The Houston Astros won't have their 2017 World Series title taken away. Their name, on the other hand, won't be sticking around in some Little Leagues across the country.
Little League decision-makers from California to Pennsylvania have started a movement banning the "Astros" name from their youth teams as a result of the organization's electronic sign-stealing scandal. That, coupled with the team's perceived lack of contrition, has drawn ire from MLB players and the general public alike.
Over the weekend, a pair of Little Leagues in California — Long Beach and East Fullerton — both outlawed the use of the "Astros" nickname among their teams.
"Parents are disgusted," Long Beach Little League president Steve Klaus told the Orange County Register. "They are disgusted with the Astros and their lack of ownership and accountability. We know there's more to this scandal. What's coming tomorrow? With the Astros, you've got premeditated cheating."
Bob Bertoni, who leads the District 16/31 Little League in Pennsylvania, told the Associated Press his league of about 4,000 players will not include the Astros this year.
“I think about our Little League pledge, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind: part of the pledge is, ‘I will play fair and strive to win,’” Bertoni said. “Our kids emulate and idolize major league players. I don’t think we as an organization should be idolizing teams that have decided not to play by the rules.”
In a statement, Little League International said volunteers operating local programs have the authority to name the teams.
"This unfortunate situation has taught Little Leaguers an important lesson about playing by the rules," the organization said. "We value our relationship with Major League Baseball and its efforts to expand opportunities for youth baseball and softball, and the best thing that Little League International can do for MLB and the entire baseball community is to teach children how to play the sport by the rules and with a high level of sportsmanship."