HOUSTON - The Houston Astros addressed the sign-stealing scandal on Thursday, with Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve apologizing on behalf of the players.
Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane, Astros manager Dusty Baker and Astros players spoke at a press conference in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Crane apologized and vowed that it would never happen again on his watch.
“Last month, when MLB announced the penalties to the Houston Astros, I issued an apology to our fans and the City of Houston. I want to say again how sorry our team is for what happened,” Crane said. “I want to also repeat that this will never happen again on my watch. MLB clearly stated that people leading the baseball operations and field operation should be held accountable for these actions, and I agree with them. Our GM and manager were not only suspended for a year, we went above and beyond and fired them. MLB acknowledged the players should not be punished for the failure of our leadership. The leaders enabled, condoned and did not stop those actions that happened.”
Crane said he agrees that the players should not be punished.
“These are a great group of guys who did not receive proper guidance from their leaders. We cannot change the actions of the past, but we are fully committed and moving forward in the right way,” Crane says.
He says he believes a big step in moving forward is with the team’s new general manager and manager.
“We have two men of great character leading our baseball operation. James Click and Dusty Baker will help our players and our entire organization deliver a competitive team on the field and continue our commitment to Houston and make them proud off the field. I'm very optimistic about the season."
Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve spoke on behalf of the players.
Bregman said he is "really sorry about the choices that were made by my team, by the organization and by me."
"I have learned from this and I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans," Bregman said. "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.”
Altuve said the Astros had a team meeting Wednesday night, and the whole organization team “feels bad about what happed in 2017.”
"We especially feel remorse for the impact on our fans and the game of baseball and our team is determined to move forward to play with intensity and to bring back a championship to Houston in 2020," Altuve said.