The most hilarious, egregious & shameful claims by Crane
On Thursday, Astros owner Jim Crane addressed a massive scandal involving multiple members of his organization.
No, not the scandal where an Astros executive bullied three reporters in his noble attempt to defend an accused domestic abuser, only to deny it with the full-throated support of the team’s public relations department, all contra the testimonies of multiple onlookers.
Nor that time Eagle Logistics — the Crane-founded company where he amassed his wealth — was sued by the Department of Justice for alleged war profiteering. (Not once, but four times.)
Not even the thousands of claims alleging race and gender discrimination at Eagle, resulting in a $9 million settlement.
No, Crane’s latest mea culpa was regarding the Astros’ illegal sign-stealing operation, executed by the players, but not without assistance from multiple members for the front office.
Crane’s presser was littered with claims that were vapid, incorrect, easily disproven, and frankly, kinda hilarious:
1. “This didn’t impact the game”
According to Crane, knowing what pitch was coming didn’t impact his hitters’ performance, which is why he felt justified in not contacting the Yankees or Dodgers to apologize for his team’s sign-stealing throughout the 2017 playoffs.
Both of those series were decided on a do-or-die Game 7.
“To determine the effect and the cause is, in my opinion, almost impossible,” Crane asserted as fact, despite all the facts.
Why cheat for (at least) a season and change if you didn’t think it was working?
We have outside analysis making the case that it did work. In November, Rob Arthur found that, cumulatively, Astros hitters significantly improved their plate discipline after they started banging their trash can to relay pitches to the dugout.
But Crane didn’t have to read, or God-forbid, Google for evidence. All he needed to do was ask his employees.
Tom Koch-Weser, the Astros’ “Manager of Major League Advance Information” wrote that the scheme absolutely helped some of their hitters.
“Marwin [Gonzalez], I’d say does the best job with getting this info,” Koch-Weser said of his utility man, who left after 2018 to join the Twins.
Gonzalez had career bests in virtually every statistical category, including average (.303), OBP (.377), slugging % (.530), home runs (23), RBI (93), runs (67), hits (138) and doubles (34).
Koch-Weser isn’t the only Astros staffer that believes that cheating helped the team.
Carlos Correa, the Astros’ starting shortstop, told reporters that knowing the pitch ahead of time was “definitely an advantage.”
2. “I didn’t say it didn’t impact the game”
Actually, you just did. No wonder the Astros are ready to move forward — they’re awfully quick to forget about their past.
3. Any variation of “the report said” or “the commissioner said”
First: The commissioner’s report sucks! At absolute best, the league findings presented to the public weren’t nearly as comprehensive as they should have been. At worst, key information was omitted from it, such as the heavy involvement from the front office in what was called a “player-driven” scheme.
Second, Crane regularly deflected tough questions about by hiding behind what Rob Manfred sent out in January. Which makes you think he would have at least exhibited a thorough understanding of
what his employees were doing.
4. “I’m not clear on all of those details. Again, I didn’t do the investigation.”
After deferring to the results found in MLB’s investigation, Crane suggested he didn’t understand the investigation’s findings on when the when the cheating actually ended. So, then, did it stop? According to Crane, “clearly it stopped early on [in 2018].”
5. “It won’t happen again on my watch.”
Look, Crane placed full trust in a report that he sounds like he didn’t read and has no idea if the Astros’ scheme even worked. Regardless, he said the Astros are done cheating and we should believe him.