Of all the places one would expect the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal to be mentioned, Amy Coney Barrett’s SCOTUS confirmation hearing is likely nowhere on the list.
But that didn’t deter Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse from spending roughly five minutes trying to relate the Astros’ 2017 cheating controversy to queries posed to Barrett during the hearing on Wednesday.
“I’d like to talk about the Houston Astros who are miserable cheaters…all baseball fans know that the Houston Astros cheat,” Sasse said to introduce the topic. “They steal signs. They bang on cans…they deserve to be punished probably more than they have been.”
After making more small talk about the Astros’ current series against the Tampa Bay Rays, who own a 3-1 lead in the ALCS after Houston earned its first win Wednesday night, Sasse attempted to relate the cheating scandal to the hearing.
“Tonight is Game 4 in the American League Championship Series, and if Houston loses to Tampa, they will be done,” he said. “And that leads people to feel kinda desperate at times. There are times when you have a game that’s your elimination game, you can imagine people wanting to sort of reconsider anything they can reconsider, the ends might justify the means.
“You can imagine that the Houston Astros, who have cheated in lots of way in the past with sign stealing, might try to go to the umpire and try to persuade somebody to expand the strike zone just for Houston in the game tonight. That would obviously be inappropriate, right?”
Sasse goes on to say questions are being asked to Barrett with the intention of getting her to admit she’ll help one side if she’s confirmed. To Sasse, this would be the same as the Astros asking the umpire to expand the strike zone.
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