HOUSTON -- Josh Reddick became the first veteran Astros player to discuss the firings of president of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal, but the Astros outfielder wouldn’t specifically address questions about the saga.
Reddick, appearing Thursday during a stop on the Astros’ annual Caravan fan outreach tour, said “it just stinks” that Hinch and Luhnow were out of jobs, dismissed by owner Jim Crane after MLB had suspended them for a year for not doing enough to prevent player-driven sign stealing using electronic means during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
“We’ve got to keep our focus on winning,” Reddick said. “It’s as simple as that. We keep our focus on winning and everything will work itself out.”
When asked if he had any regrets about anything in 2017 -- the year MLB determined the Astros stole signs en route to winning the World Series -- Reddick didn’t bite.
“We’re not talking much about it,” he said.
Astros star players José Altuve and Alex Bregman are scheduled to attend Saturday’s annual FanFest at Minute Maid Park, where they are expected to face similar questions about the sign-stealing scheme. MLB, after a lengthy investigation, determined the Astros used video monitors set up near the dugout to steal signs from a center-field camera and relay pitches to the hitters by banging a trash can in 2017 and into 2018.
“It will get addressed when the time is right,” Reddick said.
Less than a month before Spring Training starts, the Astros are without a manager or a general manager, leaving the players in limbo. They’re not alone. The Red Sox parted ways with manager Alex Cora on Tuesday -- the Astros’ bench coach in 2017 -- for his role in the scheme, and the Mets did the same with manager Carlos Beltrán on Thursday. Beltrán, who was hired in November to manage the Mets, was the only player mentioned in the nine-page report issued by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday.
While Crane interviews managerial candidates (Buck Showalter and John Gibbons are among those who have interviewed), the defending AL champions are laying low. Reddick said he hadn’t reached out to Hinch or Luhnow yet and wasn’t sure what to expect when pitchers and catchers hit the field in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Feb. 13. He said the players hadn’t yet gathered to talk about the firings or where the team goes from here.
“I think that’s something we’ll figure out once it gets a little closer to Spring Training,” said Reddick, who’s expected to be ready for the start of camp after having shoulder surgery this offseason. “We’re all just gathering our minds around it right now.”