After seeing his manager and general manager first suspended for a season by MLB then fired by Astros owner Jim Crane, Alex Bregman declined to address the sign-stealing scandal that has forever tainted Houston’s 2017 World Series title.
“The commissioner and league came out with the report, and the Astros did what they did,’’ Bregman said of Rob Manfred’s extensive report, which detailed the Astros’ use of a video and camera system that included players banging a garbage can to relay pitches to hitters. “They made their decision on what to do, and I have no thoughts on it.”
Not everyone was satisfied with Bregman’s statement. Orioles pitcher Josh Rogers responded on Twitter.
“Just plead the 5th bud. Cause your guilty,” was posted to his verified account.
Bregman, though, did deny speculation the Astros used devices to help steal signs last season, an allegation that first surfaced on Twitter on Thursday, but was dismissed by MLB, which said in a statement it had found no evidence of players wearing electronics during the 2019 season.
Asked if players wore devices, Bregman said “No” then called the allegations “stupid.’’
Bregman’s answers came during an awkward interview with a group of reporters at the ill-timed FanFest in Houston on Saturday, which marked the first time Astros players weighed in on the scandal that resulted in the firing of GM Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch.
Bregman repeatedly declined to comment on the commissioner’s report or any potential role the players may have played in the system — which also led to the dismissal of Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was Houston’s bench coach in 2017, as well as new Mets manager Carlos Beltran, who was the lone Astros player singled out in the report.
The Astros, like the Red Sox and Mets, continue to look for a new manager with spring training less than a month away.
The turmoil surrounding Houston and Boston figures to be good news for the Yankees, who have seen their postseasons end each of the past three seasons with losses to one of those teams.
The Red Sox — still under investigation by MLB for the possible use of electronics to steal signs in 2018, when Boston won the World Series in Cora’s first season as manager — also addressed their situation at a team event in Springfield, Mass., on Saturday.
“It’s one of those things where we’ve just got to let it happen,’’ Jackie Bradley Jr. told reporters at Red Sox Winter Weekend. “Let it all play out. We’ll find out when you all find out.”
Bradley added “your guess is as good as mine” about what the league might find in its investigation.
J.D. Martinez admitted “it sucks” to have the investigation going on, but sounded confident it wouldn’t turn up anything.
“To be honest with you, it does suck,’’ Martinez said. “But you know what? I’m excited for the investigation to get over with so they can see there was nothing going on here.”
Ron Roenicke, Boston’s bench coach since 2018, denied knowledge of possible sign-stealing.
“It would be concerning if something happened — that I knew I wasn’t part of — that I was brought into as part of that,” Roenicke said. “I know what I do. I always try to do things the right way. … To see what we did through the whole season, then have an allegation made that deters from that feeling of what we accomplished, it’s hard.”
Roenicke added: “I also realize that we all screw up. I’ve screwed up. Everybody has. It just happens this is a huge deal in what happened, and it’s sad to see that for the game, sad to see that for [the Astros’] organization. I know we’re going through it in ours, and we’ll see what happens there.”