Current Blue Jays closer Ken Giles was a big part of the Astros club that won a championship in 2017, recording 34 saves with a 2.30 ERA over 65 2/3 innings. Of course, as we recently learned, that team was up to no good, engaging in an elaborate sign-stealing scheme throughout the season, including in the playoffs.
We learned about the Astros’ cheating ways thanks to pitcher Mike Fiers, a teammate of Giles’ in ’17. Some have questioned Fiers’ motivation and authenticity for coming forward. “Why now?” some have asked. Others have suggested that Fiers ought to be willing to give up the World Series ring he received for his work three seasons ago.
Though no one has actually made the request, Giles would give up his 2017 World Series ring if asked, he told Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. “Whatever they ask, I would oblige,” Giles said. “Because what was going on at the time was not OK.”
Giles says he was not involved in the cheating himself. He added, “It crushed me to learn about the stuff that went on when I was there.”
It’s easy to believe Giles because he was never comfortable as a member of the Astros. He said in September of 2018, nearly two months after being traded to the Blue Jays, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” He described himself as feeling “trapped” and “out of place” with the Astros.
Giles shouldn’t have to give up his ring, though. The league isn’t vacating the Astros’ title, so it’s a pointless exercise based on that alone. More importantly, the league doesn’t cover the cost of the rings; they were paid for by team owner Jim Crane. A lot of fans are understandably concerned with superficial things like vacating the Astros’ title and the players giving up their rings, but neither addresses the root issue, which is that the league incentivizes cheating, partially because it does very little to prevent it. Giles returning his ring might make a few non-Astros fans feel better, but it’s ultimately not worth the effort.