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Keuchel apologizes for '17 Astros' sign-stealing

@scottmerkin
January 24, 2020

CHICAGO -- White Sox left-hander Dallas Keuchel, who pitched for the Astros from 2012-18 and was an integral part of the team’s 2017 World Series championship, apologized Friday for Houston's behavior in the sign-stealing controversy. “First and foremost, I think apologies should be in order,” Keuchel said during his SoxFest

CHICAGO -- White Sox left-hander Dallas Keuchel, who pitched for the Astros from 2012-18 and was an integral part of the team’s 2017 World Series championship, apologized Friday for Houston's behavior in the sign-stealing controversy.

“First and foremost, I think apologies should be in order,” Keuchel said during his SoxFest media session. “When the stuff was going on, it was never intended to be what it’s made to be right now. When stuff comes out about things that happened during the course of a big league ball season, it’s always blown up to the point of, ‘Oh my gosh, this has never happened before.’ I mean, I’m not going to go into specific details.

“But during the course of the playoffs in ’17, everybody was using multiple signs. For factual purposes, when there’s nobody on base, when in the history of Major League Baseball has there been multiple signs? You can go back and watch film of every team in the playoffs. There was probably six out of eight teams using multiple signs.

“It’s just what the state of baseball was at that point and time. Was it against the rules? Yes, it was. I personally am sorry for what’s come about, the whole situation. But it is what it is, and we have to move past that. I never thought anything would have come like it did, and I myself am sorry. We have to move on.”

As a result of Commissioner Rob Manfred's investigation into the Astros' sign-stealing scheme, general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were suspended for the 2020 season -- then subsequently fired by owner Jim Crane -- the team was fined a maximum allowable $5 million and it forfeited first- and second-round selections in the next two Drafts.

Keuchel was measured in his response when asked about former Astros teammate Mike Fiers, who was the whistle-blower in The Athletic's story that revealed the allegations of the scheme.

“Oh, I mean, that’s a tough subject, because it’s such a tight-knit community in the clubhouse and in baseball, especially,” Keuchel said. “You are playing 162 games at least in the regular season, plus Spring Training, and then maybe in the playoffs, if you are lucky.

“You are pushing 185, 200 games, and it sucks to the extent of the clubhouse rule that was broken. I mean, that’s where I’ll go with that. I don’t really have much else to say about Mike.”

Keuchel is the first player from the 2017 Astros to publicly apologize, but he said he could only speak for himself.

“Just knowing some of those guys over there and knowing how they are as people, we're all people to an extent,” Keuchel said. “For most of us, the human element is real. And a lot of guys are not happy with the fact that Mike came out and said something, or the fact that this even happened.

“At the same time, there is some sorrow in guys' voices. I have talked to guys before, and this will be going on for a long time, and I'm sure in the back of guys' minds this will stick forever. There are a lot of people who are sorry in that organization, including myself, for what happened.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.