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LA City Council wants MLB to award Dodgers 2017-18 titles

The Los Angeles, California, City Council has voted unanimously to press Major League Baseball to award the Los Angeles Dodgers the 2017 and 2018 World Series titles in the wake of the sport’s ongoing electronic sign-stealing scandal.

The city council move follows a large-scale punishment MLB levied upon the Houston Astros, who beat the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series, for using electronic means to steal opponent signs in violation of league rules. 

The Boston Red Sox, the 2018 champions who also defeated the Dodgers in the World Series, remain under league investigation for similar alleged offenses, and penalties like what the Astros received are quite possible. The scandal has already cost former Red Sox manager Alex Cora his job, as well as that of former New York Mets manager Carlos Beltrán. 

The legislation requests that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recall the World Series trophies presented to the Astros and Red Sox and award them to the Dodgers.

“It’s important for us to raise our voice and say that this is not the new normal, that this is not acceptable, and that Houston Astros were not the champions nor the best team [in 2017],” said councilman Gil Cedillo, who co-sponsored the effort with Paul Koretz.

The city council effort was done without the input or other involvement of the Dodgers themselves. MLB has not formally responded to the vote, but it is extremely unlikely they will make any such move requested in the essentially symbolic legislation. The league has dealt with a wide range other major scandals over the decades, including gambling and the use of performance-enhancing drugs by players, but never has vacated a World Series title. 

Manfred signaled as much during an interview with Fox Business from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying, “It’s absolutely unclear that the Dodgers would have been the World Series champion. I think there’s a long tradition in baseball of not trying to change what happened.”