Former Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, a guy who knows a thing or two about running afoul of the rules, recently let the Houston Astros know that they have “earned” every bit of the criticism they’ve received as a result of their sign-stealing scandal.
During a spring training broadcast of a Yankees-Red Sox game, Rodriguez blasted the Astros for their lack of remorse for cheating the game.
“I think the one thing that has really upset the fans is, you cheat, you win a championship, there is no suspension and there is no remorse,” Rodriguez explained. “And the last one I think is probably the worst one because people want to see remorse.
“They want a real authentic apology and they have not received that thus far.”
"I served the longest suspension in MLB history. It cost me well over $35M. And you know what? I deserved that."@AROD says the Astros deserve whatever comes their way after the lack of remorse they've shown. pic.twitter.com/AnezyIyhHa
— ESPN (@espn) March 3, 2020
Major League Baseball fined the Astros $5 million, suspended General Manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch, and took the team’s first and second round draft picks in 2020 and 2021, after an investigation concluded that the team had illegally used a camera to steal signs from visiting teams during the 2017 season.
Though the league determined that the sign-stealing scheme was “player driven,” no Astros players were disciplined for their roles in the scandal.
Rodriguez drew a contrast between how he handled his own 162-game suspension in 2014 for using performance enhancing drugs, and how the Astros have dealt with the backlash they’ve received.
“I served the longest suspension in Major League Baseball history. It cost me well over $35 million and, you know what? I deserved that and, as a result, I came back, I owned it after acting like a buffoon for a long time,” Rodriguez said.
“I had my apologies and then I went dark. I wanted my next move to be contrite but I also wanted to go out and play good baseball and change my narrative and the way you change your narrative is you have to be accountable.”
“You’ve earned all this negative talk,” Rodriguez said of the Astros. “You’ve earned whatever comes your way, including whether it’s [being] hit by a pitch or negative press, you have divorced yourself from having the ability to protect yourself.”
Despite warnings from Commissioner Rob Manfred not to seek retribution against the Astros, several pitchers have hit or nearly hit Astros hitters in the first few weeks of spring training. The team has also been loudly booed at nearly every game.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn