Several teams reported to their respective Spring Training facilities on Wednesday, including the Houston Astros, who have been under a microscope of scrutiny since Major League Baseball determined the organization electronically stole signs over the course of the 2017 season.
The Astros did not speak to the media on their first day of camp, but held a press conference the following day in which they addressed the sign-stealing scandal that first came to light when Mike Fiers brought attention to it last November.
Among those to take questions were Jose Altuve and Alex Bergman, who previously lacked remorse for the organization’s blatant cheating. Astros owner Jim Crane remained less than sincere with his apology and reiterated that Houston’s actions did not have an effect on the outcome of the games.
Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Cody Bellinger didn’t hold back when sharing his thoughts on Crane’s unconvincing statement, believing the organization should have faced more significant penalties from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, among other thoughts, via ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez
“I thought the apologies were whatever,” Bellinger said, referencing the Astros’ public apologies from their spring training site on Thursday. “I thought Jim Crane’s was weak. I thought [Rob] Manfred’s punishment was weak, giving [the players] immunity. Those guys were cheating for three years. I think what people don’t realize is [Jose] Altuve stole an MVP from [Aaron] Judge in ’17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us. But it’s over.”
At the conclusion of MLB’s investigation of the Astros, the organization was fined the maximum $5 million and stripped of multiple draft picks over the next two years.
Former general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were additionally suspended for the entire 2020 season, only to be subsequently fired by Crane. The Astros, however, did not have their 2017 World Series championship vacated.
Altuve’s American League MVP Award from that season also still stands.
While players from around the league have condemned the Astros for unfairly stealing signs during the 2017 season, the consensus is that most want to move on and solely focus on the upcoming campaign.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts took that approach on the first day of camp and revealed that he would not address the Astros’ scandal during his first meeting with his players.
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