Scott Boras says Astros players should not have to apologize
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane said this week that the team’s players are planning to apologize with a “strong statement” as a group when spring training begins next month, but Scott Boras does not believe that is necessary.
Boras, who is the most powerful agent in baseball, said this week that Astros players do not owe anyone an apology because they were simply following a system their superiors had implemented.
“I’m doing what my organization is telling me to do,” Boras told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic while speaking from the perspective of a player. “You installed this. You put this in front of us. Coaches and managers encourage you to use the information. It is not coming from the player individually. It is coming from the team. In my stadium. Installed. With authority.”
Boras feels MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was justified in not punishing any players involved in the sign-stealing scheme. The agent compared what Astros players did to speeding by driving 55 mph in a 35-mph zone without a posted speed limit. Boras says players were not properly informed of the latest rules about stealing signs and blamed former Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow for not forwarding the 2017 sign-stealing memo to players.
“Luhnow did not forward the memoranda and did not confirm that the players and field staff were in compliance with MLB rules and the memoranda,” Manfred wrote. “Had Luhnow taken those steps in September 2017, it is clear to me that the Astros would have ceased (their illegal sign stealing).”
As far as Boras is concerned, the issue with sign-stealing is similar to how MLB and teams handled performance-enhancing drug use.
“This is no different than PEDs,” he said. “The minute we legislated a compendium of specificity, players were on notice. And then the accountability went directly to them. And it should.”
Boras had a lot more to say on the topic, and it’s really no surprise that an agent who represents the biggest superstars in the sport would take that stance. He also currently reps Houston’s José Altuve, Lance McCullers and Aaron Sanchez. Boras defended Altuve when new allegations surfaced that Altuve and others took the cheating a step further in 2019.
To say that Astros players had no idea they were breaking rules simply because Alex Cora may have been the mastermind behind the operation is absurd. We already know there was a different reason MLB chose not to punish players, but that in no way means they were innocent.