Astros Players Offer More On Scandal In Clubhouse Media Session
The Astros following this morning’s widely criticized press conference opened the clubhouse to reporters, and allowed players who were on the ’17 team to field questions, producing far more substantive comments on the sign-stealing scandal. Below are some of their comments:
- SS Carlos Correa: "We were wrong for everything that we did in 2017. That’s not what we stand for, it’s not what we want to portray as an organization” ("Hot Stove," MLB Network, 2/13).
- P Justin Verlander: “Showing up in 2017, once I spent some time there, I understood what was happening. I wish I had said more. I can’t go back, I can’t reverse my decision. … I wish I had said more, and I didn't. And for that, I'm sorry.” He added, “We’re here today to apologize as a team” ("Hot Stove," MLB Network, 2/13).
- 2B Jose Altuve: "I’m not going to say to you it was good. It was wrong. We feel bad. We feel remorse” (ABC17NEWS.com, 2/13).
- CF George Springer: "We regret everything. The amount of remorse is very apparent” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/13).
- 3B Alex Bregman: “This team today is saying we’re sorry” ("Hot Stove," MLB Network, 2/13).
- P Lance McCullers Jr.: “We met yesterday and we stand behind Alex and Altuve and are remorseful for what happened that season” (TWITTER.com, 2/13).
A LITTLE BETTER: Twitter reaction to the initial press conference was harsh, but once the clubhouse opened and more players spoke, the hot takes took a more positive turn. The Houston Chronicle's Chandler Rome noted, "Every remaining Astros player who was on the 2017 team took questions in the clubhouse today." iHeartRadio's Adam Sager: "The players in the clubhouse have been very open. So that is a big positive. The presser was a disaster, but they got the second part right." L.A. Times' Mike DiGiovanna: "For those disapppinted in #Astros televised apology, and rightfully so, know that Alex Bergman, Jose Alltuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer and Josh Reddick stood at lockers for half an hour and took some considerable heat." Tampa Bay Times' Eduardo Encina: "Correa’s comments stood out from the bunch. He said that he believed illegal sign stealing offered an an advantage. Added that he didn’t believe it had an effect on 2017 postseason or WS because teams altered signs" (TWITTER.com, 2/13). That comes after the brief statements Bregman and Altuve said during the press conference were called "incomplete" by ESPN's Doug Glanville. He added, "I didn't hear anything. They didn't say anything" ("Get Up," ESPN, 2/13).
FORMER ASTROS PLAYERS: Angels C Max Stassi, a member of the Astros organization from '13-19, said that he was "too inexperienced in his big league career to do anything to stop" the Astros' sign-stealing practice. Stassi: "When you're a lower man on the totem pole, you just show up and you go out there and play. I apologize to all those around the game, the people who were affected by it, the fans, coaches. Especially the kids who look up to us. We're supposed to set an example and do the right thing. We didn't do that" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 2/13). Red Sox C Juan Centeno, who played with the Astros during the '17 season, said, "I just went along with it. I don't feel good talking about it now. But I did it." Centeno: "It wasn't right, I knew that. But what could I say? You can steal signs if you're on second base and you can see the catcher. But what they were doing was different. ... I loved playing for the Astros. But what they did, what we did, was wrong" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/13). In Houston, Jerome Solomon writes under the header, "Statements Of Regret From Ex-Astros Ring Hollow" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/13).
CONCILIATORY COACHES: Former Astros hitting coach and current Blue Jays bench coach Dave Hudgens said, "I should've gone into [former Astros manager A.J. Hinch's] office and said something, like any of us should've done." Hudgens: "But we didn't. And I really can't even think of what I was thinking back then, to be honest" (THEATHLETIC.com, 2/12). Meanwhile, Cardinals hitting coach and former Astros assistant hitting coach Jeff Albert said that he never knew about the sign-stealing. Albert: "I don't feel like I was participating, or doing, or even asked to do something like unethical or that had issues with integrity of the game. That was just my experience" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/13). Hinch released a statement yesterday, which said that he is "not aware that his team or any other team used wearable buzzers to communicate stolen signs." Hinch: "To be clear, I have never seen any such device used in baseball. I am not aware of any such device existing or being utilized with the Astros, the players, or any other team" (SI.com, 2/13).