As President Donald Trump freely wields his joystick of pardons and undue pressure on prosecutors, the sports world faces its own crisis of attenuated punishment.

In the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, has talked like a prosecutor investigating wrongdoing and willing to impose punishment on the perpetrators. So the public, the fans, the teams damaged by the cheating can hardly be faulted for being mystified and outraged by the total lack of punishment for the players who cheated.

Jay Sterling Silver is a law professor at St. Thomas University School of Law.

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