Fans don’t normally cheer wildly when a batter gets hit by a pitch, but the Houston Astros’ World Series cheating scandal is clearly on the minds of Oakland A’s fans.
Turns out having the fans back in the stands does make the game of baseball more interesting. The Oakland A’s had their home opener Thursday night and announced they would allow 12,000 fans in the stands (though the reported attendance was 10,436). But those limited fans made their presence felt, and provided some sardonic amusement, when they cheered wildly when the A’s starting pitcher plunked one of the Houston Astros implicated in the World Series sign stealing scandal.
Safe to say the fans loved seeing Correa get hit by the pitch 🙃 pic.twitter.com/uNbkWfGt1N— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 2, 2021
At the top of the 4th inning, A’s starting pitcher Chris Bassitt threw a two-out pitch that nailed the batter, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, squarely in the shoulder. Instead of the typical stunned “Ohhh!” you hear when the hometown pitcher gives up a free base, A’s fans admirably went bananas rooting.
This was, after all, the first game the Houston Astros have played before fans since the electronic sign stealing scandal broke in November 2019. USA Today has a lengthy roundup of the A’s fans booing and cleverest signs taunting the Astros from Thursday night.
A's fans letting Altuve hear it 👎 pic.twitter.com/3pmef4G9Pe— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 2, 2021
We can confidently call Carlos Correa a cheater without qualifying it as “alleged cheater,” as he has admitted it and apologized. Yet there is still a special level of bad blood between the A’s and the Astros on this topic, as it was A’s pitcher Mike Fiers who blew the whistle on the whole scandal. (Fiers pitched for the Astros team that won the World Series, probably thanks to electronic sign stealing).
3-0 pitch from Joe Kelly ends up going behind Alex Bregman. pic.twitter.com/q6P8CD5oqj— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 29, 2020
Fans cheering Astros getting hit by pitches is a new thing, and likely to continue all season. But plenty of Astros got hit (likely) intentionally last season, as seen above.
Image: OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 22: Chris Bassitt #40 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Texas Rangers in the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 22, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)