Chicago White Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel was a member of the 2017 Houston Astros and stressed that the team "earned the right" to be World Series champions even with the sign-stealing scandal that has dominated headlines this offseason.
"I'm just one dude. I guess it's ultimately up to the individual," told reporters. "We're always going to be World Series champs because we were talented, and to me, we earned the right to be World Series champs."
He also pointed out: "Just because stuff came out about the 2017 Astros doesn't mean other teams weren't doing illegal stuff. It just means we were the ones that were caught."
Keuchel already offered an apology when he spoke to reporters in January but said he "doesn't necessarily think so" when asked if he also needs to apologize or explain himself to his new White Sox teammates.
Astros owner Jim Crane, new manager Dusty Baker and players Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman all spoke to the media during a press conference Thursday, offering apologies.
Keuchel's assessment that the Astros still earned the right to call themselves World Series champions may not play well with fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers lost the 2017 Fall Classic to the Astros and 2018 World Series to the Boston Red Sox, who are also under investigation for electronic sign-stealing.
For his part, the southpaw finished with a 2.90 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 125 strikeouts in 145.2 innings during the 2017 campaign. He also appeared in five postseason games during the championship run and posted a 3.58 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.
Keuchel signed a three-year, $55.5 million contract with the White Sox this offseason after pitching for the Atlanta Braves in 2019.