In a lengthy column from Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Astros Owner Jim Crane opened up about the fallout from the sign stealing investigation, the Roberto Osuna trade and how the organization has been run. Here are some of the highlights of the story.
On the continued fallout of sign-stealing investigation:
“People are aggravated the players didn’t get suspended,’’ Crane said, “but I didn’t have anything to do with that. That was (Commissioner) Rob (Manfred’s) call. Listen, it’s always going to be whatever you want to call it. A black mark. An asterisk. It happened. It’s not good for anybody. It’s not good for the game.
“We broke the rules. We got penalized. We were punished. There’s no doubt it weighs on all of us every single day.
“But I don’t know what else they want us to do. I mean, you couldn’t do a lot more. We took a big penalty. Rob (Manfred) sent a message. We accepted the message, and went above and beyond.
“We’re sorry. We apologized. But no matter what happened, it wasn’t going to be enough. People wanted me out of baseball. They wanted players to be suspended. They wanted everything.’’
On the apology press conference at Spring Training:
“We didn’t come off like I wanted to,’’ Crane said. “If I had to do it over again, I’d do it differently. The press conference didn’t go well at all. ’’ Crane said Wednesday. “I didn’t handle it as well as I should have.
“I said (the sign stealing) didn’t affect the game. What I should have said is that I can’t impact the decision Rob (Manfred) made not to change history. He was not going to alter the game. He wasn’t going to take away the World Series trophy.
“I’m not stupid enough to think it couldn’t have altered the game. How it altered the game, no one is ever going to know. Did it have an effect on the game? That’s certainly a reasonable assessment.’’
On the sign stealing problem across all of baseball:
“I think (MLB) had a bigger problem than everybody realized,’’ Crane says. “Two other teams (the Yankees and Red Sox) were doing things and got caught, but we’re the ones who took the bullet. That’s the way it works. I’m not trying to blame anyone else. It was our problem. We dealt with it."
On Brandon Taubman:
“Brandon Taubman didn’t commit domestic violence,’’ Crane said. “He just made a comment. It’s nothing you can defend. He had a few cocktails. He was happy. There were people constantly coming at him over (Osuna), and he overreacted. Did he do the right thing? No. Everybody makes mistakes. But is he a good, genuine decent person and smart kid? Absolutely.
“I hated to see him lose his job, but we had no choice."
“We didn’t anticipate the Osuna thing would catch that much heat,’’ said Crane, whose organization donated $200,000 last year to domestic violence education and awareness. “But when it did, the players were concerned. I told the guys on our team, 'Listen, we made the decision. He paid his price. We think he deserves a second chance. If he screws up, he’s out of here. You don’t have to worry about it.'
You can read all of what Crane told USA Today by clicking the link in the tweet below.