Former Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel apologized Friday for the sign-stealing scheme that Houston used during his time with the team, but he also hinted there were other guilty teams and confirmed some of his former teammates are unhappy with right-hander Mike Fiers for exposing the franchise.
“It’s just what the state of baseball was at that point in time,” Keuchel, now with the White Sox, told reporters at his new team’s FanFest. “Was it against the rules? Yes, it was. And I personally am sorry for what’s come about the whole situation.”
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Keuchel was with Houston from 2012-18, meaning he was with the Astros during the 2017 and ’18 seasons in which they used a center-field camera to steal signs from opposing catchers and relay the intel to batters by hitting a trash can.
Offering some caveats for his apology, though, Keuchel pointed out that it was “not like every game we had it going on” and implied the Astros weren’t the only team stealing signs, despite not offering much proof to back up that claim.
“The other side of the equation is, ‘Hey, I know these teams are using multiple signs. What are they doing those for?'” Keuchel said, per Houston television station KRIV. “It just happened to come out with the Astros. There’s a lot of people that are sorry in that organization, including myself, for what happened.”
Houston infielders Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman didn’t apologize while meeting with reporters at Astros FanFest last week, and Altuve’s agent, Scott Boras, told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal this week he didn’t feel players should offer an apology despite MLB saying in a report that the scheme was “player-driven.”
“Coaches and managers encouraged [them] to use the information. It is not coming from the player individually. It is coming from the team,” Boras told Rosenthal. “The reality of it is that the apology [should come] from the people who had notice, not from the people who didn’t have notice.”
Astros owner Jim Crane told reporters Tuesday that players will make an apology at spring training.
The scandal began in November when Fiers, who pitched for the Astros from 2015-17, told The Athletic about the scheme. MLB subsequently launched an investigation, which led to Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch, Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Mets manager Carlos Beltran losing their jobs.
Unsurprisingly, Fiers’ role didn’t sit well with his former Houston teammates, Keuchel said, per the Chicago Sun-Times.
“For most of us, the human element’s real,” he said, “and a lot of guys are not happy that Mike came out and said something, or the fact that this even happened.”
Keuchel continued, per KRIV: “It sucks to the extent of, the clubhouse rule was broken. And that’s where I’ll go with that.”
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