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#pounditTuesday, September 22, 2020

Tony Kemp says he refused to join Astros’ sign stealing

Tony Kemp

One member of the 2017 Houston Astros claims to have refused to take part in the team’s sign stealing system.

Tony Kemp, who was briefly an outfielder on the 2017 team, said Friday he refused the opportunity to take part in the scheme when it was offered to him upon being called up in September.

“That stood,” Kemp said, via Janie McAuley of the Associated Press. “Once I got there in September, the system was already in place, and I just tried to keep my head down and play hard and not really concern myself with it.”

Kemp, now with the Oakland Athletics, said he never felt any further pressure to partake in the scheme once he said no to it.

The ongoing line from Astros players has been that they wished they’d done more to stop it, but Kemp is the first to say he openly refused to take part. Kemp probably couldn’t have done more — he was a September call-up walking into a playoff-bound team with a well-established system.

Kemp played in just 17 games for those Astros, hitting .216. He did not appear in any postseason games in 2017.

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