In the wake of Major League Baseball’s sign-stealing scandal that has cost three managers their jobs and the Houston Astros a hefty fine and bevy of draft picks, third baseman Alex Bregman denied that he or his teammates wore any devices to help them detect which pitches were coming.
Speaking at the team’s FanFest on Saturday in his first public comments since MLB came down hard on the Astros in a ground-breaking punishment earlier this week, the two-time All-Star Bregman was understated and spoke in general terms in acknowledging the controversy — although he emphatically denied wearing any buzzer as had been rumored on social media in recent days.
“The commissioner came out with a report, MLB did their report and the Astros did what they did,” Bregman said to reporters, also saying allegations of wearing a pitch-detecting buzzer were “stupid.”
“They made their decision on what they’re going to do.”
What commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Monday has been the talk of the sport since.
The league suspended manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one year, fined the Astros $5 million and took away the team’s first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021. Astros owner Jim Crane promptly fired Hinch and Luhnow the same day, with the stench and connection back to the original 2017 sign-stealing scheme also costing Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran their managerial jobs with Boston and the New York Mets, respectively.
Cora was implicated as the ringleader of the scheme, which involved cameras being focused on the opposing catcher’s pitch signs, while he was a bench coach in Houston. After the Astros won the World Series in 2017, Cora skippered the Red Sox to the 2018 Series title in his first season as manager there. Boston and Cora agreed to part ways on Tuesday, one day after Manfred’s ruling.
Beltran, who had just been hired to manage the Mets in November, was also named in the MLB ruling as the only specific player mentioned who helped carry out the system of cheating. He and the Mets mutually parted ways before he ever managed a game.
As rumors picked up on social media about Astros players possibly wearing buzzers beneath their jerseys — even during the 2019 season and playoffs, All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve released a statement through his agent, Scott Boras, that vehemently denied ever doing so.
“Jose Altuve called me and said he wants it known that he has never, ever worn an electronic device in a major league game — ever,” Boras told Sports Illustrated. “He never received any form — of a trigger or any information — via an electronic product that was on his body or in his uniform. He has never worn any electronic device. Ever.”
—Field Level Media