Over the weekend, the Astros held an ill-timed annual FanFest at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The event offered an opportunity for the team — players in particular — to show some remorse for the revelation that they were, in fact, stealing signs during their 2017 championship season.
Even worse, All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve doubled down by proclaiming that the club will be right back in the World Series this year.
Bold strategy when afforded the opportunity to man up and apologize to baseball, to peers on teams they cheated out along the way… and to apologize to their fans for this ugly stain on the biggest accomplishment the organization had its 55 seasons up to that point.
With all that said, fans of the team have also been afforded ample opportunity to show remorse/disappointment/disdain for their club after learning that they were cheating. And commendably some have taken that route.
Much respect to this A*tros fan for a thoughtful and honest commentary on the sign stealing scandal. pic.twitter.com/dr5HYoBDss
— Clint Pasillas (FRG) (@realFRG) January 21, 2020
However, most feel ready to move on from it all and look to the future. Easy to do (and understandable, to be honest) when your club lost none of its players and still has a recent title to their name.
Back at Astros FanFest, fans that spoke with local news at the event expanded on that thought.
It’s obviously disappointing to hear that, but we’ve just got to move on and hopefully this year will determine a lot and see how this team reacts.
Where it gets questionable for fans of honest baseball is one fan’s statement that the Houston ballclub has “suffered enough.”
I think they’ve suffered enough with the penalties and losing the coaches. I think that’s enough. I think it was more than enough. I think we’re being made an example out of.
Reminder that MLB’s punishment affected no players that participated in the act of cheating.
Still, the general consensus of baseball circles feel that the Astros have not suffered enough. Moreover, with the flat out embarrassing way that Altuve and Alex Bregman handled the obvious questions they faced from media at FanFest, the feeling grows that the punishment may not have been enough to fit the crime. Perhaps they haven’t suffered enough yet.
Radio personality Rich Eisen took it upon himself to help Houston players with a more fitting attempt at damage control.
In a faux statement he prepared for the team, Eisen astutely addresses each point of apology that the players should have to make. While the entire statement is worth a listen (and starts in full with a set up at the 4:29 minute mark), here is one key section that stood out above the rest.
We are sorry. We apologize to our fans and to all fans of the game who are left wondering about our accomplishments in 2017, and perhaps if their team’s accomplishments were cut short by our actions.
For Houston and its fans — and for baseball — the day will come where we’re all ready to move on… but first the players will have stare each and every person affected by their actions and apologize in earnest.