The Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal has rocked MLB and left a dark shadow over the league during offseason. Up until this point, despite a fired general manager and on-field manager, the players at the root of the scandal have remained silent on the subject and avoided questions from the media.
That will all change in Spring Training as the Astros players plan to make "a strong statement as a team," according to Astros' owner Jim Crane.
"When we get down to Spring Training, we'll all get them together and they'll come out with a strong statement as a team and apologize for what happened and we'll move forward," Crane said in a media scrum.
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
Over the weekend the team held their annual winter FanFest where several players had to face the music as many players met with the media for the first time. Jose Altuve, who is one of the players who allegedly benefited from the sign-stealing, dodged the question as best he could. The Astros shortstop's comments coincide with Crane's, saying “I think the time to comment about that will come. It’s a little early for me to say something about it.”
Outside of their FanFest event, there is little that has come out of the clubhouse. Their owner acknowledged the lack of communication from the players and said the players were advised to stay out of the conversation.
"The players have been beaten up a little bit and they've been all spread out. They've just kinda getting [sic] advice to take it easy."
Already Spring Training in West Palm Beach is going to be awkward between the two teams that made the World Series last season. The Nationals, who won the World Series whether or not the Astros used their system to gain an advantage, have their facilities next door to Houston's.
And if the Astros sign former Nationals' manager Dusty Baker to the same position in wake of A.J. Hinch's firing, there will be even more tense situations at Spring Training this year.
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