Marwin Gonzalez Apologizes for Astros' Sign-Stealing Scandal: 'I Feel Regret'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - OCTOBER 07: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Minnesota Twins looks on during batting practice prior to game three of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees at Target Field on October 07, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Former Houston Astros super-utility player Marwin Gonzalez issued an apology Tuesday for the club's sign-stealing scandal.

"I feel regret and am remorseful," said Gonzalez, who now plays for the Minnesota Twins, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

He also said it's impossible to know if the Astros would have won the World Series in 2017 without stealing signs, according to Nightengale.

Gonzalez, 30, spent the first seven years of his MLB career with the Astros, from 2012 through 2018.

Houston was fined $5 million, the maximum amount allowed by the league's constitution, and lost its first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts as part of MLB's punishment. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch each received one-year suspensions and then were fired by the organization.

The investigation into the sign-stealing scheme started after former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers talked about its existence to Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic.

"That's not playing the game the right way," Fiers said. "They were advanced and willing to go above and beyond to win."

Further reporting by Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal released Friday revealed the sign-stealing process was aided by a computer program named "Codebreaker" and was in place for the entire 2017 season, which ended with Houston winning the World Series, and part of the 2018 campaign.

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The Astros also used the system on the road, not only at their home stadium, Minute Maid Park, per Diamond.

Houston's system involved using a center field camera to help decode signs, which were then relayed to hitters by making loud noises, such as banging on a trash can in the tunnel from the dugout to the clubhouse.

Though it's tough to make definitive judgments about how the system affected players' performances, it's worth noting Gonzalez posted a career-high .907 OPS in 2017. His next-highest OPS is .759 in 2015. His 23 home runs in 2017 are also seven more than he's hit in any other season.

Meanwhile, MLB is actively investigating the Boston Red Sox for the alleged illegal use of their video room to obtain opponents' signs during the 2018 season. Like the Astros, they won the World Series during the main season being probed.

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