New York: Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa. Alex Bregman. They, and some of the other culprits of the 2017 Houston Astros sign stealing cheating scandal faced the media for the first time Thursday at their West Palm Beach spring training complex.
They apologized for their roles of whistle blowing, garbage can banging, cameras, and video monitors that has become the topic of baseball this off-season. And for the first time we heard from the players who were granted immunity from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
“It was wrong,” Altuve said. “We feel bad. We feel remorse. Like I said, the impact on the fans, the impact on the game. We feel bad.”
Correa, denied and put down all the reports about wearing a buzzer to steal signals. The buzzer, related to Altuve and that epic walk-off home run in October that eliminated the Yankees in the ALCS.
A buzzer was not the main reason we are talking and reporting about this scandal. It was the techniques and culprits behind the scandal, though we should be reporting and writing about spring training camps and the upcoming season.
However, the Astros have admitted guilt to stealing signs, a clever plan that was contrived, and that has been the headline. And this is far worse than the steroid scandal that rocked baseball.
The commissioner report that also cost the managerial jobs of Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran did not implicate any guilt on players using buzzers to steal signs.
But this is what the baseball world was awaiting, the apologies, that had to be done.
And through all of this, no apologies from Cora or Beltran. And from all reports, Beltran and Cora were the main culprits of this scandal. Cora, bench coach for that 2017 World Series champion team was dismissed as manager of the Red Sox,
Beltran, in his final year as a player with the Astros, had the shortest tenure as a Mets manager, dismissed with his involvement as the lone player mentioned in the investigation.
Reputations of Cora and Beltran are damaged. And it will take a long time for both to resume any type of baseball activities, a pity crime of sorts, but responsible for being the main culprits of this scandal as baseball attempts to do their best with damage control and move forward.
A few items are evident from Thursday. Apologies are good and fans do have short memories. Exception of course, for fans who root for the Yankees and Dodgers.
They will always blame cheating as a reason the Astros have won 100 games or more three consecutive years.
Of course, they won’t accept the fact the Astros eliminated their teams in postseason play, victims, as they say, to this scandal.
The Astros World Series championship stays in the record books. You can’t replay the 2017 World Series. You can’t take away the hardware that was earned by scandal or not. Putting an asterisk on the title has no meaning.
And you can’t suspend the players for a significant amount of time, though it would be logical to do so, and remember that immunity was granted with their powerful Major League Baseball Players Association.
But when will Cora and Beltran, the culprits, and supposed masterminds of this scandal, come forward and apologize?
One would expect to hear from either, sooner than later, though,. Beltran, has released statements that were not formal apologies. Cora, hardly heard from and remains in seclusion.
So, Thursday, you expected to hear the words from both at some point. We got nothing, and not too long after the Astros met the media in that media scrum down in Florida in their spring training clubhouse .
And until we hear those formal apologies and explanations from Carlos Beltran and Alex Cora, they will continue to be the main culprits of this modern day cheating scandal that rocked the foundation.
A baseball foundation that will continue to be questioned, a scandal that will dominate the 2020 baseball season and not going away anytime soon.
Yes, my friends the damage control did not conclude Thursday with those apologies and statements from players and Astros owner Jim Crane.
It is time for Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran to come forward. Admit the wrong doing, apologize to baseball fans. They need to assist with the damage control as the main culprits of this scandal.
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