Astros seek to ‘regain the trust’ of fans as spring training begins
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Members of the Houston Astros who were part of the 2017 championship team expressed remorse Thursday for the sign-stealing scandal that has tarnished the team’s first World Series title.
Team owner Jim Crane was joined by new manager Dusty Baker and players Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve during a news conference at the team’s spring training facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, before pitchers and catchers began practice.
Crane started by promising that similar schemes, which a Major League Baseball investigation revealed the Astros using cameras in 2017 to steal signs, will never happen again under his watch. He said a big step in moving forward is the appointment of Baker and the team’s new general manager James Click.
Bregman, third baseman, echoed Crane’s sentiment, saying the team is focused on the 2020 season and working to gain the trust of fans again.
“I’m really sorry for the choices that were made,” Bregman said. “I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans.”
Altuve, second baseman, said the team met Wednesday night and all of them feel bad about the scandal and how it impacted the game and fans.
Baker said the team meeting also showed him how sorry and embarrassed the team is over what happened in 2017, but he is excited for the upcoming season.
“Forgive them for the mistakes they have made,” Baker said. “I’m excited to be with these guys.”
In the locker room after the news conference, Astros pitcher Justin Verlander expressed regret over not speaking up in 2017 when he saw what was happening.
“I mean, it’s been difficult,” Verlander said. “You know, showing up in 2017, and once I spent some time there and understood what was happening, I wish I had said more. Looking back, I can’t go back, reverse my decision. I wish I said more, and I didn’t and for that I’m sorry.”
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa admitted the team was in the wrong.
“There’s no excuse for that,” Correa said. “We were wrong for everything we did in 2017. It’s not what we stand for. It’s not what we want to portray as an organization. We were definitely wrong about all that. We really feel very sorry."
Outfielder George Springer said he feels horrible about what happened and its impact on fans and the sport.
“There’s no real way to express how much regret we have, how much remorse we have on the heels of what Alex and Jose talked about,” Springer said. “I’m sorry that we’re in this situation today.”
At the news conference, Crane said the team will have controls in place moving forward to ensure cheating doesn’t happen again.
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