Astros give mixed signals on cheating scandal

Posted at 5:40 PM, Feb 13, 2020

Did it or did it not have an impact on the game?

Astros Owner Jim Crane gave different answers less just a minute apart on the impact of a scandal that has rocked the baseball world over the offseason.

Crane's comments come as the Astros gathered for the first time to get Spring Training underway.

Video of the news conference released by ESPN showed Crane saying, "Our opinion is that this didn't impact the game." Less than a minute later, Crane said, "I didn't say it didn't impact the game."

Crane when asked again later in the news conference: "I didn't say it didn't impact the game." pic.twitter.com/An3ex7zbWV

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 13, 2020

The cheating scandal has rocked the sport and led to the firing of three active MLB managers before the start of the 2020 season.

In a report prepared by MLB earlier this month, MLB said the Astros stole the signs given by the catcher to the pitcher during the 2017 season. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred's report said that the Astros used camera technology monitored by members of the Astros watching a monitor who would then relay the signs to the batter by making noise.

The Astros then went on to defeat the Dodgers to win the 2017 World Series.

In addition to MLB imposing a one-year suspension against GM Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch, MLB fined the Astros $5 million and stripped four future draft picks from Houston. MLB opted not to punish players or strip the team of its title.

The sign-stealing scandal reportedly was implemented by then Astros bench coach Alex Cora. Following the 2017 season, Cora was hired by the Red Sox to be their manager. Cora then led the Red Sox to a 2018 World Series title, also defeating the Dodgers.

On Thursday, some of the Astros players still with the team from the 2017 season apologized for the first time since word of the scandal broke.

"I am really sorry about the choices that were made by my team, by the organization and by me," infielder Alex Bregman said. "I've learned from this, and I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans. I would also like to thank the Astros fans for all of their support. We as a team are totally focused on moving forward to the 2020 season."