WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Howie Kendrick has no sympathy for the Houston Astros.
Asked on Tuesday morning if he -- a veteran about to play his 15th season -- was concerned about how Houston’s scandal reflected on baseball at large, Kendrick explained his view in simple and direct terms. He also expressed his displeasure with Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred’s handling of the situation.
“It doesn’t put baseball in a good light, and the Commissioner really hasn’t done a great job of trying to defuse the situation, honestly,” Kendrick said. “But if you cheat, you cheat. There’s no fairness in that. Obviously you have a choice. You either choose to do it, or you don’t. And obviously they chose to do it, and they should have to live with those consequences. Nobody’s going to have any remorse for you.
“And going out and putting out public service announcements and things like that, I don’t think that’s really cool. You got caught doing something. I think you should just be quiet, go about your business and let your play talk. If you weren’t doing it, and you’re honest that you weren’t doing it. We’ll find out this season. They’ve got a lot of really good players, and obviously they win without doing a lot of that stuff. The fact they actually got caught doing it, it just makes them look that much worse.”
Responses in the Nationals’ clubhouse have varied. Some players, like Starlin Castro, chose not to comment on the Astros’ situation. Ryan Zimmerman reiterated his concern about the integrity of the game being questioned. Max Scherzer advised reporters to walk down the hall and ask the Astros questions about their cheating. Sean Doolittle worried about what jobs may have been lost because of the cheating.
Kendrick was also asked if the 2017 title should be taken from the Astros.
“I haven’t really thought about it that much. I’ve heard a lot of guys say they should take it away, let them keep their rings and stuff like that. That’s not my job. That’s the commissioner’s job. But with all the details out there, obviously it went from the top to bottom. As a player, some of those guys probably didn’t want to do it. But who do you go to at that point? You either follow along, even if you don’t agree with it, because you really don’t have an avenue to go to. I do believe there were guys that didn’t want to do it, but what are you going to do about it when 90 percent of the people were doing it. That’s all I got to say about that.”
With that, Kendrick was done and subjected to jabs from his teammates for his Forrest Gump-esque closing remark. No matter the end, he can be added to the list of those irritated with the Astros, and the commissioner.
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