HOUSTON – The Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal took center stage Thursday morning as many of the players spoke about and apologized for the cheating scandal in a press conference from spring training in Florida.
Owner Jim Crane, coaches and players were forced to address the issue as an organization after news of the scandal broke earlier this year.
Chris Jones, the senior vice president at Pierpont a public relations and crisis management expert, said the 2020 season will be tough.
Jones said the Astros will be questioned this year, especially during road games.
"Organizationally, there is going to be some sort of a set of messages that they’ve agreed on that they want to convey,” he said.
Hometown fans have mostly stayed loyal but outside of Houston, the team has been labeled cheaters.
“It’s going to take a while to work through that, but again, you’re not really starting from an (unbiased) audience that wants to hear what you say and is going to make a decision,” Jones said. ”I think you just have to be very consistent.”
One of the comments drawing the most attention from Thursday’s conference was owner Jim Crane’s remarks about the 2017 Championship.
"Our opinion is this didn’t impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series and we’ll leave it at that,” Crane said during the press conference.
“What you don’t want to do is get that victim mentality, it’s us against the world that’s not helpful. Regardless of what else you might see going on or believe is going on you want to acknowledge and own your role,” Jones said.
Jones believes transparency is key but admits winning also helps.
“A lot of motivation to go out there and say hey we’re playing the game the right way. We’re doing everything right, we’re winners that’s going to help a lot too,” Jones said.