Dallas Keuchel: “It's not like every game we had it going on... It's just what the state of baseball was at that point in time. Was it against the rules? Yes, it was. And I personally am sorry for what's come about the whole situation."
Former Houston Astros ace Dallas Keuchel became the first current or former Astros player to publicly apologize for the team’s appalling sign-stealing scandal that rapidly became one of the most infamous incidents in the history of sports.
Keuchel won the American League Cy Young with the Astros in 2015 and was a valuable member of their 2017 World Series team who has now been disgraced in the annals of the sport because of illicit sign-stealing that crossed the line of archaic gamesmanship into immoral mischief.
Astros owner Jim Crane had said earlier in the week that Astros players would eventually make public apologies, which had been major news considering the best players on the team had largely remained silenced on the matter. Alex Bregman scrubbed his Instagram account, Carlos Correa said he had already talked to Major League Baseball on the matter, and wasn’t answering anymore questions about it, and Jose Altuve said ‘everything was fine’, and they were expecting to be back in the World Series this season.
A report in November from The Athletic detailed how the Astros reportedly stole signs during the 2017 season to give their hitters a significant advantage at the plate. The Astros had 101 wins and defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series that season.
The report cites former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers and three unnamed individuals affiliated with the team, who claim the Astros were alerting hitters when the opposing pitcher was planning to throw an offspeed pitch.
Fiers, who now pitches for the Oakland Athletics, said that the team had a camera in centerfield that was hooked up to a monitor in the clubhouse. The camera was able to pick up the catcher's signs, and the employee would then tell somebody in the dugout if the catcher was calling for an off-speed pitch. That employee would then bang something to alert the hitter that an off-speed pitch was coming.
Hundreds of audio and video clips then surfaced from random moments all throughout the season when you could literally hear the banging noises while Astros players were at bat.
Later, accusations of Astros players using buzzers would then arise, with Altuve even being accused of wearing one in the 2019 ALCS against the Yankees, when he was begging his teammates to not rip his jersey off after his walk-off home run in Game 6, to apparently not expose the device he was wearing on his chest.