In his first public comments on the matter, former Astros outfielder Carlos Beltrán admitted that what the team did during its 2017 sign-stealing scandal “did cross the line.” Beltrán, now an analyst for the YES Network, discussed Houston’s cheating scandal in a sit-down interview with colleague Michael Kay.
“Looking back now—yes, we did cross the line,” Beltrán said. “I made my statement about what happened in 2017, and I apologized … This happened in such an organic way for ourselves. We all did what we did. Looking back today, we were wrong. I wish I would have asked more questions about what we were doing, I wish the organization would have said to us, ‘What you guys are doing, we need to stop this.’ Nobody really said anything—we’re winning.”
Beltrán was one of the people who helped come up with the team’s sign-stealing plan, which connected a camera in center field to a video screen located in the tunnel near the Houston dugout. Players and staff would signal pitches to batters in real time by banging a trashcan with a bat.
After an investigation into the matter by The Athletic in 2019, Beltrán said that the team did not use electronic methods to steal signs, which was later proven false. Beltrán was hired to be the Mets manager in November, but lost his job two months later after his role in the scandal became known.
Former Astros and current Tigers manager A.J. Hinch, Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Astros president Jeff Luhnow all lost their jobs as well.
Beltrán was willing to admit that the team’s actions veered into rule-breaking territory, though he also added that the Astros were already a good team in 2017 and noted the club’s many standout players.
“We had such a good team. When you look at our team, some of those guys that were there were All-Star players,” Beltrán said. “At the end of the day, yes, we did something that was wrong. But we also had a good team.”
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