Cubs 3B Kris Bryant Calls Astros' Sign Stealing Scandal 'Worse Than Steroids'February 15, 2020
Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant said Saturday the Houston Astros players who took part in the club's sign-stealing scheme "absolutely" should have received punishments from MLB.
"I think it's worse than steroids," he told reporters.
Bryant also argued the $5 million fine handed down to the Astros, which is the maximum allowable under the league's constitution, was "weak" and easily made up through beer sales.
All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran was the only Houston player mentioned by name in MLB's report about the 2017 sign-stealing investigation. Although he wasn't punished, his tenure as New York Mets manager ended after less than three months as the scandal led him to mutually part ways with the club.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch each received a one-year suspension and were later fired by the organization, and the team also forfeited its first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 MLB drafts.
The league also launched an investigation into the Boston Red Sox based on allegations the club illegally used its video-replay room to decode opponents' signs, which were detailed in a report by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic.
Alex Cora, the Astros' bench coach in 2017 and Red Sox manager in 2018, also parted ways with Boston following the publication of the league investigation's findings.
Although the initial reaction to the scandals was minimal during the offseason, Bryant joined a growing group of opposing players and executives who've started to speak out with Spring Training now underway for the 2020 season.
"They are hypocrites, they are cheaters, they've stolen from a lot of other people and the game itself was completely unfair," Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer told reporters Friday. "You guys think you are better than everyone and you don't have to abide by the rules? F--k you. You know? That's how I feel about their whole operation."
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger added: "Those guys were cheating for three years. I think what people don't realize is [Jose] Altuve stole an MVP from [Aaron] Judge in 2017. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us. But it's over."
Astros owner Jim Crane and the team's players received widespread criticism for their apologies Thursday.