Of all the pre-virus stories that were dominating the sports landscape, none were greater than the Astros sign-stealing scandal and the team’s unwillingness to take responsibility for it.
Well, at least one former Astros seems ready to step up to the plate and own his former team’s cheating scheme. Speaking on the Athletic’s 755 is Real podcast, former Astros catcher Evan Gattis said “we f*cked up,” when talking about his team’s cheating ways.
“Everybody wants to be the best player in the f–king world, man…and we cheated that, for sure, and we obviously cheated baseball and cheated fans,” Gattis said. “Fans felt duped. I feel bad for fans.
“I’m not asking for sympathy or anything like that. If our punishment is being hated by everybody forever, just like whatever. I don’t know what should be done, but something had to f–king be done. I do agree with that, big-time. I do think it’s good for baseball that we’re cleaning it up…And I understand that it’s not f–king good enough to say sorry. I get it.”
An MLB investigation into the Astros sign-stealing scheme resulted in the suspensions of both the general manager and manager, in addition to the forfeiting of first and second round picks in 2020 and 2021, and a $5 million fine.
“We didn’t look at our moral compass and say this is right,” Gattis said. “It was almost like paranoia warfare or something. But what we did was wrong. Don’t get it twisted, it was wrong for the nature of competition, not even just baseball.”
Gattis hit 12 homers with .767 OPS in 325 plate appearances for the Astros in 2017.
“Nobody made us do s–t. You know what I’m saying? People saying this guy made us, that guy made us, that’s not it,” Gattis said. “But you have to understand the situation was powerful.
“You work your whole life to try to f–king hit a ball, and you mean you can tell me what’s coming? It was like, ‘what?’ It’s a powerful thing, and there’s millions of dollars on line and s–t. And that’s the bad of it, too, that’s where people got hurt. And that’s not right. That’s not playing the game right.
“Who knows? Who knows who it helped?” Gattis asked. “But it’s the comfort factor.”
MLB suspended spring training and pushed Opening Day back, in response to the breakout of the coronavirus epidemic. The league is currently looking at the possibility of a 100-game season that would begin on July 1st.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn