At one point, the Yankees were the most hated team in baseball. The Evil Empire was hated by mostly every non-Yankee fan in the world. Well, as we all know, the Astros now hold that designation and we all know why. Not only does the scandal make the 2017 World Series Champions look bad, but everything that happened afterward makes it even worse. The phony apologies, Jose Altuve’s “bad tattoo” excuse from Carlos Correa, and of course the team removing signs from fans at Spring Training, all of it makes fans dislike the team even more.

But it doesn’t stop at the Major League level. According to The Athletic, the Astros Double-A baseball team the Corpus Christi Hooks have ended their partnership with the local law firm Hilliard Martinez Gonzales (HMG) after the law firm filed lawsuits against the Astros on behalf of season ticket holders.

Bob Hilliard
(Hilliard Martinez Gonzales)

HMG has had a partnership with the Hooks since the team’s inception in 2005. The law firm has a suite at Whataburger Field, as well as 11 seats right behind home plate. The law firm even sponsored a promotion every year where they bought T-shirts for every fan in attendance and even donated 40% of their tickets to charity. Days after HMG filed the lawsuit, the Hooks informed the law firm that they will not renew their partnership, which was a $45,000-a-year partnership.

Bob Hilliard received an email from Hooks General Manager Wes Weigle, and told The Athletic he sent an email back saying “…I looked at the Hooks organization as family. What’s it been, like 20 years we have had this relationship? So you know I was extremely affected and offended by the Astros cheating scandal and never once thought it seeped down to the Hooks. The litigation is personal to me given what it represents and how I feel about that kind of thing.”

Hilliard and HMG are filing lawsuits on behalf of two season ticket holders, but aren’t the only law firm suing the Houston Astros LLC. Hilliard has a history of suing baseball, as a couple of years ago he sued MLB accusing them of failing to protect fans due to the lack of protective nets down the first and third baselines.

Whataburger Field
(Corpus Christi)

In his interview with The Athletic, Hilliard said he believes the 2017 World Series Trophy should be taken away, a sentiment echoed by many fans across the baseball world. The 2020 MLB Season will be highlighted by this cheating scandal, and I’m almost positive this won’t be the last time it’s brought up. MLB may hate that it happened, but make no mistake about it, they love the attention the league is getting. Sports shows, social media and even news outlets are talking about MLB, something that hasn’t happened since the Mitchell Report.

Featured Photo: San Antonio Express-News

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