Members of the Los Angeles Angels addressed the media at Spring Training for the first time on Monday, which meant former National Anthony Rendon had his first opportunity to address the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal.
As previously reported by the Washington Post, Rendon confirmed that the Nationals were aware of the Astros’ tactics ahead of the World Series. The Houston native said Washington had a sense of what every team was doing, but what the Astros were doing "stung a little bit different.”
"We were aware of it,” Rendon said. “We were aware of it throughout the entirety of the playoffs. We kind of have a sense of what teams were doing what, and so we can kind of just get a feel of what they might be doing."
Rendon, of course, played a major role throughout the regular season and playoffs as the Nationals battled to secure their first World Series title in franchise history. Coming off his best career season, he then signed a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Angels as a free agent this offseason.
The past year has been quite the ride for Rendon, which perhaps is why he was also more forgiving of the Astros than others around baseball. Rendon said he hasn’t lost respect for the team, though “you can definitely view them differently.”
“Everyone’s quick to hammer them down and just kill them,” Rendon said. “But at the end of the day, we’ve got to look at ourselves in the mirror, and we’re not perfect people. Whether it’s a speeding ticket or whatever it might be, some of us are trying to get an edge some way or another in life. They happened to get caught for doing it. You can forgive them, but doesn’t mean you have to forget.”
Rendon's new teammate and the best player in baseball, Mike Trout, was not as forgiving. He thought there should have been more punishment for the Astros, a team the Angels face often as AL West division foes.
"It's sad for baseball," Trout said. "It's tough. They cheated. I don't agree with the punishments, the players not getting anything. It was a player-driven thing. It sucks, too, because guys' careers have been affected, a lot of people lost jobs. It was tough. Me going up to the plate knowing what was coming -- it would be pretty fun up there."
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