When Justin Verlander expressed regret for remaining silent despite being aware of the Houston Astros 2017 cheating scandal

League Championship Series - Boston Red Sox v Houston Astros - Game Four
Justin Verlander at a press conference for the Houston Astros.

Back in 2020, after the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal went public, many players from the organization, including Justin Verlander, came up and apologized to the fans for cheating. In his press statement, Verlander said he wasn't too proud about not speaking out enough that the incident was taking place.

Justin Verlander had moved to the Houston franchise during the trade window that season. He was traded by the Detroit Tigers, with whom he spent 12 long years. However, the move to the Astros turned out to be frutiful for Verlander as he notched up an ALCS MVP and was the co-winner of the Babe Ruth Award for best performance in the postseason. The Astros also won the World Series.

In the 2019-20 offseason, the only major headlines from the world of MLB was the Houston Astros cheating scandal. The Athletic published an article that outlined how the Astros used electronic equipment to monitor what an opposing pitcher was going to throw. Astros staffers determined the pitch by stealing the catcher’s signs and then alert the batter about what pitch was coming.

Many players from the team, like Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, offered apologies in press conferences for having done wrong to their competitors and fans. Justin Verlander came out and said:

“Once I spent some time and understood what was happening, I wish I had said more. I can’t go back and reverse my decision. I wish I had said more and I didn’t.

When asked about his initial reaction when he joined the team in the middle of the season to find out what was going on, Justin Verlander refused to comment. He dodged other questions where he was asked what his discussions were with his fellow teammates regarding the scandal.

Justin Verlander had spoken out against sign-stealing while at the Tigers in early 2017

Justin Verlander, in early 2017 at a media gathering while still at the Detroit Tigers, had spoken out against batters who understood his signs during the game. In his own words, he had stated how the gamesmanship was slowly fading from baseball.

“It’s not about gamesmanship anymore," he said in 2017. "It used to be, ‘Hey, if you can get my signs, good for you.’ In the past, if a guy on second (base) was able to decipher it on a few pitches, I guess that was kind of part of the game. I think it’s a different level now. It’s not good.”

Officials related to the sign-stealing scandal were immediately forced out of their contracts by various teams with whom they were assigned in 2020. After the Astros continued to have dominating runs in the postseason, questions were raised on their integrity again.

Click here for 2023 MLB Free Agency Tracker Updates. Follow Sportskeeda for latest news and updates on MLB.

Quick Links

Edited by Rajdeep Barman