Just when you thought time and a worldwide pandemic would help everybody forget thinking of the Houston Astros as evil, conniving cheaters … along comes a furloughed LeBron James to produce a documentary, Last Dance-style, about the Astros 2017 sign-stealing scandal.
The multi-part series will be called Sign Language, due for the streaming service Quibi. No date yet when the expose will be ready, but fans in New York and Los Angeles already are calling Pizza Hut and getting comfortable on their couches.
What's left about the Astros descent into infamy that we don't already know? According to a press release in Sports Illustrated, Sign Language will "transcend the baseball diamond to explore larger themes of greed, cheating, corruption, sportsmanship and social media activism."
And you thought it was just wayward ballplayers whacking a garbage can? Nope, it was a mirror of society, a study of the human condition.
Or when a breaking pitch was coming. Remind me again, what baseball team does LeBron James root for? Punch up a photo of LeBron wearing his Yankees cap.
Sign Language may be a blunt awakening for Astros fans in Houston. I read the local paper and listen to talk radio. Here many fans believe the real villain in the scandal is Mike Fiers, who ratted out the Astros two years after he accepted his World Series ring and prize money and moved to another team.
Here's what the other 29 out of 30 of the baseball world thinks. The Astros cheated and got caught. They admitted that they cheated and promised never to do it again. Why are you mad at Mike Fiers? You should be mad at the Astros.
Everywhere else, fans can't believe that the Astros got off so lightly, with only their manager and general manager suspended for a season, loss of draft picks and a $5 million fine. That's pocket change for Astros owner Jim Crane. Everywhere else, fans can't believe that no Astros player was suspended for a game, 50 games, a season or forever.
You'll probably hear Yankees and Dodgers fans (and some players) say that the Astros disgraced the sport. A hundred years ago, eight Chicago White Sox players were banned for life for cheating in the World Series.
The only difference between the Black Sox and the Astros … the Black Sox cheated to lose the World Series, the Astros cheated to win the World Series. If cheating is cheating, what's the difference?
The best part of Sign Language will come after the documentary airs, when LeBron James and the Lakers come to Houston to play the Rockets.
Shhh, if you listen real close, you can already hear the booing.