Tampa Bay Rays’ fans and the rest of the baseball world sat on the edge of their seats as the Astros held their first press conference of the spring to address the scandal.
The Tampa Bay Rays are among many teams who feel cheated by the outbreak of sign-stealing schemes in the major leagues. The 2017 Astros won the World Series. Their sign-stealing apprentice, Alex Cora, took over the Rays’ division rivals Boston Red Sox and led them to a World Series the next year.
While the fans and players alike have been outspoken in their hatred for the over-the-top use of technology to steal signs, Trevor Bauer has been relentless. He has compared them to the Black Sox and compared the scandal to the steroid era.
Here are some important notes from the press conference:
Crane apologized on behalf of the Astros organization, “We don’t endorse the actions that took place and we apologize.”
"“We’ve had a lot of time to process all of this and the range of emotions has been huge. Mad, frustrated, disappointed.”"
"“I can tell you as a hitter, if I know something is coming I’m going to have a higher percentage of being more successful,”"
A reporter asked, “what do you have to say to the Yankees and teams you beat in 2017?”
Crane raised some eyebrows (well, mine were raised) with his response, “Our opinion is this didn’t impact the game, we had a good team, we won the World Series and we’ll leave it at that.”
If the cheating didn’t affect the game, then why are you apologizing? Luckily a reporter followed up by asking how it didn’t impact the game.
Crane responded, “I didn’t say that it didn’t impact the game.”
What? Well if it didn’t actually impact the game then what’s the big deal? Read me the minutes, you just said it didn’t impact the game! What is going on here?
When asked about the alleged use of a buzzer system, Crane took a firm stance against the rumors.
“I truly believe there was no buzzers, ever.”
Crane was posed with a great question regarding his culpability compared to the leaders he fired. If AJ Hinch and Jeffrey Luhnow were suspended and then terminated by Crane for being in charge while the cheating was taking place, should Crane also be punished since he hired those two guys? Should Crane also be held accountable as a leader of the organization?
Crane responded by clarifying that he fired the two guys that were in charge…that he was in charge of. Despite being in charge of those guys, they were more in charge of the people that cheated, so…
“Clearly the report states that I didn’t know about it. No, I don’t think I should be held accountable.”
And why should you?
“If I’d have known about it I’d have done something about it.”
A reporter pointed out that sign-stealing is an advantage to the hitter (which Gary Sanchez agrees with), so how did it not impact competition? She asked, If it’s not impacting competition “then what are you apologizing for?” Thank you!
Crane responded, “We’re apologizing because we broke the rules.”
AKA, we got caught and Trevor Bauer (and the rest of the world) is mad at us.
The reporter followed up, “But if it is a distinct advantage for the hitter then doesn’t it automatically impact competition?”
Crane, looking ready for a nap replied, “It could possibly do that, it could possibly not.”
Is two plus two four? Maybe-Maybe not. And that was the end of the press conference.
We look forward to Trevor Bauer’s response.
Pitchers and catchers report today!