González apologizes for role in Astros scandal

Marwin González

Marwin González has become the first batter from the 2017 Houston Astros team that won the World Series to acknowledge and apologize for the club’s electronic sign-stealing scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball this offseason.

González, now a member of the Minnesota Twins, expressed regret for the prior conduct upon arriving to Spring Training camp in Florida to prepare for the 2020 season.

“I’m remorseful for everything that happened in 2017, for everything that we did as a group, and for the players that were affected directly by us doing this and some other things,” González said. “I wish that we could take it back, but there’s nothing we can do now.”

His remarks marked the latest chapter in what has been MLB’s primary offseason story, and one that has shook the sport to its very foundation. After a league investigation, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred last month assessed a set of large-scale penalties against Astros for the rules violations, including a $5m fine and the loss of high-round draft picks. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were also suspended by the league and fired by club owner Jim Crane.

But since then, more details have emerged suggesting the Astros’ efforts to use live video to circumvent rules and detect opponents signs were even more extensive than previously known publicly. 

The league’s probe into the Astros’ conduct was fueled significantly by Mike Fiers, a former pitcher with the team, who spoke last year to The Athletic about a wide-ranging campaign within the team to use live game video and a series of signals, including banging on trash cans, to convey signals of opponents’ pitch selections. 

Fellow Astros pitcher Charlie Morton, now with the Tampa Bay Rays, also said recently he regrets not making an effort to stop the electronic sign-stealing. Yet another story this week in The Athletic detailed the extensive efforts of former Astro Carlos Beltrán to conduct the electronic sign-stealing. Beltrán recently lost his job as manager of the New York Mets because of the scandal. 

But González’ remarks are the first from an Astros batter who directly stood to benefit from the conduct that occurred.

González was unable to say whether the Astros would have the won the 2017 World Series, a seven-game triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers, without the benefit of the electronic sign-stealing.

“You’re never going to know,” he said. “That was a great team. Great guys, too. Besides everything that happened, I know for a fact that they’re great guys, but it’s hard to answer that question.”