Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP has reported that the Houston Astros, after a postseason of complete silence, have finally addressed the sign-stealing scandal this morning. In front of the media, Astro owner Jim Crane, new Manager Dusty Baker and players Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman discussed the sign-stealing situation by reading prepared statements. Team owner Jim Crane spoke first, saying this will never happen again, while he’s in charge. He blamed the scandal on the front office and leadership. He further added that the players should not be held responsible for the lack of leadership.
Alex Bregman than spoke, saying:
“I am really sorry about the choices that were made by my team, by the organization, and by me. I have learned from this, and I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans.”
Jose Altuve said he felt remorse:
“I want to say that the whole Astros organization feels bad about what happened in 2017. We especially feel remorse for the impacts on the fans and the game of baseball. Our team is determined to move forward.”
Following Bregman and Altuve’s statements, they immediately returned to the clubhouse without taking any questions from the media.
Crane and Baker did stick around to answer some questions. Crane, in answering a question, said: “Our opinion is this didn’t impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series, and we’ll leave it at that.” “I truly believe there were no buzzers ever.” He continued that he felt that he should not be accountable for the actions of the team. He also added that he did not think it was necessary to reach out to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He did not refer to the Yankees. Altuve and Bregman’s comments were an improvement over their less than apologetic comments made recently at the Houston Astros FanFest.
After Commissioner Manfred released his report on January 15 detailing the scheme, reactions around the league began to seep out slowly. Now that pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training, many of the pent up feelings of anger are coming to light. Yankee pitchers CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka have both expressed that they felt cheated. Sabathia now retired felt he may have missed on his last chance at another WS ring.
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone and catcher Gary Sanchez expressed doubt that the Astros were totally clean this past year either. Boone, in his news conference, said when asked about the scheme, he summarily replied that we have moved on and are focused on the 2020 campaign. There will likely be many more statements coming forth that will express disappointment with the Astros. With spring training starting, the Astros had to address the situation to ease the backlash they will most certainly feel as the storyline occupies the season.