A.J. Hinch Apologizes for Sign Stealing Scandal, Badly

Howard Cole

For weeks, current and former Astros sign stealing participants have walked right up to the line of an apology without actually apologizing. At least not to my satisfaction.

This time it was the disgraced-suspended-and-fired Houston manager, A.J. Hinch, in an interview with Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci which aired on the MLB Network Friday.

Fine, I'm a tough crowd, but I heard several references to an apology, but no actual apology, and denials of excuse-making which sounded exactly like excuse-making, all of which together comes to nothing more than an attempt to avoid taking responsibility fully.

I heard Hinch refer to being "responsible" and to "leadership." He mentioned leadership an awful lot for a guy who doesn't seem to understand the concept. I heard him say he "should have done more" and that he wasn't "justifying it"  and that it hurts a lot. Translation: Can't you feel my pain?

I heard the man say “[R]ight is right and wrong is wrong, and we were wrong” and “I know as the leader, I have to apologize.” But again, I never heard him actually use the stand-alone words “I’m sorry” or “I apologize."

I listened as Hinch talked about his firing and about how he had “to put out a statement that day, it was a very emotional day for me and my family to apologize that day,” and that “there’s something different about doing it on camera, and putting a face to an apology and say I’m sorry.” But no real independent-of-a-modifier apology.

The result is a thinly-veiled public relations effort – a professional, in-real-time crisis management campaign – to begin to rebuild a man's image. The end game is about getting a career back. And that's not an apology. Not really.

What Hinch should have said was simply this: "I'm sorry. I apologize. I was 100% wrong. I understand why I was suspended and fired and I understand why the industry would and should turn its back on me. I will go coach small town high school ball, if they will have me, and endeavor to teach kids about right and wrong." 

In January, a number of Astros players shared their thoughts on the matter. Badly. Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman? Obnoxious. Justin Verlander? Even worse. Dallas Keuchel actually used the words "I'm sorry," but not without complaining about former-Astro and whisleblower Mike Fiers and muttering something about "the state of baseball was at that point in time."

I think that's the best we're gonna get, folks. A grudging apology with a maraschino excuse on top. You'll forgive me if I don't apologize for not accepting the apologies being offered, won't you? For that I'm sorry.

Howard Cole has been writing about baseball on the internet since Y2K. Follow him on Twitter.

Comments (6)
No. 1-6
K.D.F. 1974
K.D.F. 1974

The trash cans they used best describes the Houston Asterisks.

K.D.F. 1974
K.D.F. 1974

The sad part is that AJ Hinch alone could've put an end to all this and didn't put a better effort. It not only cost him his job, he's suspended, too. But he's not the main culprit in all of this.

misch_e
misch_e

Completely agree. We don't need these excuses disguised as apologies. I could have some respect for these players, who are talented, if they would accept some culpability, but they have no humility at all. I don't care how much talent they have, they negate it all by cheating and lying.

Gillyking
Gillyking

Regardless of any formal apologies, there will be no peace in baseball land until the MLB strips them, expunging that 2017 championship from the game!

buckmeister2
buckmeister2

Howard, as you already know, the owner of the Astros has said the team will wait until spring training, when they are all together, and can "air it out". That is tantamount to saying, "We will sit down, get our stories lined up, and decide what to say". So, they are going to decide what they can say to get around admitting who's idea it was, that they have tainted the team, and baseball, and sincerely apoligizing.

hazel5
hazel5

Hank Aaron is right, at least for the ringleaders.


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