MLB: The long, winding, painful reach of the sign-stealing scandal

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 13: Alex Bregman #2 and Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros look on as owner Jim Crane reads a prepared statement during a press conference at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 13, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 13: Alex Bregman #2 and Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros look on as owner Jim Crane reads a prepared statement during a press conference at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 13, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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MLB: The long, winding, painful reach of the sign-stealing scandal

Several Astros spoke remorsefully after Thursday’s presser embarrassment, most notably Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel. “No one put a gun to our head,” Gurriel told Marly Rivera of ESPN. “It would be a lie to say that one or two people are responsible. We are all responsible.” But they didn’t say “cheating,” either.

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Yet another ex-Astro freshly present trying to win a job with the A’s, Tony Kemp, tells reporters he didn’t partake of the sign-stealing scandal despite being asked if he wanted to. The Adams analysis bears him out, too: Kemp saw 23 pitches as a ’17 Astro September call-up and didn’t get a single stolen sign banged his way even once. Kemp also says he wasn’t “going to say that things that were going on over there were necessarily right. Those things were wrong.”

He didn’t seem to say “cheating” on the record, either.

Davis, Marisnick, Gonzalez, Morton, and Kemp are only five ’17 Astros who have to carry it forward despite being ex-Astros. Their subsequent or current teams might have their backs, but they won’t be the only former Astros who have to live with Astrogate’s ramifications, either. Especially considering the outrage others have expressed since the sign-stealing scandal revelation. When not excoriating Fiers for exposing it, they’ve excoriated the Astros for letting it operate.

When MLB commissioner Rob Manfred delivers his final report on the Red Sox Replay Reconnaissance Ring, the Olde Towne Team won’t have it any simpler for living with the fallout. Nor should they. But neither will any Red Sox players who’ve moved on. Possibly (underline that in thick ink) including the ones who finally got dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers after enough hiccups to make you wonder whom among the trading partners was drunk while trying to get the deal done.

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And we’ll wonder, too, whether any of those Red Sox will express remorse the way the Astros did at Thursday’s presser, without even a single public-record utterance of the C-word.