Pitchers and catchers report to camp for every MLB team at some point this week, which means many reporters are getting to ask players about the Astros sign stealing scandal for the first time. There are bound to be strong reactions and, sure enough, we're getting some.
First off, the apologies. Marwin Gonzalez, who won a ring with the 2017 Astros and is now with the Twins, , becoming the first hitter from Houston's title-winning team to do so publicly. Max Stassi, who started his career with the Astros and played in 133 games for the club between 2017-19, has followed suit Wednesday. Here's what the current Angels catcher said via Fabian Ardaya:
"As a younger guy, I was called up in August 2017 and I saw what was going on. When you're a lower man on the totem pole, you just show up and you go out there and play," Stassi said. "I apologize to all those around the game, the people who were affected by it, the fans, coaches. Especially the kids who look up to us. We're supposed to set an example and do the right thing. We didn't do that."
What he's saying is legitimate, too, because imagine being a rookie joining one of the best teams in baseball and trying to blow up the whole operation. It's easy to see why he felt like he had to just play along, even if he thought it was wrong.
Now let's get to some spice.
Remember Jose Altuve's walk-off ALCS home run where he told all his teammates to not rip his shirt off? Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez said he wasn't sure if Altuve knew what pitch was coming when he hit the pennant-winning homer, but Sanchez did find Altuve's celebratory behavior strange.
Gary Sánchez on the video of Jose Altuve protecting his jersey after Game 6 of the ALCS: "If I hit a homer and get my team to the World Series, they can rip off my pants. They can rip everything off."— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) February 12, 2020
Back over in Angels camp, starting pitcher Andrew Heaney brought as much rage as we've seen so far from any current MLB player. Heaney went on a expletive-filled tirade against the Astros. Here are his comments via Jeff Fletcher:
"Somebody in the locker room had to say, 'this is f---ed up. We shouldn't be doing this.' For nobody to stand up and say, 'we're cheating other players,' that sucks. That's a shitty feeling for everybody. I hope they feel like shit.
"They sure as shit need to do more than what they already did. That was terrible. I understand they are going to go get their shit in order and they are going to have their thing to say, and they are going to hide behind the commissioner's report and whatever, but I don't think that's good enough."
Perhaps the most interesting thing here? Stassi is a catcher for the Angels now.