Everything revolving around the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal has been a disaster.
So, naturally, their apology tour was absolutely bungled on Thursday afternoon down in West Palm Beach.
It included two 90-second remarks from stars Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman before owner Jim Crane poured three gallons of gasoline on the dumpster fire.
“I am really sorry about the choices that were made by my team, by the organization, and by me,” Bregman said. “I’ve learned from this and I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans.”
“I want to say that the whole Astros organization and the team feel bad about what happened in 2017,” Altuve said. “We feel remorse for the impact on our fans and the game of baseball.”
While the apologies echoed the notion that they were sorry for being caught rather than their actions, Crane took the cake for tone-deaf comment of the day.
“Our opinion is that this didn’t impact the game,” Crane said, before trying to play damage control less than a minute later by claiming he never said that.
It’s a ridiculous comment to make considering the premise of the scandal.
The Astros illegally used a camera in center field at Minute Maid Park to relay the opposing catcher’s sign to a TV monitor just inside the dugout tunnel leading toward the clubhouse.
An attendant would then bang on a garbage can to alert the batter on what pitch was coming.
It just so happened that this was the same season in which the Astros won their first (and only) World Series title in franchise history, defeating the Yankees in the ALCS along the way.
“We had a good team. We won the World Series,” Crane said. “We’ll leave it at that.”
Nothing like rubbing Major League Baseball’s face in the fact that you cheated to win.
The only Astros player who had the actual sense to step up and tell it like it is was Carlos Correa, who had the best statistical season of his five-year career in 2017.
“It was definitely an advantage,” Correa said. “I’m not going to lie to you. Knowing what was coming, you get a slight edge. And that’s why people got suspended and people got fired because it’s not right to do that.”
Major League Baseball fined the Astros $5 million and took away the organization’s first and second-round draft picks for the next two seasons.
They also suspended manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow for one year but they were quickly fired by Crane.
The fallout from MLB’s punishment also led to the dismissals of Alex Cora as Boston Red Sox manager and Carlos Beltran after two months of leading the Mets.
Veteran skipper Dusty Baker has since been hired to lead the Astros through a 2020 season in which they will have the largest target painted upon their backs.