There are many differences of opinion on the issue of an apology from the players. I have a lot of thoughts on this particular issue of Astros-Gate.
Social media is both good and bad during times like these. There a lot of contradictory opinions about whether or not the 2017 Astros owe the baseball fandom an apology. Some fans are adamant that it’s necessary and others are of the mindset that the best apology is to play their best ball in 2020.
For me, as a fan of the entire game – offense and defense – I am a member of the latter group, and though I’ve not remained completely unscathed by these revelations, I also have some very different thoughts on the entire subject.
At the outset, let me just say that I’m so very tired of the hate on social media. As a forever fan of the Astros, I’ll admit it takes a tough skin and a lot of resilience and is often hard to sift through all of the hate, but there are also some very educational tidbits to be had that make the sifting worthwhile.
For instance, I was reminded that 2017 was Alex Bregman‘s first full year in MLB. He joined the squad mid-season in 2016. As a rookie, how was he going to change anything happening in the clubhouse? As a rookie, what exactly was he supposed to do to stop a situation that was being led by a veteran player and one of his coaches?
Some rumors suggest some players didn’t want signs. At this point, however, we don’t know who participated in what. With good reason, the investigation named this as one of the many reasons that the MLB couldn’t justify punishing individual players.
If you have any knowledge of baseball, you know how hard it is to succeed in the game. In all of this, I would like to remind everyone that even if a hitter knows what’s coming, he still has to see the ball and hit the ball. How many curve balls did Lance McCullers throw to the Yankees in 2017, and how many did they hit even though they knew it was coming?
From my perspective, an apology from the team only causes some to admit they participated, even if they didn’t. An apology causes some to be shielded from more of the blame that they could very well deserve because a team apology evenly distributes the blame to all of them. From a standpoint of optics, I say the team should just keep quiet and move on. But hey, if individual players want to speak out, that’s their prerogative.
So far, at least two players who were with the Astros in 2017 have spoken out, Dallas Keuchel and Joe Musgrove. Keuchel, of course apologized, but he was a veteran and was known to be a pretty vocal voice in that clubhouse. But as a relative newbie, just a year out from his debut, Musgrove didn’t have any power to change or stop the situation.
Analysts of the game have repeatedly pointed out that the team’s offensive stats from the 2017 season prove that the squad was better on the road than they were at home.
2017 Regular Season Splits:
48-33 Record 53-28
4.9 Runs/Game 6.2
.279 Average .284
115 Home Runs 123
.340 On-Base % .351
.472 Slugging % .483
Never mind that, the defense was stellar, especially in the postseason. And while you cannot win if you don’t produce runs, defense is just as important in keeping the opponents from scoring runs and something that seems to have been overlooked in all of this talk of cheating.
To satisfy my own curiosity, I went back and looked at the results of the 2017 postseason. Check it out.