Earlier this week, Tim Kurkjian told NBC Sports Washington the Astros cheating scandal, "has gotten bigger than I thought it was going to be." And boy was he right.
Players across the league have chimed in with firey comments directed at Rob Manfred for his handling of the Houston situation, but also haven't held back when it comes to Astros players.
Nick Markakis has said the players, "deserve a beating," Howie Kendrick explained how he has no sympathy for Houston while players like Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge and Max Scherzer have all made it known how angry everyone is at the Astros.
Most of the anger stems from the fact that, along with the blatant cheating of course, Major League Baseball granted every Astros player immunity for their cooperation in the investigation, and how their 2017 World Series championship was not taken away. On Friday, Orioles slugger and player representative Chris Davis offered his thoughts on the lack of discipline and how opposing players could take matters into their own hands during the regular season.
“I think the discipline that the players are going to get this year is going to be very interesting, and I say that meaning that a lot of that is going to be handed out between the lines,” Davis said, according to MASN's Roch Kubatko.
Davis didn't specify how exactly the discipline "in between the lines" would be doled out. Teams will surely get up for their games against the Astros all year and try to hand them as many losses as possible. But then there's the possibility of pitchers throwing at the Houston hitters.
So far through five spring training games, Astros hitters have been plunked seven times, though it's important to note not all of them were on purpose. Five of the seven occurrences came on offspeed pitches.
However, Las Vegas gave Houston the highest over/under total for the number of times a batter will be hit by a pitch (83.5). Last season, the league average was 66, and the Yankees were the only team to surpass the 83.5 number the Astros have this year (86).
The Astros have affirmed us they are not concerned with getting thrown at all year, though judging on the comments by a multitude of players, they may want to at least think about it.
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