WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In a show of remorse that many within their sport may feel is both overdue and insufficient, Houston Astros stars Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve apologized for their roles in an electronic sign-stealing scandal that tainted their 2017 World Series championship and roiled Major League Baseball all winter.
In a pivot from defiant tones last month, Bregman and Altuve read brief, prepared statements Thursday morning for their roles in a scheme that involved cameras, an illegal monitor and banging on a trash can to signal to hitters what pitch was coming.
“I’m really sorry about the choices made by my team, my organization and me. I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans,“ said Bregman, who hit the game-winning 10th-inning single in the pivotal Game 5 of that 2017 World Series.
Altuve, who was named AL MVP that season, issued a similar apology, saying “the whole Astros organization and the team feels bad about what happened in 2017.
“We especially feel remorse for the impact on the fans and the game of baseball, and our team is determined to move forward, to play with intensity and to bring back a championship to Houston in 2020.”
In the aftermath of MLB’s January report on the scandal, Astros owner Jim Crane fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch, who received one year bans from the league.
During Crane’s contrition speech, he said the 2017 World Series title stands and said he has not reached out to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost to the Astros in that series.
“Our opinion is this didn’t impact the game,” Crane said “We had a good team. We won the World Series. We’ll leave it at that.”
Wednesday, Crane and new manager Dusty Baker held an emotional, one-hour meeting with members of the 2017 team on the eve of Thursday’s first workout for pitchers and catchers.
They hope to move forward with new management, but early reaction from spring training camps indicate that will be easier said than done.
“I want to say again how sorry our team is for what happened,” Crane said. “I want to repeat this will never happen again on my watch.”