Report: Astros Owner Jim Crane to Discuss Handling of Cheating Scandal with Team

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2020

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane is seen during batting practice before Game 5 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane reportedly will meet with the team Wednesday to "discuss the team's strategy for publicly addressing the sign-stealing scandal that has rocked the franchise all offseason," according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Astros position players are expected to fly out to spring training a day early for the strategy session.

Crane has previously said that the Astros would apologize for the sign-stealing scandal that has been the dominant storyline in baseball this offseason and led to the team firing former manager A.J. Hinch and former general manager Jeff Luhnow.

"When we get down to spring training, we'll all get them together and they'll come out with a strong statement as a team and, I think, apologize for what happened and we'll move forward," he said in late January, per Madeline Holcombe and Wayne Sterling of CNN.com.

"We're going to sit in a room and talk about it, then we'll come out and address the press," he added. "All of them will address the press, either as a group or individually. Quite frankly, we'll apologize for what happened, ask for forgiveness and move forward."

While Houston stars Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman haven't apologized for the cheating scandal, Marwin Gonzalez did Tuesday.

"I'm remorseful for everything that happened in 2017, for everything that we did as a group and for the players that were affected directly by us doing this," he said, per Betsy Helfand of the Pioneer Press.

Former Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel has also apologized.

"I think first and foremost, apologies should be in order ... for everyone on the team," he said in late January, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN. "When the stuff was going on, it was never intended to be what it's made to be right now."

The Astros haven't been the only organization affected by the scandal. The Boston Red Sox fired manager Alex Cora and the New York Mets fired manager Carlos Beltran after they were also found to have contributed to sign-stealing schemes.

Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported Tuesday that "Beltran, along with former bench coach Alex Cora, became a driving force behind the trash-can banging system that marked a culmination of the Astros' use of electronics to steal signs illegally."

Beltran reportedly was asked to stop stealing signs by veteran catcher Brian McCann during the 2017 season and continued anyway.

"He disregarded it and steamrolled everybody," one of the players on that team told Rosenthal and Drellich. "Where do you go if you're a young, impressionable player with the Astros and this guy says, 'We're doing this?' What do you do?"

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