Sportress of Blogitude

Owner Jim Crane: Astros ‘own’ fallout from sign-stealing scandal

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane sidestepped providing a direct response when asked by the media Wednesday about Major League Baseball’s investigation into sign-stealing allegations involving the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Instead, Crane focused on how the Astros “own” their role in baseball’s sign-stealing controversies over the past few seasons, and will continue to do so.

“I can speak for the Astros. I’m not doing the investigations, and I’m not in the courthouse, and I don’t want to be,” Crane said. “But listen, we broke the rules. We got punished. You know, we accepted the punishment. We did what we did. We let two of our key guys go. We think we’ve handled it appropriately. I’m not happy about the whole situation, but we gotta accept what we did. We own it.” 

The Astros did in fact cut ties with manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow following the conclusion of MLB’s investigation, a move Crane said made for “very difficult day.” The Astros were also fined $5 million and stripped of first- and second-round draft picks in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Despite Crane’s insistence that the Astros “own” their role in the scandal and handled the fallout “appropriately,” it merits noting that he ignited a firestorm in February by suggesting the Astros’ cheating “didn’t impact the game” before quickly stating that it was “hard to determine” the extent it may have had.

Some Astros players have been similarly defiant as the organization faced a nearly universal backlash over the scandal before spring training was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The lengthy layoff from baseball obviously has quieted the vitriol directed at the Astros for the most part. What’s more, with games being played in empty ballparks during the abbreviated 60-game campaign, rival fans won’t be able to troll the Astros this summer.

There’s always next year, perhaps.