Scott Boras Says Astros Players Shouldn't Apologize for Sign-Stealing Scandal

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2020

Agent Scott Boras listens as Gerrit Cole is introduced as the newest New York Yankees player during a baseball media availability, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in New York. The pitcher agreed to a 9-year $324 million contract. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

Agent Scott Boras doesn't believe Houston Astros players have any reason to apologize for their roles in the team's cheating scandal. 

Speaking to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Boras explained it was the organization that put the players in a position to game the system for an advantage.

"I'm doing what my organization is telling me to do," he said. "You installed this. You put this in front of us. Coaches and managers encourage you to use the information. It is not coming from the player individually. It is coming from the team. In my stadium. Installed. With authority.”

Boras also noted that Astros players "were not given the latest state of the rules" by Major League Baseball and the team pertaining to the use of technology and what constitutes a rules violation. 

"To suggest players violated rules that were withheld from them is a false incrimination of players," he said.

In September 2017, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred fined the Boston Red Sox an undisclosed amount for use of an Apple Watch during a game against the New York Yankees:

"At the outset, it is important to understand that the attempt to decode signs being used by an opposing catcher is not a violation of any Major League Baseball Rule or Regulation.  Major League Baseball Regulations do, however, prohibit the use of electronic equipment during games and state that no such equipment 'may be used for the purpose of stealing signs or conveying information designed to give a Club an advantage.' Despite this clear Regulation, the prevalence of technology, especially the technology used in the replay process, has made it increasingly difficult to monitor appropriate and inappropriate uses of electronic equipment."

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When MLB announced findings from its investigation into the Astros' cheating scandal earlier this month, it was determined the team used an illegal camera feed set up in their replay room to steal signs throughout the entire 2017 season and part of the 2018 season. 

The investigation also determined that "most" of the players from the 2017 team were involved in developing and executing the scheme. 

Per Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal, MLB granted Astros players immunity from suspension in exchange for being forthright with the investigation about their cheating.

Houston owner Jim Crane fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for their role in the scheme. MLB fined the organization $5 million, docked its first- and second-round picks for the next two drafts, and suspended Hinch and Luhnow for one year prior to their dismissal. 

Boras represents Astros players Jose Altuve, Aaron Sanchez and Lance McCullers Jr.