WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa gave what may have been the most sincere apology and insight into the sign-stealing scandal.
Correa spoke on the issue for the first time Thursday at Astros' spring training. He is among 10 players who remain from the Astros 2017 World Series team.
There's been discussion as to whether the scandal, which resulted in the firing of three managers linked to the 2017 Astros and general manager Jeff Luhnow, tainted the World Series title.
Astros owner Jim Crane said it didn't, even suggesting the electronic stealing may or may not have contributed to the Astros' success.
Correa was a lot more direct when he spoke in the locker room.
"There’s no excuse for that. We were wrong for everything we did in 2017," Correa said. "It’s not what we stand for. It’s not what we want to portray as an organization. We’re definitely wrong about all of that and we really feel really sorry. We know we affected careers. We know we affected the game in some way. And looking back, it was just bad. We wish we would’ve stopped it at the time.
"We didn’t, and for that we’re paying the price now. It’s not where we want to be coming into the season but we have to take responsibility for our actions."
When asked whether any of the Astros wore buzzers or devices for sign-stealing, Correa and Jose Altuve were both emphatic about the story being fabricated.
"No. That’s a lie," Correa said. "Nobody wore buzzers. Nobody wore devices. The story should be killed already because we know for sure, for a fact, 100 percent as a team. Stories keep coming out and if I’m lying here, I will lose credibility if something like that comes out. That’s not what I want to do. … I want to speak the truth. … It’s just straight up false. Nobody wore anything."
So why did it take so long for the Astros to do this?
The commissioner's report detailing the infractions was released Jan. 13. Hinch and Luhnow were fired promptly.
Former Astros have also spoken out.
Correa contrasted this scandal to steroids, where one individual player addresses the issue versus a team situation like this one.
"When people take steroids and all of this stuff, it’s an individual type of matter. So it’s easier to go out there and say an apology. But when it involves a whole team, a whole organization, we were in the middle of the offseason when this came out. Not everybody lives in Houston, so we didn’t have time to gather together and talk out the situation, how we can move forward and how we can make sure this doesn’t happen again.
"As team leaders, we don’t want this to ever happen again. We don’t want to do this to our organization, to our fans in Houston, to our fans around baseball who are obviously not happy with what happened in 2017. We had to gather first as a team and talk about this and make sure it’s not going to happen ever again. We’re going to walk a straight line and play baseball the right way.”