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JV accepts Cy, 1st appearance since HOU penalties

January 25, 2020

Astros ace Justin Verlander made his first public comments since his team was punished earlier this month for illegal sign-stealing during the 2017 season. In accepting the American League Cy Young Award on Saturday at the BBWAA Awards dinner in New York, Verlander thanked fans, family and competitors. But when

Astros ace Justin Verlander made his first public comments since his team was punished earlier this month for illegal sign-stealing during the 2017 season.

In accepting the American League Cy Young Award on Saturday at the BBWAA Awards dinner in New York, Verlander thanked fans, family and competitors. But when he outlined his gratitude for the Astros, Verlander touted the club by saying “everyone knows the Astros are technologically and analytically advanced.”

At that point, the room erupted in a loud yet uncomfortable applause, according to some in attendance. Verlander paused in his speech until the noise subsided.

The Astros have long been recognized as an industry leader in the analytics era, and Verlander, who also won the 2011 AL Cy Young Award with the Tigers, has credited Houston’s coaching staff for helping him reignite his career in his mid 30s.

The Astros’ cheating scandal -- which focused on hitters receiving opponents’ signs via the illegal use of technology -- has led to three managerial dismissals, one general manager’s dismissal, a $5 million fine to the Astros and Houston's loss of first- and second-round Draft picks in each of the next two years. No Astros players were disciplined as part of the penalties.

There has been no evidence suggesting Houston’s pitchers benefited from the scheme.