Houston Astros players and coaches offered apologies after the team gathered in Florida for spring training. The apologies were in response to the sign-stealing scandal that occurred in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. But the apologies have done little to calm down critics.
Owner Jim Crane said, “The only thing we can do is sit here and say we’re sorry, we’re going to move forward in a positive way.” While talking about the idea of stripping the team of the 2017 World Series, Crane went on to say the scheme ”didn’t impact the game.” “We had a good team,” he said. “We won the World Series and we’ll leave it at that.” Later in the press conference, he was asked if sign-stealing, which tells the batter what pitch is coming, gives the batter an advantage. Crane said: “It could possibly do that, it could possibly not.” These statements have been met with heavy criticism.
Players Alex Bregman and José Altuve gave 30-second statements. “We especially feel remorse for the impact on our fans and the game of baseball, and our team is determined to move forward, to play with intensity and to bring back a championship to Houston,” Altuve said.
Commentators such as Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina were not impressed by the apology. “Crane insulted everyone by saying his team cheated but it didn’t help and Altuve and Bregman read prepared statements like robots for about 30 seconds.” ESPN’s Joon Lee said, “Today made everything significantly worse for Houston, and added even more fuel to the fire.”