From the moment Major League Baseball confirmed the 2017 Houston Astros team had cheated on the way to winning the World Series, fans have wondered what members of that team would say about their actions. Were they remorseful, or defiant? Would they claim ignorance, or say that it wasn’t that big of a deal?
In the month since Commissioner Rob Manfred issued his report on the sign-stealing scheme, those on that team have begun sharing their thoughts. Some have denied involvement with or knowledge of the team’s illegal sign-stealing operation, some have avoided discussing it altogether and some have expressed remorse.
The scheme — in which Astros players used a video feed to decode pitching signs from opposing catchers, then communicated them to their teammates with methods that included banging a trash can — resulted in the suspensions and subsequent firings of Jeff Luhnow, the Astros’ general manager, and A.J. Hinch, the manager.
Two other managers lost their jobs their roles in the scheme: Alex Cora, the Boston Red Sox manager who was an Astros bench coach in 2017; and Carlos Beltran, the Mets manager who was a designated hitter for the Astros. Beltran was named as a primary instigator of the scheme in the commissioner’s report.
Players on that 2017 team, however, were granted immunity from punishment by M.L.B. in exchange for cooperating with the investigation. With no formal punishments, it is up to them to decide how to address their roles with the public.
Houston’s pitchers and catchers reported to spring training on Wednesday, and those remaining from the 2017 team are expected to address their role in the cheating scheme soon. Here is a look at the public comments that have been made so far by players, coaches and officials from the 2017 Astros.
Jeff Luhnow, former general manager
“The trash-can banging was driven and executed by players, and the video decoding of signs originated and was executed by lower-level employees working with the bench coach.”
Alex Cora, former bench coach
“I do not want to be a distraction to the Red Sox as they move forward. My two years as manager were the best years of my life.”
Jose Altuve, second baseman
“I think that the time to comment about that will come. It’s a little harder for me to say something about.”
Charlie Morton, former pitcher
“I was aware of the banging. … Being in the dugout you could hear it. I don’t know when it dawned on me, but you knew it was going on. Personally, I regret not doing more to stop it.”
Joe Musgrove, former pitcher
“If M.L.B. did an investigation as thorough as they did on the Astros with every team in baseball, they’re going to find a lot more than they want to find.”
A.J. Hinch, former manager
“I want people to know that I care and that I’m not just blowing it off, shrugging my shoulders and saying that I’m upset that we got caught.”
Marwin Gonzalez, former utility man
“There are moments during the World Series that will always be special to me, that won’t be tainted.”
Josh Reddick, right fielder
“It just stinks. It stinks for everybody involved.”
Dallas Keuchel, former pitcher
“It’s just what the state of baseball was at that point in time. Was it against the rules? Yes, it was. And I personally am sorry for what’s come about the whole situation.”
Carlos Beltran, former designated hitter
“As a veteran player on the team, I should’ve recognized the severity of the issue and truly regret the actions that were taken.”
Alex Bregman, third baseman
“The commissioner made his report, made his decision, the Astros made their decision and no further comment on it.”
MAX STASSI, former catcher
“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.”
Juan Centeno, former catcher
“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.”
Dave Hudgens, former hitting coach
“A lot of stuff has come out on Carlos Beltrán. He was a big man in that clubhouse, no doubt. But I think if we’d have just sat him down — hopefully, I’m just speculating, hopefully curtailed it somewhat.”
Francisco Liriano, former pitcher
“To be honest, I didn’t know anything about what was going on. So, you know, I don’t have much to say about it. I was in the bullpen. I didn’t see anything going on when I was there.”
Produced by Michael Beswetherick.