always the things that I remember. I didn't feel different, I wasn't really doing anything different. It just feels like you're in control of everything."

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Winn was having a solid season to that point, with a .273 average and .742 OPS. He opened September with eight hits in a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks and never looked back, finishing the year with a .306 average. Winn had 17 multi-hit games in September, including three four-hit games. His 51 hits that month set a San Francisco Giants record that Cabrera tied in May of 2012. 

"It was a great situation for me," Winn said of the midseason trade that brought him to San Francisco. "Coming home, still live in the Bay Area, grew up in the Bay Area, my wife is from the Bay Area, our parents at that time lived in the Bay Area, so for us it was a homecoming and it was just great to be back home."

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On the podcast, Winn also talks about how he would handle this layoff, what it was like playing college basketball with Steve Nash, what made Bonds and Albert Pujols so great, and much more. 

Giants fans vote 'Champ' Tim Lincecum as best version of former ace


Giants fans vote 'Champ' Tim Lincecum as best version of former ace

You the fans have spoken.

We asked you to designate your favorite version of former Giants ace Tim Lincecum, and the social media response was overwhelming.

Lincecum was a part of all three World Series-winning teams in 2010, 2012, and 2014 in San Francisco.

During his first postseason run in 2010, Lincecum put together an impressive stretch of performances, solidifying himself as a franchise icon.

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He kicked off the 2010 MLB Playoffs by throwing a 119-pitch shutout with 14 strikeouts against the Atlanta Braves in Game 1, propping up an offense that only mustered one run of support to give the Giants a leg up in the five-game division series.

He followed that effort up by striking out eight Phillies in a Game 1 road win in Philadelphia, when Cody Ross’ two home runs led the Giants to a 4-3 win.

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Lincecum wrapped up the postseason by earning two World Series wins, including the series clincher in Game 5, striking out 10 Texas Rangers over eight innings as the Giants won their first Fall Classic since the franchise relocated to the west coast in 1958.

Although Lincecum earned plenty of nicknames during his legendary career in San Francisco, “Champ” definitely has a nice ring to it.