Astros’ Cheating Scandal

How the Astros are Creating a New Culture Centered Around Cheating

Celeste Hoover, Co-Editor In Chief


My mom was devastated. Altuve had let her down. 

When the news broke of the Astros’ sign-stealing, the headline was heard with joy in Los Angeles, and a certain resigned sadness in my house. My mom, and myself (occasionally), were just two of thousands who had stayed up late on weeknights, bought overpriced, bright orange t-shirts, and trash talked the Dodger’s twitter page relentlessly. We quietly celebrated as the rest of the family slept and watched with indignation as an ESPN analysis brought up sign-stealing after the big win. The Dodgers were just sore losers. But, as the investigation progressed, I think Houstonians began to realize the inevitable; Altuve had let us down.

It was a familiar feeling. For Altuve, his coaches, and his teammates now join the long list of recent, and increasingly public, cheaters. Many of us at Cinco are aware of this list. Some of our own classmates have signed their names to it. It’s the reason we’re required to put away our mandatory IDs before testing, or place our backpacks in the front of the room, or even set up makeshift cardboard cubicles between grouped desks. We take these precautions because students have cheated in the past; it’s certainly not a new phenomena. Quizlets copied from major and minor grades still make their way around the cafeteria. So what then could possibly be the driving motivation behind it? What links a professional M.L.B. player and that senior you saw in the hall giving test answers to freshmen?

Spanish teacher Ms. Jennifer Bernard has made some slight alterations to the Astros posters in her classroom.

It’s the same thing that made Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman’s university scandal so fascinating. While it was especially personal to many of us already struggling with college admissions, it remained a front page story for weeks around the country. The scandal and future of these celebrities are still a controversial story (just watch the reaction to Ricky Gervais’ Golden Globes joke). While it’s difficult for everybody to imagine Aunt Becky in prison, it’s even harder to realize she’s probably not the only cheating celebrity in Hollywood. That impossible pressure for perfection affects everyone of us.

Either in Hollywood, or in DC. As trust in the American government hits a record low, voters, including many Cinco seniors, are forced to reckon with the possibility of foreign interference in the 2020 election. Russian involvement in 2016 has been proven, but to what extent remains undetermined. Again, this remains a highly controversial topic, and arguably one of the most pressing facing the US. But these discussions of ethics, bias, and what exactly defines ‘cheating’ are becoming increasingly relevant to our generation, they’re discussions worth having.

A culture centered around cheating is not likely to fade away any time soon. The pressure put on perfection and rapid success will only increase in years to come. The pressure to win, to get better grades, to secure our families’ futures, and even our country’s future are all wrapped up within one another. 

Altuve let us down, and it’ll probably happen again. Will we still root for our team?