Given a sounding board on his new podcast, Dodgers legend, Orel Hershiser, shared an emotional reaction to the Astros 2017 sign-stealing scandal.
Orel Hershiser knows what it means to compete at the highest level. The Dodgers legend recorded the final out of the 1988 World Series, the last time the historic franchise situated in Chavez Ravine has won a world championship.
On his new podcast with broadcaster, Joe Davis, Hershiser sounded off on the Houston Astros cheating scandal that cost the Dodgers the 2017 World Series title. In an emotional monologue, the former Cy Young Award winner explained why it still bothers him thinking about what happened.
“When I think about everything that the fans have given me because of the win in ’88,” Hershiser said. “If I think about all those things that the fans remember, and how much smile equity and laugh equity I have in my life, how many great stories that I get every time I see someone or talk to someone about where they were or what it meant to them in their life, I think about JT, and Clayton, and Kenley, and the guys, Brandon Morrow that don’t have those conversations, because they got cheated.”
“It’s just emotional to me because ’88 changed my life,” Hershiser continued. “And this should have changed those guys life. They’re champions in my mind. They’re champions in my heart. They’re not champions in the books of baseball.”
Hershiser, nicknamed the Bulldog by manager Tommy Lasorda, said he would have been a “chihuahua” if opposing hitters like Mark McGwire and Jose Conseco knew what was coming when he was pitching.
He explained how every moment of his life after the 1988 World Series would have been different if he hadn’t been on the winning team, an accomplishment that follows him into restaurants, guest appearances, and interactions with fans to this day.
The skinny right-hander pitched three consecutive complete games, two of them shutouts, in his final three postseason starts that led the Dodgers to the promise land over three decades ago. His 1988 campaign is one for the record books. He won the Cy Young Award after winning a league-best 23 games, while also leading the National League in complete games, shutouts, and innings pitched.
Perhaps his greatest accomplishment coming in September of that year when he broke the MLB record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched, previously held by Dodger great Don Drysdale, when he hurled 59 straight frames without allowing a run.
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The Astros have been penalized for their use of trash cans in stealing signs from opposing pitchers during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. However, after listening to the impact of winning a World Series to someone like Hershiser, it’s impossible to believe the suspension of two executives and reduced draft picks is punishment enough for what they stole from the 2017 Dodgers team and fanbase.