Alex Rodriguez knows about being in the middle of MLB scandals. But the star third baseman turned ESPN analyst said Tuesday that he's frustrated by how the Astros have reacted in the wake of baseball's investigation into the club's sign stealing.
"You cheat, you win a championship, there is no suspension, and then there's no remorse," Rodriguez said Tuesday during a Red Sox-Yankees Spring Training broadcast. "The last one is probably the worst one. From a guy who has made as many mistakes as anybody on the biggest stage—I served the longest suspension in MLB history, it cost me well over $35 million, and you know what? I deserved that. I came back. I owned it after acting like a buffoon for a long time. I had my apologies, and then I went dark. I wanted my next move to be contrite and change my narrative. You have to be accountable...I felt the hatred from the people and I earned it."
Rodriguez was initially suspended 211 games for his connection to Biogenesis in 2013, before the ban was reduced to just 162 games. No active players were punished in MLB's investigation into the Astros as commissioner Rob Manfred granted current players immunity for fully cooperating with the league's investigation.
Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci reported that MLB is looking to crack down on cheating and is working with the players association on a variety of new protocols to prevent future incidents.
Among the changes it hopes to enact by Opening Day, Verducci reports that MLB has proposed that access to the dugout and clubhouse during games will be limited to players, seven coaches and necessary interpreters and trainers. Front office members would be banned from clubhouses during games.
While the league is still in discussions with the MLBPA about how far to take potential limitations, Verducci also reports that it's possible in extreme cases that televisions could be turned off during games in both clubhouses.
Manfred suspended Astros manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow through the 2020 World Series, but team owner Jim Crane subsequently fired them. Managers Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán were named in the report and later parted ways with the Red Sox and Mets in the wake of the scandal. Cora served as Houston's 2017 bench coach, while Beltrán was a member of the World Series–winning roster.
Countless players, both current and former Astros as well as others from around the league, have continued discussing the controversy as Spring Training has gotten underway.
Rodriguez's comments Tuesday are also likely a reflection of how a number of the club's star players as well as owner Jim Crane have reacted in recent interviews.
Crane addressed the team's scandal and MLB's ensuing punishment at a press conference in West Palm Beach, Fla., to open Spring Training. At one point, he said that, “Our opinion is that this didn’t impact the game."
He was asked to clarify his comments to which he responded, "I didn’t say it didn’t impact the game."