MLB Superfan Bill Nye Was Devastated By the Houston Astros’ Cheating Scandal

The story of the offseason in Major League Baseball this winter was the Astros’ cheating scandal, which has caused many baseball fans to get upset about the actual cheating and how MLB commissioner Rob Manfred handled the situation in terms of handing out punishments.

Even stars in other sports, like NBA superstar LeBron James, have crushed Manfred for his handling of the situation. But there’s one celebrity in particular who, surprisingly, was devastated by the sign-stealing scandal — Bill Nye the Science Guy, who discussed the cheating in a podcast interview.

Bill Nye on the red carpet
Bill Nye | Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

What is the Astros’ cheating scandal?

In November 2019, The Athletic wrote an article based on information obtained by former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers on how the team cheated in 2017, the season that the Astros won their first World Series title.

According to the report, the team used the feed from cameras in the field to have people in the clubhouse determine was pitch was coming up next and let players in the dugout know so they could relay the information to the hitter by banging on trash cans.

MLB conducted a lengthy investigation and determined Fiers’ claims were true. Manfred suspended Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for the season, but the team subsequently fired both. Manfred did not punish any active players, which caused much of the uproar among fans.

The cheating scandal upset Bill Nye

Nye, who rose to fame for his 1990s TV show in which he explained science for children, has spoken out regarding his thoughts on the Astros’ cheating scandal. Nye discussed the situation in an interview on Justin Long’s podcast.

In the chat, Nye refuted the belief some people have that the cheating didn’t matter because it’s just sports and doesn’t affect them. Nye shot back to those people, explaining that “at least a billion dollars sloshes around” with the World Series, between the players’ salaries, ticket sales, and sports betting. 

He went on to take about how “every pitch matters” when you’re playing at the highest level of the sport, and that stats are more meaningful in baseball than they are in other sports. Nye went on to explain how “Every pitch is a statistic. Every pitch is a data point that goes into the great database of baseball … The game is so hard and so complicated.”

Nye then made an argument that a lot of baseball fans are making. With so little time to read the ball coming out of the pitcher’s hand before you need to decide whether to swing at it, “knowing where the pitch is gonna be is just huge.”

LeBron James bashes commissioner Rob Manfred

While Nye’s criticisms were directed at the Astros for cheating, other famous people have been throwing shade at Manfred for what they consider to be a lenient punishment for the team and, especially the players, James is one such celebrity who called Manfred out for the punishments he handed down.

James blasted Manfred on Twitter shortly after the punishment was announced. He started out by admitting he doesn’t play baseball, but continued by saying that he is in sports and knows that “if someone cheated me out of winning the title and I found out about it I would be F*^king irate!”

He went on to write that he would be “uncontrollable” about what he would do. I then started addressing Manfred specifically, writing “listen here baseball commissioner listen to your players speaking today about how disgusted, mad, hurt, broken, etc. about this.”

He concluded the two tweets by telling Manfred he need to fix it “for the sake of sports” and ended with the hashtag #JustMyThoughtsComingFromASportsJunkieRegardlessMyOwnSportIPlay.