CLEVELAND, Ohio – All baseball watched and waited while Houston Astros owner Jim Crane and his players apologized Thursday for the signal theft disorder they created on the way to their 2017 World Series championship.
They waited for Crane to accept responsibility for his club damaging the integrity of the game. They waited for All-Stars Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve to offer details on how players used technology to decode and steal opponents’ signs and transmit them to Astros hitters in real time. They expected an offer of atonement to teams like the Dodgers and the Yankees that had hurt during their playoff race.
What they got instead was a farce. A public relations farce led by Crane that offered hollow topics and was surprisingly light in detail about what they were really apologizing for.
“I am very sorry for the choices my team, the organization and I made,” Bregman said. “I have learned from this and I hope to regain the confidence of baseball fans.”
Crane and the Astros refrained from offering any kind of apology directly to the teams or players they had defeated in 2017, and closed ranks when asked if their 2017 title was contaminated.
“Our opinion is that this did not impact the game,” Crane said. “We had a good team. We won the World Series. And we will leave it that way.”
He later stepped back and said that it is “difficult to determine” how the system of poster theft impacted the game, or if it impacted the game before spending most of the blame at the feet of the fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and the manager of AJ Hinch field
Crane repeatedly pointed to the MLB report instead of answering questions directly and promised: “This will never happen again on my watch.”
Bregman and Altuve were trotted and used as puppets at the press conference that preceded the availability of their clubhouse. His brief comments to the media gathered there in West Palm Beach were orchestrated by the team and sounded more like spin than sincerity.
Both players, along with their teammates, apologized more appropriately in their comments of the clubhouse later, answered all the questions as best they could and tried to absorb some of the guilt that their owner had had moments before being so eager to accumulate in Hinch and Luhnow.
But did the Astros achieve what they set out on Thursday, or did they finally throw more gasoline into the fire of the container they consumed throughout their offseason? The general consensus is that Houston dropped the ball in this round of apologies, and that an “apology for the apology” could eventually arrive.
Not to mention what will happen once the Astros players step on the field against real opponents in spring training, or when they return to Minute Maid Park for two exhibition games against Cleveland on March 23 and 24 for the first time since The scandal broke out. .
Bregman, Altuve and their teammates will have to “use it” all season. As the season progresses, they will not be able to escape the questions, the frowning glances, the teasing and the fast 92-mile-long balls they finally deserve.
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