The Houston Astros held a press conference on Thursday to finally address cheating their way to a World Series title in 2017, and to say it did not go well would be an enormous understatement.
Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve expressed remorse over their roles in the sign-stealing scandal by issuing very brief statements. They took no questions but did speak with reporters in the locker room after. The real highlight of the media event, however, was when Jim Crane spoke. The Astros initially told reporters he does not believe the elaborate sign-stealing scheme had any impact on the outcome of games. Crane then immediately flip-flopped.
"Our opinion is that this didn't impact the game." – Jim Crane
"I didn't say it didn't impact the game." – Jim Crane 55 seconds later pic.twitter.com/MnpPeeTUPL
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) February 13, 2020
When pressed with several follow-up questions, Crane reluctantly admitted that it would be possible for batters knowing which pitch was coming to have an impact on the outcome of a game.
.@MarlyRiveraESPN Isn’t sign-stealing a distinct advantage for the hitter? So doesn’t it automatically impact competition?
Jim Crane: "It could possibly do that, it could possibly not."
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) February 13, 2020
As you might expect, Crane’s comments did not go over well. He was ripped and ridiculed by people all over the sports world, including some current MLB players.
Aroldis Chapman responds to Jim Crane's comments that the Astros stealing signs didn't have an impact on the game:
"I disagree with that…when you have an advantage like that, it's definitely going to make you a stronger team" pic.twitter.com/6YW3Q6jVFr
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) February 13, 2020
Let us know what pitches are coming and let’s just see how much it “doesn’t impact the game”
— June Calhoun (@11WillieCalhoun) February 13, 2020
Didn’t impact the game lol
— Michael Hermosillo (@mhermosillo10) February 13, 2020
Right…they did it because trash can acoustics are good for the soul.
Yes, they had a good team. But of course it impacted the game. If it didn’t impact the game, why continue it? Don’t play the public for fools. Just apologize, be accountable, and move forward. https://t.co/Hf7iFL7FRz
— Michael Young (@MikeyY626) February 13, 2020
Crane says that he doesn't think the sign-stealing impacted the game. "We won the World Series and we'll leave it at that."
Why would the players have done it, if it had no impact? And if it had no impact, what are they apologizing for?
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 13, 2020
The Astros PR department should be fired over this joke of a press conference
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) February 13, 2020
Jim Crane: "This didn't impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series."
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) February 13, 2020
The Astros would have been better off saying nothing at all and moving on to the 2020 season. Their press conference was cringeworthy on so many levels, especially if you heard Bregman’s initial thoughts on the scandal a month ago. Crane claiming the cheating had no impact on games was truly surreal.
You'll receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams.
Emailed daily. Always FREE!