Rob Manfred says Astros' apology 'was not successful'


The Houston Astros apologized last week for illegally using technology to steal signs during the 2017 season and postseason, and everyone pretty much agreed it was a big, giant flop.

That includes MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

In an interview with ESPN’s Karl Ravech, Manfred agreed that the Astros’ attempt at apologizing was deeply unsuccessful.

Manfred: One of the most important things that has to happen in order to put this episode... people are never going to forget about it, but to move on from it, is for the entire organization — starting from the top, owner all the way through the players — to accept responsibility and to apologize. Not only to their fans, but to the fans across the other 29 teams. It’s hard to deny the fact that that is going to be an ongoing process here. It didn’t get done the other day.

Ravech: Most people will describe it as an epic failure. How would you describe it?

Manfred: It was not successful.

You can’t argue with Manfred on that point. Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman read prepared statements with all the emotion of a piece of cardboard, and owner Jim Crane refused to admit that his team’s cheating affected the outcome of the 2017 season — a season that ended with the Astros winning a World Series that many don’t feel they earned.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred doesn't think the Astros were successful when they apologized for cheating to win the 2017 World Series. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred doesn't think the Astros were successful when they apologized for cheating to win the 2017 World Series. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Manfred told Ravech that he feels it’s his responsibility as commissioner to work with the Astros on whatever they do next and help them put this ordeal behind them. Considering that statement, it’s not known why Manfred didn’t feel the need to step in and assist the Astros during their first unsuccessful, borderline embarrassing apology.

Manfred’s focus seems to be entirely on the Astros and helping them move on, instead of on other players and fans and their deep and intense emotions about what the Astros did. He credited Astros players for being more open with the press after the unsuccessful apology, but he still refused to admit the one basic thing that’s preventing many people from taking the Astros’ apologies seriously: very few of them seem like they’re truly sorry.

As far as the other major cheating allegation that’s surrounded the Astros — that in 2019 they used buzzers to tell players what pitch was coming — Manfred said that he found not a single shred of evidence to support that. He also trusts the players who told him that no buzzers were used since those players apparently told him the truth about the Astros cheating in 2017 and 2018.

However, Manfred admitted to Ravech that he cannot say with certitude that it didn’t happen.

“Can I tell you 100 percent certain that it didn’t happen? No, you can never know that.”

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