NBA: LeBron James blasts Major League Baseball over Houston Astros cheating scandal

Los Angeles Lakers’ Lebron James addresses the media during media day for the NBA All Star Game at Wintrust on Feb 15, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS/ USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James on Tuesday (Feb 18) expressed his outrage over the Astros 2017 sign-stealing scandal, which has rocked the sport and led to calls for Houston's World Series title from that season to be vacated.

Major League Baseball last month said that during the 2017 season the Astros used a monitor near their dugout with a feed from the centre field camera to decode their opponent's signals.

They then banged on a trash can to alert their hitters as to the type of pitch that was coming next.

The Astros fired manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after MLB suspended the pair for the 2020 season as well as stripping the Astros of four draft picks and levying a US$5 million (S$6.96 million) fine, but many feel the league did not go far enough.

"Listen I know I don't play baseball but I am in sports and I know if someone cheated me out of winning the title and I found out about it I would be... irate!," James, a three-time NBA champion, wrote on Twitter.

"I mean like uncontrollable about what I would/could do!," he said.

"Listen here baseball commissioner listen to your players speaking today about how disgusted, mad, hurt, broken, etc etc about this. Literally the ball is in your court (or should I say field) and you need to fix this for the sake of sports!"

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Sunday defended the league's decision not to punish individual Houston Astros players, saying it was clear they had already "paid a price."

Astros owner Jim Crane last week apologised for the cheating scandal but said it "didn't impact the game" in remarks that drew widespread criticism.

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