Former Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel became the first member of the 2017 World Series winning team to publicly apologize for illegal sign stealing on Friday.
Keuchel, who played for the Astros from 2012-18, was both apologetic and surprised by the attention received by the scandal.
"I think first and foremost, apologies should be in order ... for everyone on the team. When the stuff was going on, it was never intended to be what it's made to be right now," said Keuchel, who signed a three-year, $55 million contract with the Chicago White Sox last month.
The 2017 Astros' team was found guilty of illegally stealing signs from opposing teams using electronic technology. That result led to the season-long suspension and subsequent firing of Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow as well as a $5 million fine for the team and loss of upcoming draft picks.
Keuchel, who played with the Atlanta Braves last season before signing with the White Sox, wasn't shy about talking about the scandal during the latter team's winter fan fest on Friday.
"When stuff comes out over the course of a big-league ball season, it's always blown up to the point of 'Oh my gosh this has never happened before,'" the 32-year-old Keuchel said. "I'm not going to go into specific details, but during the course of the playoffs in 2017 everyone was using multiple signs. For factual purposes, when there is no one on base, when in the history of baseball has there been multiple signs?
"There was probably six out of eight teams using multiple signs. It's just what the state of baseball was at that point and time. Was it against the rules? Yes it was and I personally am sorry for what has come about, the whole situation."
Keuchel owns an 84-71 record with a 3.67 ERA over 211 appearances (202 starts) in eight seasons with the Astros and Braves. He won 20 games in 2015 when he won the American League's Cy Young Award.
--Field Level Media