From the moment Major League Baseball confirmed the 2017 Houston Astros team had cheated on the way to winning the World Series, fans have wondered what members of that team would say about their actions. Were they remorseful, or defiant? Would they claim ignorance, or say that it wasn’t that big of a deal?
In the month since Commissioner Rob Manfred issued his report on the sign-stealing scheme, those on that team have begun sharing their thoughts. Some have denied involvement with or knowledge of the team’s illegal sign-stealing operation, some have avoided discussing it altogether and some have expressed remorse.
The scheme — in which Astros players used a video feed to decode pitching signs from opposing catchers, then communicated them to their teammates with methods that included banging a trash can — resulted in the suspensions and subsequent firings of Jeff Luhnow, the Astros’ general manager, and A.J. Hinch, the manager.
Two other managers lost their jobs their roles in the scheme: Alex Cora, the Boston Red Sox manager who was an Astros bench coach in 2017; and Carlos Beltran, the Mets manager who was a designated hitter for the Astros. Beltran was named as a primary instigator of the scheme in the commissioner’s report.
Players on that 2017 team, however, were granted immunity from punishment by M.L.B. in exchange for cooperating with the investigation. With no formal punishments, it is up to them to decide how to address their roles with the public.
Houston’s pitchers and catchers reported to spring training on Wednesday, and those remaining from the 2017 team are expected to address their role in the cheating scheme soon. Here is a look at the public comments that have been made so far by players, coaches and officials from the 2017 Astros.
Jeff Luhnow, former general manager
“The trash-can banging was driven and executed by players, and the video decoding of signs originated and was executed by lower-level employees working with the bench coach.”
Alex Cora, former bench coach
“I do not want to be a distraction to the Red Sox as they move forward. My two years as manager were the best years of my life.”
Jose Altuve, second baseman