Scott Boras doesn't think Astros players need to apologize for sign-stealing scandal

Talk surrounding the Astros sign=stealing scandal isn't slowing down as we head toward 2020 spring training. Days after MLB punished the Astros and released a nine-page report detailing their wrongdoing, the Astros held their annual FanFest. For the first time since the report was released and manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired, players -- namely Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve -- spoke publicly about the scandal. They weren't exactly apologetic

This week, Houston owner Jim Crane said that the players will apologize and ask for forgiveness once they get together for spring training next month. However, agent Scott Boras doesn't seem to agree with Crane's line of thinking. 

Speaking to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the high-profile agent -- who represents Altuve -- said the following: 

"I'm doing what my organization is telling me to do," Boras said on Wednesday, describing the hypothetical mindset of a player. "You installed this. You put this in front of us. Coaches and managers encourage you to use the information. It is not coming from the player individually. It is coming from the team. In my stadium. Installed. With authority."

[...]

"The reality of it is that the apology from the people who had notice, not from the people who didn't have notice."

Boras is putting it all on management for failing to make it clear that the sign-stealing scheme was against the rules. Boras also points out that some players rejected the use of technology to steal signs, saying that some players were "uncomfortable" with it. 

Boras might have a case. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that Luhnow never passed along MLB directives to avoid using technology to steal signs to players. This reportedly allowed the players association to strike a deal with MLB before players gave testimony.

The bottom line for Boras is that the "people who are responsible for providing notice" should be the ones apologizing with a "general baseball apology." He wants the rules posted in clubhouses and the players to be clear on what is and is not allowed. He appears to be putting this on Luhnow, A.J. Hinch, Alex Cora for not stopping a scheme that was described in the league's report as "player-driven."

Boras has a point if the players were never told about the specific rules, but painting the them as innocent here is a bit much. They had to have known damn well they were crossing a line. Manfred's report mentions that the players took part in hiding a TV monitor after each game, for example. Why hide something if it's legal? 

Boras is the best in the business at having the collective backs of his clients, so this isn't much of a surprise. It sounds like some sort of apology is coming from Astros players eventually.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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