As Spring Training opens up for MLB teams, the spotlight once again shines on the Houston Astros. Today, the team held a press conference to discuss the cheating scandal, featuring the franchise’s two biggest stars: Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman.
The baseball world isn’t overly impressed with what the Astros’ representatives have to say this morning. Team owner Jim Crane is at the forefront of the criticism. During his press conference, he went so far as to say that the cheating system “didn’t impact the game.” He went on to dismiss any questions about the legitimacy of the team’s 2017 World Series title.
New manager Dusty Baker, who takes over the team after it fired manager AJ Hinch, was also present. He’s the only one getting much credit for his handling of the situation. Of course, he wasn’t with the team in 2017, and got the job after the Astros let Hinch go, following his suspension from the MLB. He said the team showed “tremendous remorse” for what occurred a few years ago, but that he’s excited to lead the team going forward.
Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman were both with the franchise in 2017, and neither has really added much to the conversation. Today, both spoke for roughly one minute. Neither took questions. While they did apologize, neither came off as overly contrite.
Astros players apologize for the cheating scandal:
Alex Bregman: "I am really sorry about the choices that were made by my team, by the organization and by me."
Jose Altuve: "Whole Astros organization feels bad about what happened in 2017." pic.twitter.com/rVfPORDKfw
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 13, 2020
The Astros were definitely a super talented club in 2017, and may have won the World Series without the system that was put in place. We’ll never know, of course.
Considering many believe that Houston ultimately got off with a pretty light penalty, and other franchises like the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets have caught blowback, with managers Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran being let go over their connections to the scheme (Boston is being investigated for its own alleged sign-stealing scheme).
We’ll see if Houston tries to put a bandaid on this. So far, it doesn’t seem like anyone outside of that clubhouse and front office is ready to forgive them.