The Astros Press Conference was a Joke

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Thursday morning, the Houston Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane, new manager Dusty Baker, infielder Jose Altuve and infielder Alex Bregman made statements and apologies regarding the 2017 sign stealing scandal that has rocked baseball. 
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The four men representing the Astros read prepared PR statements versus being completely transparent with reporters and more importantly fans of the sport.

How do the Astros actually screw this up?  They had plenty of time to plan this out, plenty of time to prepare and begin the public rehabilitation the organization needs.  Instead the Astros just sounded so insincere it was downright disgusting. 

Now, I will say Baker is the only one of the three that deserves a pass because he was not with the organization for any of the sign stealing scandal. 

Crane made it perfectly clear that this type of scandal will never happen again under his watch.  While that is all well and good, today was the day the Astros organization could clear the air, take accountability and ownership and finally begin to move on and truly focus on 2020 and baseball. 

But the Astros owner doesn’t get a free pass.  While he faced the music for what his organization did, he came across as at times arrogant, smug and had to backtrack a couple of times. 

“Our opinion is this didn’t impact the game,” Crane said when asked about the effect of the team’s illegal sign stealing in 2017.  “We had a good team.  We won the World Series, and we’ll leave it at that.”

Wait, what?  This dude literally was serious as he sat there and responded with that comment.  Then moments later, he was asked again and completely changed his answer by saying,  “I didn’t say it didn’t impact the game.”
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Whoever handles the public relations department for the Astros needs to be fired.  They did the Astros no favors. 

Now this leads me to the players.  Both Altuve and Bregman took the podium.  They both did what they were told, but that wasn’t enough. 

I am disappointed in the statements from the players.  I will start by saying that I am a huge Alex Bregman fan.  I like the way he conducts himself as a player, his cockiness, he’s talented and I wish he was on the Red Sox.  I am disappointed in Bregman. 

Bregman is a huge personality in baseball, never afraid to speak his mind and is truly transparent and interactive with his fans through social media.  Today Bregman had the opportunity to say he was sorry, not because someone from the PR department said so, but from the heart.  Bregman and Altuve read off a script and and roughly 90 seconds later, they were gone and back into the club house. 

Here is what Bregman had to say, "I'm really sorry about the choices that were made by my team by the organization and by me," Bregman said in a press conference at the team's spring training facility in West Palm Beach, Florida.  "I've learned from this and I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans.  I'd also like to thank the Astros fans for all of their support.  We as a team are totally focused on moving forward to the 2020 season.  Thank you."

The only part of the Bregman statement that I was fine with was the part that they need to “regain the trust” of baseball fans. 

The press conference was a joke, it was embarrassing for the Astros and Major League Baseball alike. 

I fully understand that not everyone will be happy with what the Astros will say or do for surrounding this scandal.  But this club had a golden opportunity to change the course of public opinion and whiffed. 

Bregman had a chance to move forward and he whiffed.  The second biggest whiff in his career to go along with the fastball Red Sox Nathan Eovaldi blew by him in the 2018 ALCS. 

Altuve had an opportunity to tell the world he didn’t use a buzzer under his jersey.  He had the platform to answer why he needed to change his shirt after the home run off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. 

After the press conference, the Astros were interviewed in the clubhouse.  The interviews in the club house is how the press conference should have went. 

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa spoke and it felt more organic than Bregman and Altuve. 

“I don’t want my kids, my brother, my family members, people who follow me to think that was right.  To cheat to be successful is not right,” Correa said.  “What we can do now as players is focus on what we can control from now on, and make sure we show everybody we’re good players, the kind of players who work hard every single day.  That what we did in ’17 was terrible.  We all know it.  We feel really bad about it.  But moving forward, we want to show everyone that we’re talented and that we can the game.”

George Springer should have been the player in front of the microphone.  Springer sounded the most heartfelt, sincere and could have helped alleviate some of this backlash. 

"I feel horrible for our sport, our game, you know, our fans, our city, our organization — just fans in general," Springer said.  "I regret everything.”

"The amount of remorse and regret was very, very obvious to us in this room” said Springer. 

These men are human beings, everyone makes mistakes.  They’re also adults, they know right from wrong.  If everyone knew what was going on why didn’t anyone do anything about it? 

They didn’t because they were winning.  Winning meant more than integrity.  These players have to live with this for the remainder of their lives.  The story will eventually die down but will arguably have to answer this from time to time. 

As we await for the findings from the commissioners office regarding the Red Sox, the Astros are a broken team and a mess right now.  All they can do from here is come together and play baseball. 

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Boston Sports Syndicate: The Astros Press Conference was a Joke
The Astros Press Conference was a Joke
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