Houston Astros cheating scandal has been one of the major talking points in Major League Baseball (MLB) in recent weeks. Recently, MLB found Astros guilty of sign-stealing in their World Series title-winning season in 2017. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred subsequently released a statement, penalising Astros of $5 million and 4 draft picks along with suspensions to several key Astros officials including GM Jeff Luhnow and AJ Hinch. Astros owner Jim Crane addressed the media on the scandal stating that players will apologise during the spring training.
Astros owner Jim Crane said when the team assembles for Spring Training the players will come up with a plan to address the sign stealing saga publicly and will apologize for their role in the events that led to MLB’s sanctions. pic.twitter.com/55GzQDUgMe— Alyson Footer (@alysonfooter) January 22, 2020
Astros held their annual FanFest event at Minute Maid Park over the weekend. However, social media was furious after no player opted to comment on the scandal. Astros third baseman Alex Bregman avoided questions about the scandal while Jose Altuve expressed his defiance stating 'Astros will be in the World Series again'.
Alex Bregman on sign-stealing saga: “The Commissioner came out with a report, MLB did their report and the Astros did what they did. They made their decision on what they’re going to do.”— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) January 18, 2020
More from Bregman in this video: pic.twitter.com/dKIfVFROFS
However, during a media session, Jim Crane revealed that the team plans to get together during the spring training and issue an official apology. Crane added that the entire team is currently split up. Crane says players will first formulate an apology together then address the media on the scandals. He concluded that his side is willing to apologise and move forward for the 2020 MLB season.
Astros using cameras to steal signs, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/rncm6qzXxw— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) November 12, 2019
In 2017, Houston Astros beat Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series in 7 games. However, multiple reports released in late-2019 revealed that Astros used a camera positioned in the centre field to steal signs during games. A team member would then watch the feed and pass on the opponents' sign to the hitter. MLB's investigation revealed that Astros developed a player-driven system using illegal electronics to decode signs during the game. Reports state Astros used the illegal means in 2017 and 2018.
Along with a $5 million fine, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were handed 1-year suspensions. They were subsequently fired by the Astros. Former assistant GM Brandon Taubman was also suspended for one year. However, MLB decided against handing out penalties to the Astros players.
Alex Cora, who was the Astros' bench coach in 2017 was fired by Boston Red Sox. Carlos Beltran, who was with the Astros in 2017, also parted ways with New York Mets.