Mar 1, 2020; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) sits in the dugout before a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball has, for the most part, abdicated from its responsibility to punish the Houston Astros is any meaningful way for their sign-stealing scandal. As our Joe Lucia noted when the initial punishments rolled in, “these punishments, on the surface, look huge. They include fines, suspensions, and loss of draft choices. But when you actually dig into the discipline enforced by MLB, you’ll realize how woefully inadequate the punishments are.”

And so, fans, especially those who feel as though their team was personally shafted by the Astros’ cheating, are left to dole out punishments in their own way. Since no out outside of MLB’s brain trust feels satisfied with the way everything played out (even publicly letting other teams know they’ll get in trouble for retaliating), it’s the people paying the tickets and sitting in the stands who now seem to feel a responsibility to remind Houston at every turn that they are cheaters and everyone knows it.

We’re seeing it play out pretty effectively so far during Spring Training. In his first spring at-bat, Jose Altuve got booed, heckled, and hit by a pitch.

The Astros played their first road game of Spring Training on Sunday and, well, things have not improved.

And some fans are even going right up to the dugout to air their grievances, not giving the team a chance to forget or move on.

This might all seem like it’s small potatoes that will eventually blow over, but then again we’re talking about baseball fans. They do not take kindly to cheating, especially cheating that goes relatively unpunished. Just imagine how loud these boos are going to be when the season starts and the Astros are playing in cavernous stadiums packed with people excited for the chance to heckle them. It may die down eventually, especially if Houston sputters this season, but don’t expect that to happen for a while, especially if the Astros organization remains indignant and defiant.

[FTW, Asterisk Tour]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to