WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- While the Astros were issuing apologies Thursday for using an elaborate and illegal sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 season and into 2018, the players emphatically denied rumors there were electronic buzzers under their uniforms to signal to the batter which pitches were coming.
“We know for sure, 100 percent as a team,” shortstop Carlos Correa said. “And I can tell you -- stories keep coming out, and if I'm lying here, I lose credibility, if something like that comes out, and that's not what I want to do. You guys know me. I want to speak the truth, every time I talk to you guys. It's just straight-up false."
Major League Baseball's investigation into the Astros' sign-stealing during the 2017 season didn't uncover evidence of the team using wearable devices. Recently, though, rumors circulated on social media that Houston hitters were using buzzers as recently as the 2019 playoffs during the American League Championship Series against the Yankees.
Former Astros manager AJ Hinch, who was dismissed by owner Jim Crane last month, was asked about the possibility of the team using buzzers during a recent interview with MLB Network. After his answer left some ambiguity, Hinch issued a statement Wednesday to clarify that he never saw the Astros’ players using wearable devices.
"After my interview with Tom Verducci last week, there has been a significant reaction to my answer to the ‘buzzer’ question," Hinch said. "To be clear, I have never seen any such device used in baseball. I am not aware of any such device existing or being utilized with the Astros, the players or any other team."
Correa said he wasn't sure how long the Houston front-office staffers used the "Codebreaker" Excel program to decode opposing teams' signs, but he was adamant that the Astros’ players stopped stealing signs after the 2017 season.
"When people talk about 2018, [that] we started the season doing something -- we didn't do anything,” Correa said. “No trash can, there was no center-field camera. There was nothing. No idea about 'Codebreaker,' but that had nothing to do with the players, so I don't know when that stopped or anything. But 2018? Nothing. 2019? Nothing. Just straight-up talented players going out there on the field winning ballgames and showing their talents."