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LeBron James calls out MLB commissioner over handling of Astros cheating scandal

Astros criticized for scandal apology

NBA superstar LeBron James weighed in on the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal Tuesday, specifically calling out Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred. James, in a series of tweets, said Manfred should, "listen to your players."

"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 F*^king irate! I mean like uncontrollable about what I would/could do!" the three-time NBA champion tweeted. "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!"

James ended the final tweet with the hashtag  #Just­My­Thoughts­Coming­From­A­Sports­Junkie­Regardless­My­Own­Sport­I­Play.

Manfred has faced heavy criticism for both his handling of the Astros cheating scandal and his response to that criticism in recent days. The league concluded that in 2017, the Astros illegally used video footage to steal signs from opposing pitchers and catchers and alerted their own batters about what pitch was coming by banging on a trash can.

Rob Manfred
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred arrives during batting practice at Minute Maid Park on April 3, 2018, in Houston, Texas. Getty

The commissioner granted immunity to players who were willing to cooperate with MLB's investigation into the scheme; while the league eventually determined the Astros cheated in 2017 — the year they won the World Series — no players were punished for their actions and the team retained their championship title.

This didn't sit well with players around the league, and many voiced their criticism at the beginning of spring training this past week. Manfred defended his actions in an ESPN interview that aired over the weekend, but only managed to anger players further by calling the Commissioner's Trophy — the trophy awarded to the team that wins the World Series — a "piece of metal."

On Tuesday, New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge also weighed in on the controversy, saying the Astros should be stripped of the 2017 title. 

"You cheated and you didn't earn it," Judge said following a team workout. "That's how I feel. It wasn't earned. It wasn't earned the way of playing the game right and fighting to the end and knowing that we're competing, we're competitors. The biggest thing about competition is laying it all out on the line, and whoever is the better player, better person comes out on top. To know that another team had an advantage that, nothing you can really guard against, I just don't feel like that's earned."

The Yankees lost to the Astros in the 2017 American League Championship Series in seven games. Houston had home field advantage for the series.

"I could sit up here and lie to you and say that I'll forget about it and move on, but you're always going to have that bad taste in your mouth," Judge also said.

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