The Houston Astros presented a united front on Thursday morning, but a real apology for rampant sign stealing still hasn’t come.
In the wake of their sign-stealing scandal, and the punishment various figures have been singled out to take, the start of spring training gave the Houston Astros an opportunity to take full accountability together and even perhaps apologize for cheating the game.
A press conference on Thursday morning was that opportunity. And like a pitch they didn’t know was coming, they whiffed completely.
MLB previously announced that no players will be punished for the sign stealing scandal, with the residual caveat that Carlos Beltran (a player on the 2017 World Series winning team) never got to manage a game for the New York Mets due to how strongly he has been implicated in the scheme. Alex Cora was Houston’s bench coach in 2017, and the Boston Red Sox fired him as manager.
Astros’ owner Jim Crane, new manager Dusty Baker, third baseman Alex Bregman and second baseman Jose Altuve appeared and spoke on Thursday morning. To say they came up short, other than Baker perhaps since he’s so new to the team, is an understatement.
Bregman and Altuve barely spoke, about a minute and half combined, probably because they had nothing of substance to say anyway.
Crane actually said he doesn’t think sign stealing impacted games. Then why was it done, and done so elaborately?
It’s safe to say every other team does some level of attempted sign stealing, mostly within a certain framework that doesn’t overtly break rules, but the Astros went way beyond in an attempt to gain an advantage.
Simply put, the Astros are collectively not sorry they broke the rules for gains that are now easy to consider questionable. They are sorry they were caught. Former manager AJ Hinch, former general manager Jeff Luhnow, Beltran and Cora have become the fall guys, right or wrong, and it’s clear no one else is going to take full, sincere accountability.
It didn’t seem possible, but the Astros look worse after Thursday’s PR disaster of a presser.