Saturday, 29 Feb 2020

Rick Zamperin: Houston Astros will continue to pay for sign-stealing scandal

If the Houston Astros think the furor over their sign-stealing scandal is going away now that Spring Training has arrived, they have another think coming.

As Astros players gathered in West Palm Beach, Florida Thursday to get ready for the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season many of the club’s marquee players were paraded before the media and spoke about being “sorry” for what happened in 2017.

Star shortstop Carlos Correa highlighted the proceedings by saying what the team did two seasons ago was “wrong.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred handed one-year suspensions to Astros manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow, who were subsequently fired by the team, after an investigation revealed that Houston used a video camera to decode the opposing catcher’s signs to his pitcher and then relayed that information to their teammate in the batter’s box by banging on a trash can.

At one point on Thursday, Astros owner Jim Crane muddied the waters when he said “our opinion is that this didn’t impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series.”

Crane then tried to backtrack by saying “it’s hard to determine how it impacted the game, if it impacted the game.”

The penalties have been handed out, the players — none of whom will be penalized by MLB — have apologized and the season will begin soon enough, but the Astros players are not going to get off scot-free.

Fans around the majors will be constantly reminding the Astros of their tainted World Series title in 2017 whenever Houston hits the road, many of whom will likely express their views with creative signs and thunderous boos.

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