The Houston Astros are holding a press conference this morning to “apologize” for the sign-stealing scandal rocking the baseball world. It is not going very well.
Astros stars Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve issued brief apologies and did not take any questions. Houston’s owner, Jim Crane, then spoke to the media.
Crane said he does not believe it affected the on-field play. “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,” he said.
That’s an absurd statement, of course. If it didn’t impact the game, the Astros wouldn’t have done it. And if it didn’t “impact” anything, why would they be apologizing?
ESPN reporter Marly Rivera nailed Crane with her question.
“Jim, sign stealing is a distinct advantage for the hitter. So how is it that it doesn’t affect competition? So then, what are you guys apologizing for?” she asked.
Crane said the Astros were apologizing because they broke the rules. When pressed, he said it is “possible” it affected the game.
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) February 13, 2020
Houston won the 2017 World Series with its sign-stealing system in place. The Astros lost to the Washington Nationals in the World Series this past year.