Houston Astros owner on sign stealing: Our opinion is this didn't impact the game

By Sports Desk February 13, 2020

The Houston Astros' sign stealing did not impact the outcome of the 2017 World Series, according to team owner Jim Crane.

A league investigation found the Astros had stolen signs during their 2017 championship, and general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were suspended and then fired by Houston in a story that has dominated the MLB offseason.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were beaten by the Astros in the seventh and deciding game of the World Series, but MLB commissioner Rob Manfred suggested the team will not be stripped of their title.

Speaking to the media at spring training on Thursday, Crane said: "Our opinion is this didn't impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series and we'll leave it at that."

With Luhnow and Hinch already dismissed, and Alex Cora - formerly the Astros' bench coach - having left his role as manager of the Boston Red Sox, Crane added: "I don't think I should be held accountable."

Second baseman and 2017 American League MVP Jose Altuve was more apologetic, saying: "The whole Astros organisation and the team feels bad about what happened in 2017.

"The team is determined to move forward, to play with intensity and to bring back a championship to Houston in 2020."

And eight-time All-Star Justin Verlander later spoke to reporters, revealing his regret at the team's actions.

"Once I spent some time and understood what was happening, I wish I had said more," said Verlander, who joined the team during the 2017 campaign and was named AL Championship Series MVP.

"Looking back, I can't go back, I can't reverse my decision. Like I said, I wish I had said more. I didn't and, for that, I'm sorry."

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