February 13, 2020

Astros Press Conference Was "Contrition Performance Art", "PR-Coached Statements Disguised As Apologies"

Crane: Our opinion is this didn't impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series. And we'll leave it at that. ...

[Fewer than 60 seconds later]

Q: Did you say you feel like this didn't impact the game? And what do you mean by that?

Crane: I didn't say it didn't impact the game. Basically, you know, as the Commissioner said in his report, he's not going to go backwards. It's hard to determine how it impacted the game, if it impacted the game and that's where we're going to leave it.

Astros Justin Verlander has been extremely clear in the past about players who cheat in baseball.

It turns out he was specifically referring to players who cheat against his team.

Eric Stephen, SB Nation, February 13, 2020:
One of baseball's very best teams is also its most contemptible. The Astros are a study in hubris, only emboldened by a report into their cheating by Major League Baseball, which turns out to have been designed more to sweep this scandal under the rug than punish the team.

On the first day of Astros spring training camp ... current Houston players finally apologized. These apologies came in the form of two brief, prepared statements by Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve. The pair spoke for a total of 90 seconds. ...

[T]he standout was owner Jim Crane, a man impervious to personal responsibility. ...

The tone of the Astros' press conference was one of defiance and PR-coached vanilla statements disguised as apologies. But there was no remorse, which is remarkable given the team had literally a month to formulate a plan for contrition.

Then again, this is par for the course for the Astros, who completely bungled the detestable Brandon Taubman incident in October, mishandled the fallout from Yuli Gurriel's racist gesture during the 2017 World Series, and barred a reporter from the clubhouse in 2019 in violation of the collective bargaining agreement. ...

"I don't think I should be held accountable," Crane said Thursday.

Crane, whose Eagle USA company in 2001 reached a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to pay $8.5 million for discriminating against African American, Hispanic, and female employees (an amount later reduced to $2.5 million on appeal), is no stranger to toothless rebukes. ...

Major League Baseball has demonstrated they won't pursue anything unless its feet are put to the fire. It took them two years to thoroughly investigate the Astros, and only then after a player (Mike Fiers) went on record to disclose the scheme. Manfred's report went out of its way to avoid placing blame on the front office. Now we know that Houston's front office was integrally involved ...

Former Astros manager Hinch ... was asked about further allegations of the Astros using buzzers in 2019 in a redemption plea interview with MLB Network.

"We got investigated for three months, and the commissioner's office did as thorough an investigation anyone could imagine was possible," Hinch said. ... [He] did not deny [the allegations] ...
Joel Sherman, New York Post, February 13, 2020:
[The Astros'] words [and contrition performance art] have difficulty withstanding decency or logic:

— All the Astros offered "remorse" that they illegally stole signs and "regrets" they didn't do more to stop it. But, of course, like all scoundrels, it took being caught to offer those sentiments. And are the sentiments real? Last month at the team's Fan Fest, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman delivered neither remorse nor regret. Only once properly p.r.-spun did they find their inner ruefulness.

— Most of the Astros talked about learning from this remorseful, regretful experience. But when asked what he learned, Bregman could have been speaking for all his teammates when he thought and hemmed and mainly came up with "things." Probably one of those things is: Don't get caught.

— To a man, all the Astros insisted they would respect any outside judgment on whether the 2017 team would have won without cheating, but internally they believe absolutely they would have come out as champions due to their talent.


Steve said...


kwic said...

Crane's performance was an audition for Secretary of State aimed at an audience of one.

He goal was to ignore reality, show a total lack of contrition, demonstrate an ability to lie shamelessly, and reverse a statement he made less than a minute before.

He passed.