Astros Meet With Media

And it did not go especially well.

Jim Rome
February 13, 2020 - 9:22 am
Houston Astros

USA Today

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The Houston Astros finally got around to meeting with the media this morning to discuss the sign stealing scandal. And it did not go ESPECIALLY well. 

Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve spoke briefly.

Here’s Bregman.

And Altuve.

I have a ton of respect for Bregman and Altuve as players and those statements were an improvement over what has been said in the past. And, according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, Bregman and other Astros players went even further in owning what happened and pushing back on the idea that Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran ran the whole thing.

Yuli Gurriel: "No one put a gun to our head. It would be a lie to say that one or two people are responsible. We are all responsible." 

George Springer: "We are ALL responsible. Carlos and Alex were great to us." 

Bregman: "No one put us up to this. We did it. All of us, not one person made us do anything."

Carlos Correa went even further.

To quote Correa, the reports that Beltran intimidated them into cheating was straight up bull bleep. 

In other words, the players are acknowledging that they actively participated in it. They could’ve stopped it and they didn’t. I respect that level of ownership.

Unfortunately, the actual Astros ownership doesn’t quite see it that way. Jim Crane did not do a great job today. Not at all. 

He had weeks to prepare for today and he fell all over himself with lines like this:

“Our opinion is this didn’t impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series and we’ll leave it at that.”

Respectfully, Jim, that is, horse mess. I get that you don’t want to give back the 2017 World Series. But saying that this scheme didn’t impact the game is ridiculous. If it didn’t matter and it didn’t help, why the hell did you do it? Let me help with that: because it did matter and it did help. Reminds of all the bullcrap that came during the roid era, bullcrap like you can’t just pull a guy off the streets, shoot em full of bullroids and think he can hit major league pitching; maybe the worst argument ever: no one ever said that: but roids obviously helped or guys would have been geeked out of their minds on them. Just like cheating by stealing signs helps.

If it didn’t impact the game, guys wouldn’t be doing it. Guys don’t bang on trash cans if it doesn’t help them hit baseballs. There’s no point. Guys aren’t turning the dugout into a performance of Stomp just for the hell of it...

If you want to argue that other teams are doing things that are similar and so your advantage wasn’t that big, that’s a different thing. But if you want to do that, you better come with the evidence about all the other teams. Otherwise, you sound ridiculous. 

And he had other weird statements, like: "I don't think I should be held accountable."  Talk about leading from the front: my team, my organization and I’m responsible for everybody and everything in it, right?  Apparently.  Ain’t my fault; I didn’t know what the hell any of them were doing.  I’m going to call bullcrap on that too.  And if you didn’t know, you should have known; you own the freaking team.  But he wasn’t done: then he

He gassed up an 18-wheeler and ran it right over AJ Hinch, Jeff Luhnow, Alex Cora, and Carlos Beltran and said the players weren’t at fault “These are a great group of guys who did not receive proper guidance from their leaders.” 

Except for one problem, Jimbo, to quote MLB’s report: "The 2017 scheme was, with the exception of Cora, player-driven and player-executed."

So that’s an absurd statement. But even if Crane wanted to roll with that defense, then why were players at the press conference owning it and apologizing? And why were the players telling everyone in the clubhouse today that it was their responsibility? Why are the players owning it more than the owner?

And what was the deal with this exchange with Marly Rivera?

Since when did Jim Tomsula buy the Astros?

That made absolutely no sense. You got caught. Apologize for it and own it. That’s not too much to ask. But to sit there and apologize for something, but say that something didn’t really matter, isn’t an apology. You had all this time to prepare for this press conference and that’s what you came up with?

Compare that to more from Correa.

That is how you handle it. Acknowledge what happened, what you did, that you knew it was wrong, and that you know it leaves a mark and you want to be better. Check out this line from Correa "I don’t want my kids, I don’t want my brother, and I don’t want my family members or people who follow me to think that it was right to cheat to be successful.... What we did in 2017 was terrible. We all know it and we feel really bad about it." 

Now compare that with everything Crane said and you realize just how terribly that went for Crane. And because of that, it will linger even longer, until Crane can get it right.  You’re not getting beyond this, Jim, until you own it. And even then, plenty are going to think you’re a cheater…but don’t take my word for it, just ask the CHEATRIOTS.