HOUSTON - There are varying opinions about what was said and how it was said, but does any of that affect fan loyalty to the Astros team? On the kickoff to spring training, Astros fans in Houston told FOX 26: not in the slightest.
In fact, many wish the team wouldn’t have even apologized.
“My opinion is they shouldn’t have apologized,” said one fan. “They didn’t do anything wrong.”
Many fans said the sign-stealing apology by Jim Crane, Dusty Baker, Jose Altuve, and Alex Bergman at a press conference Thursday morning was no way to start spring training.
“We didn’t do anything wrong,” said one fan.
“Everybody was doing it,” said another fan. “Everybody’s been doing it for the last 20 years.”
“Everybody else is doing it in the league, so might as well,” said another fan.
Some fans just said they just wished the Astros would have put the cheating scandal behind them sooner, rather than dragging it into the 2020 season.
Crisis mitigation expert Joe Brettell with Prosody Group, LLC, says Jim Crane could have done a better job with messaging.
“There was some mixed messaging as to: well did it affect the game, or did it not affect the game?” said Brattell. “Yes, we were sorry. No, we’re not giving back our championship ring.”
Brettell says the team could have done more for transparency. He recommends they hire an outside auditor.
“To really see how pervasive not only the actions of sign stealing went into the game, but what is the culture that led to it?” said Brettell. "That way the team will have a better bet at avoiding a permanent tarnish to its reputation. What you don’t want is for these scintillating careers to have an asterisk, or even worse, miss out on the credit they’re due because we didn’t handle this situation correctly at the outset."