Houston Astros players are planning to apologize for the roles they played in the sign-stealing scandal once they report to spring training, owner Jim Crane revealed on Tuesday.
According to MLB.com’s Alyson Footer, the expected apology comes in response to criticism that was hurled at players for not addressing the subject in a more contrite manner at the team’s FanFest event last weekend.
Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman were the two most prominent players to speak to the media at the event. Neither had much to say, though Altuve made headlines for assuring Astros fans that the team would return to the World Series. Bregman would only dismiss accusations that players wore buzzers at the plate, calling those rumors “stupid.”
Those hoping the players would accept some form of responsibility for a scheme that cost manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow their jobs were left disappointed. But Crane is confident the players will make that right when training camp opens.
"When we get down to spring training, we'll all get them together and they'll come out with a strong statement as a team and, I think, apologize for what happened and move forward," Crane said Tuesday.
"A couple of guys that have been interviewed have been holding back a little bit. We need to get them a little more time to get together in Spring Training. Everybody's split up [geographically]. We're going to sit in a room and talk about it and then we're going to come out and address the press -- all of them will address the press either as a group or individually.
"Quite frankly, we'll apologize for what happened, ask forgiveness and move forward."
Given the amount of anger that has stemmed from the scandal, forgiveness will be hard to come by.
Even if the players had apologized sooner, the damage many feel they’ve done to the integrity of the game is an unforgivable act. Not helping matters is the fact no players have been punished in connection to the scandal even though many were heavily involved. That could lead to some policing being done on the field.
Astros pitchers and catchers will report to spring training on Feb. 13. The team’s first full-squad workout is scheduled for Feb. 17. Somewhere in there is when we should expect the apology.
In the meantime, Crane was honored as Houston’s top sports executive on Tuesday night.
Jim Crane is now being honored as Executive of the Year at the #HoustonSportsAwards.
— Alyson Footer (@alysonfooter) January 22, 2020
On Wednesday, he’ll return his focus to repairing the club’s image. The next step will be hiring a new manager. Crane hopes to have that done by Feb. 3.
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