The Astros are leaning into the role of villain




 

You absolutely knew this was going to happen.

After a two-month firestorm in which the extent of their cheating operation was revealed, and after a week of players around the league voicing their displeasure at both the Astros and at Major League Baseball for not punishing them in a manner they deem sufficient, the Astros are pushing back. From the Washington Post, here's Josh Reddick:

And here's Lance McCullers:

That was a direct shot at the Dodgers, who are not on the Astros' schedule and whose players - notably Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger - have been among the most vocal critics of the Astros. Probably because the Dodgers were the team the 2017 Astros beat in the World Series, at least in part by cheating.

More McCullers:

Do you think they "addressed the scandal?" Most don't. At least most who aren't members of the Houston Astros or fans of the team. I suppose McCullers can think anything he wants about it, of course.

Anyway, I fully expect this trend in which Astros players increasingly assume the role of the victim - citing everyone's anger at them for cheating as a motivational factor and using criticism as bulletin board material - to continue as spring training moves on.

All that'll be left at that point will be a straight-faced article from a friendly media source talking about how they've "overcome adversity."

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