TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels superstar Mike Trout became the latest player to express anger and frustration with the Astros over their electronic sign-stealing.
Trout, a three-time AL MVP and eight-time All-Star, has played in the same division as Houston for seven of his nine MLB seasons and was surprisingly candid for a player known for his reserved nature.
“It’s sad for baseball,” Trout said Monday. “It’s tough. They cheated. I don’t agree with the punishments, the players not getting anything. It was a player-driven thing. It sucks, too, because guys' careers have been affected. A lot of people lost jobs. It was tough. Me going up to the plate knowing what was coming? It would be fun up there. A lot of guys lost respect for some of the guys. It seems like every day something new is coming out.”
Trout added that several Astros players reached out to him this offseason to try to explain what happened. But even after that, he said it’s changed his view on a few of their players.
“I lost some respect for some guys,” Trout said. “A lot of stuff that comes out, you have to see if it’s true or not. I’ll talk to them and see them in the season. All this stuff coming out. It’s tough to see.”
Trout said he wasn’t sure what kind of punishment the Astros deserved but believes it should’ve been harsher. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch both lost their jobs, while the Astros were also fined $5 million and lost Draft picks.
In exchange for the players’ cooperation in the sign-stealing investigation, the MLBPA insisted that the players be given immunity.
“You don’t know what helped them or whatnot,” Trout said, “but if you know what’s coming, its going to definitely help them. I don’t know if you take the trophy away or take the rings away, but they should definitely do something. I don’t know what. To cheat like that, it’s sad to see.”
From his spot in center field, Trout had a perfect view of Astros hitters at the plate and always felt like something was up with the way they laid off pitches over the years. But he was surprised to see the extent of it, especially their trash-can banging scheme in 2017.
“I didn’t notice the banging, I noticed the banging off the bat from center field,” Trout said. “It seemed like they weren’t missing pitches. It’s frustrating because you have guys coming in here battling every day and working on stuff and they make a nasty pitch down and away, I can’t tell you when this happened, but I’m sure it did. I can’t imagine what the pitchers feel like. It’s a mental game. You go in a stretch where you’re doing good and you go into Houston and got banged up, it could mentally drain you.”