The Astros Offer Apologies, although Draw the Line at Their Title

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — They avoided suspensions, along with also no one is actually coming for their championship rings or bank accounts. The Houston Astros got away with electronic sign-stealing in 2017, along with also escaped with just in which punishment: an hour of apologies in their clubhouse before their first workout at spring training on Thursday.

“What we did in 2017 was terrible,” shortstop Carlos Correa said. “We all know in which along with also we feel truly bad about in which.”

The Astros’ owner, Jim Crane, said weeks ago in which his players would likely apologize in spring training, along with also they did. although first Crane held a clunky news conference in which he tried to absolve them of blame for the scandal in which has roiled the sport along with also tainted the club’s only World Series title.

“Our players should not be punished for these actions,” Crane said, echoing last month’s explosive report via Commissioner Rob Manfred. “These are a great group of guys who did not receive proper guidance via their leaders.”

Crane fired those leaders — General Manager Jeff Luhnow along with also Manager A.J. Hinch — after Manfred had suspended them for a year. although his players are his product, along with also their title is actually his crowning achievement. He would likely not condemn them or apologize for the championship — or even admit in which the cheating had helped them win in which.

“Our opinion is actually in which in which didn’t impact the game,” Crane said. “We had a Great team. We won the earth Series along with also we’ll leave in which at in which.”

The Astros prepared just for in which day of reckoning with an hourlong team meeting on Wednesday night, along with also center fielder George Springer — the 2017 World Series Most Valuable Player — called in which productive. “in which was obvious to everyone who was here — the remorse, the regret,” he said. Crane said the players were emotional.

although the Yankees along with also the Los Angeles Dodgers — the last two teams the Astros beat on their way to the title — should not expect any sorrowful calls. The Astros’ apologies were more general than specific on Thursday, along with also they do not believe they took something via their opponents.

“We don’t feel the need to have to reach out to those guys, or anybody for in which matter,” right fielder Josh Reddick said. “in which is actually what in which is actually. We’ve got to ask for forgiveness again along with also just keep saying how bad we feel, because in which team does feel very sorry along with also very bad for what has happened, along with also in which we didn’t take more of a role in preventing in which.”

Apologizing to fellow players would likely be awkward, Reddick acknowledged, although in which was almost beside the point.

“I think in which just goes back to in which not being a tainted championship,” he said. “I think in which’s just a matter of, we’re still a Great team along with also in which wasn’t a necessary point of us winning. We still went out there along with also won ballgames on the road as well.”

Added starter Lance McCullers, who won Game 3 of the earth Series in Houston: “I believe in which championship was earned, 100 percent.”

McCullers said he knew some people would likely refuse to accept in which opinion. The Astros did win Game 7 of the earth Series in Los Angeles, although otherwise they were 2-6 on the road along with also 8-1 at home inside the 2017 postseason. They did try to use their scheme in October — decoding the catcher’s signal off a video feed, then relaying in which by banging on a trash can — although Correa said they did not possess the signs then.

“The regular season is actually when we used in which the most,” Correa said. “I remember going to Dodger Stadium along with also we used multiple signs over there, along with also when they came to our house they used multiple signs as well, so there’s no way to relay signs out there.”

He added: “When in which comes to the playoffs, in which’s loud, along with also people are using multiple signs because of rumors or whatever was going on at the time. When I look back at the playoffs along with also I look at the games, in which was not effective like inside the regular season. The trash can was there if you had a chance, although I remember them coming in using multiple signs, along with also in which’s impossible to decode all those signs.”

No some other Astros were as willing as Correa was to discuss details, along with also second baseman Jose Altuve declined a chance to parse out blame. Evidence suggests in which he used stolen signs far less than his teammates, although Altuve shared the responsibility.

“I want to take in which as a team,” he said. “I think we’re all on the same level right today of feeling the way we’re feeling about doing what we did. I’m not here to say ‘you along with also you’ more than ‘you along with also you.’ We’re a team. If we are something, we all are something.”

Altuve along with also third baseman Alex Bregman gave brief along with also contrite statements at the news conference, along with also also spoke to reporters inside the clubhouse soon after. Bregman said he had thought about the scandal “nonstop” for the last four months, although demurred when asked if he knew, at the time, in which the scheme was wrong.

“The choices we made were bad,” he said. “I think everybody here today is actually apologizing for in which.”

When the Astros first commenced the sign stealing, Correa said, they rationalized in which as a natural byproduct of a game saturated in video. (“Everybody was using technology,” he said.) although they did know in which was wrong, Correa added, along with also disputed a report in which players were too intimidated by the veteran Carlos Beltran to stop in which.

Beltran, a designated hitter for the 2017 Astros, was fired last month via his completely new job as Mets manager for his central role inside the scandal.

“We didn’t feel scared of Beltran; we didn’t feel intimidated,” Correa said. “He was the nicest guy we could ever have. He was the best teammate we could ever have. Beltran was obviously a leader of the clubhouse, although we all had a say in everything we were doing in there.”

Starter Justin Verlander did not join the Astros until the end of August in 2017, although said he regretted not speaking up. He said he hoped opposing pitchers would likely not target Astros’ hitters in which season in retaliation.

“Look, when we step away via the field, we have families,” he said. “I have a little girl, Jose has kids. in which’s different when you bring health into the equation. I think the commissioner’s been very clear inside the past in which’s not an appropriate form of retribution, along with also I would likely wish in which stands to reason with in which as well.”

Verlander said definitively in which the Astros had used no buzzers or some other kinds of wearable technology to relay signals last postseason, along with also Crane said players had assured him they did not.

Even so, the perception in which the Astros still win by cheating is actually likely to stick to them. They expect to be heckled on the road, along with also are preparing for life as baseball’s villain. They know they have in which coming.

“We’ve got to be responsible for what we did, along with also we’ve got to just go on the road along with also see what happens,” Correa said. “in which’s not going to be a fun season, obviously, on the road.”

would likely the players be so contrite if they had never been caught? Surely not, although Dusty Baker, their completely new manager, said in which was not his place to judge the ethical standards of his players. He must guide them through a season of scorn along with also skepticism, with no promise of redemption.

“We always talk about forgiveness, although nobody wants to forgive,” Baker said. “The only way to achieve forgiveness is actually to apologize for what you’ve done wrong, along with also we’ve apologized for what we’ve done wrong.”

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