Marwin Gonzalez becomes first Astros hitter to publicly apologize for sign-stealing scandal

Former Houston Astros utility player Marwin Gonzalez apologized for his role in the 2017 Astros sign-stealing scandal on Tuesday. Gonzalez, entering his second spring training with the Twins, became the first hitter from Houston's World Series championship team to publicly apologize about the scheme.

"I'm remorseful for everything that happened in 2017," Gonzalez told reporters, including MLB.com's Do-Hyoung Park, at the Twins spring training facility in Florida. "For everything that we did as a group, and for the players that were affected directly by us doing this ... That's why I feel more regret and that's why I'm remorseful."

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, Gonzalez went on to further say that it's impossible to know if Houston would have won the World Series without stealing signs.

Gonzalez, who played a key role during Houston's championship run, saw a career-best season at the plate during the 2017 season. In 2016, Gonzalez hit .254/.293/.401 with 13 home runs, compared to the .303/.377/.530 slash line and 23 home runs he posted in 2017. He signed a two-year, $21 million deal with the Twins following the 2018 season.

The Astros cheating scandal has, of course, been the leading storyline this offseason. The allegations first came to light via bombshell report from The Athletic in November that alleged the club used a center-field camera to steal signs and relay the signs in real-time to batters. In January, Major League Baseball punished the Astros for illegally stealing signs during their 2017 World Series championship season.

Gonzalez's public apology is the third from former Astros players, with pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton both expressing regret for their involvement in the cheating scandal. Keuchel, who is now with the White Sox, was the first player from the 2017 team to publicly apologize. Morton, now with the Rays, expressed regret in not doing more to stop the illegal sign-stealing operation.

As of Tuesday, no current Astros player has issued an apology. When the Astros held their annual FanFest event at Minute Maid Park in January, Alex Bregman ducked questions about the scandal and Jose Altuve shot back by saying the Astros will go back to the World Series this year.

Astros owner Jim Crane told reporters that the team plans to have players issue an apology in spring training. Astros pitchers and catchers will report to Palm Beach, Florida on Wednesday, with the team hosting its first full squad workout next Monday.

Katherine Acquavella joined CBS Sports in 2018. Her work has appeared in Yankees Magazine and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Memories and Dreams magazine. She is a graduate of St. John's... Full Bio

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