Astros' Jim Crane on Cheating Scandal: 'We Took the Penalty, and We’re Past That Now'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVOctober 23, 2021

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane speaks during a news conference before the start of the first official spring training baseball practice for the team Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) ;

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane is moving on from the cheating scandal that rocked his franchise last year.

According to Gabe Lacques of USA Today, Crane is no longer focused on the past, as he said the following Friday after Houston beat the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series to advance to the World Series: "We got it pinned on us, we owned it, we took the penalty, and we're past that now."

Last year, it was determined that the Astros used illegal methods to steal signs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, leading to multiple punishments from Major League Baseball.

The Astros were fined and forced to forfeit draft picks, while manager A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were suspended for the entire 2020 season. The Astros fired both and replaced them with Dusty Baker and James Click, respectively.

Houston won its first World Series in franchise history in 2017, but the narrative since then has been that the title is tainted because of the violations unearthed by MLB.

While there may be some merit to that school of thought, it is difficult to ignore the success the Astros have continued to enjoy since then.

Houston reached the ALCS in both 2018 and 2020, and it made it all the way to the World Series in 2019 where it lost to the Washington Nationals.

Crane has been outspoken about the idea that the Astros weren't the only team illegally stealing the signs. In fact, the Red Sox were disciplined for sign stealing stemming from the 2018 season as well.

Boston was docked a draft pick, and a replay operator was suspended for the entire 2020 season as a result.

Oakland Athletics pitcher Chris Bassitt appeared on Jomboy Media's The Chris Rose Rotation this week and expressed his belief that the Astros were far from the only team at fault:

Jomboy Media @JomboyMedia

Athletics pitcher Chris Bassitt says on the <a href="https://twitter.com/RoseRotation?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RoseRotation</a> a lot of teams were cheating, not just the Astros <br><br>"Jomboy and the internet had to shove the proof into MLB's face before they did anything." <a href="https://t.co/uzYMKS7i7B">pic.twitter.com/uzYMKS7i7B</a>

Bassitt noted that the A's "knew" the Astros were cheating, but added: "Houston was not the only team doing stuff. Like, there was a lot of people doing stuff. It was just...I mean, fortunately, but unfortunately only one team essentially got caught doing it or was the guinea pig of it to like clean the whole entire league up."

Crane responded to Bassitt's comments Friday, saying: "He said we weren't the only team doing it. ... I think we proved that tonight, and we're proud of the guys, and they’re great players who win championships."

Now, the Astros are going back to the World Series for the third time in the past five years, and they have a chance to silence their critics by winning a championship without any suspicion of cheating.