Cody Bellinger Slams Astros' 'Weak' Cheating Punishment; 'They Stole the Ring'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2020

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 13:  Alex Bregman #2 and Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros look on as owner Jim Crane reads a prepared statement during a press conference at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 13, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers star Cody Bellinger vented his frustration about the Houston Astros' attempt to apologize for their cheating scandal and Major League Baseball's lack of discipline for the players involved in the scheme. 

Speaking to reporters Friday (via Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times), Bellinger called Astros owner Jim Crane "weak" for his response yesterday and had thoughts about the organization, Jose Altuve and Rob Manfred. 

"I thought Manfred's punishment was weak, giving them immunity," he said. "I mean these guys were cheating for three years. I think what people don't realize is Altuve stole an MVP from [Aaron] Judge in '17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us."

Crane, Altuve, Alex Bregman and manager Dusty Baker had a formal press conference Thursday as the team reported to spring training. 

Altuve and Bregman issued statement apologies for the past actions of the team before concluding with wanting to look ahead to the upcoming season. 

In a written statement, Crane told reporters he was apologizing "because we broke the rules." When pressed later on, he contradicted himself by initially saying the cheating didn't impact the game, then less than one minute later saying, "I didn't say it didn't impact the game."   

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Per MLB's official report, the Astros' illegal sign-stealing system during the 2017 season was mostly player-driven, with former bench coach Alex Cora involved in the setup. 

Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal reported MLB granted Astros players immunity from discipline in part because the league thought it would lose potential grievance hearings since the organization never showed players Manfred's memo sent to all 30 teams about stealing signs illegally in 2017. 

Bellinger was a rookie for the Dodgers in 2017 when they lost the World Series to Houston in seven games.