The Houston Astros baseball team won the World Series baseball championship in 2017, but it turns out, they cheated. The team developed a software program which enabled the Astros to decode opposing catchers’ signs so batters would know what the next pitch was going to be. They used this stealing of signs in 2017 and 2018. A Los Angeles Dodgers player is suing the Astros because, “Everyone knows they stole the ring from us.” Has cheating become “Winning the American way?”
You might just blow this off as a quirky act by a group of men determined to win at any cost. However, I have been surprised by the way the media reacted. Lance Gould of CNN said, “In the Trump era, our national pastime couldn’t be more appropriately represented by a team that conned its way to victory.” Max Boot in the Washington Post said, “Cheating is rewarded at the highest levels and vice pays better than virtue.” Brian Phillips on TheRinger.com says, “Sports at its best and its worst provides a window into human nature.”
As our culture drifts further from God and His Word, any sense of honesty, morality, or fairness disappears. Phillips goes on to say, “Driven and obsessive human beings praise impulses as heroic and … offer immense rewards – money, fame, status – for defeating each other.” He calls it a “corruptive algorithm” and then ridicules the idea of calling sports figures role models.
The media has titled this story “The Astros: Winning the American Way.” We would suggest that the story is a vivid reflection of what is happening in politics, in education and in sports. Christians must “let their light shine” brightly in the corrupt world around us.
— John N. Clayton © 2020
Reference” The Week, March 6, 2020 page 16.