Former Astros righty Charlie Morton became the latest player to address Houston’s electronic sign-stealing scandal, telling MLB.com’s Juan Toribio and other reporters that “personally, I regret not doing more to stop it” during his time with the club in 2017, while also admitting that he wasn’t certain what steps he could have taken to directly halt the sign-stealing system. Morton has already spoken to some Rays teammates about the situation, and added that he didn’t believe the Astros were still doing anything illicit last October, when Houston defeated Tampa Bay in the ALDS.
2017 was a particularly unique year for Morton, as he wasn’t just a big part of a World Series-winning team, but his entire career was revived while pitching for the Astros, turning him from a borderline journeyman to his current top-of-the-rotation status in Tampa. Despite his own fond memories, however, Morton knows and accepts that the Astros’ achievements have been overshadowed by the scandal. “Certainly the public perception of that win has changed, and my peers, too….There are moments during the World Series that will always be special to me, that won’t be ’tainted.’ But certainly that’s justified, that’s a justified perception to have, and what people have expressed,” Morton said.
More from around the AL East…
- Between all of the uncertainty surrounding the Mookie Betts trade and yesterday’s Padres/Rays trade that sent Manuel Margot to Tampa Bay, there has been some speculation that the Padres could be clearing center field for a late strike at acquiring Betts. However, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe (Twitter link) suggests the opposite, noting that since Margot was reportedly part of the Betts negotiations between the Red Sox and Padres, sending Margot to the Rays indicates that San Diego decided to go in another direction.
- The Blue Jays went into the offseason prepared to aggressively search for pitching, only to have to ramp up their approach when the free agent market moved much quicker than anticipated, Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi writes in a wide-ranging overview of Toronto’s winter moves. Davidi’s piece provides a breakdown of how the Jays pursued their targets, ranging from big names (i.e. Gerrit Cole, Yasmani Grandal) on both the rotation and position player fronts, as well as looking for value by checking in with seemingly just about every pitcher available. The Winter Meetings seemed to be a key pivot point, as one player agent told Davidi that the Jays began to take a “totally different” approach in negotiations: “It’s like they realized what they’d been doing wasn’t working and decided to change things up.” In essence, the Toronto front office reversed its strategy, abandoning the plan of acquiring an ace-level arm first and then adding more pitchers to a new tactic of signing mid-rotation hurlers (i.e. Tanner Roark, Shun Yamaguchi) before finally landing a big fish in Hyun-Jin Ryu.
- Adding to the long list of pitchers known to have garnered interest from the Blue Jays, Davidi reports that Toronto was also “in the mix for” both Alex Wood and Angel Sanchez. Wood ended up signing with the Dodgers, one of his former teams, in mid-January on a one-year contract worth $4MM in guaranteed money (and another $6MM in incentives). Sanchez bounced around multiple farm systems from 2011-17 with a Major League resume that included only 12 1/3 innings for the 2017 Pirates before finding success pitching in Korea over the last two seasons. While Sanchez received some looks from the Jays and other MLB teams, he ended up heading from South Korea to Japan, signing a multi-year deal with the NPB’s Yomiuri Giants.
Looks like the majority of mlbtraderumors readers might be right, or is it a tie if he doesn’t start spring training with either team.
I’ve been telling you guys the entire offseason that Mookie Betts will be traded. There’s just a hang up with the twins guy coming to the Red Sox. No big deal, It will get done.
I think it’s more than a slight possibility the Padres Step Up and make a great offer. And get the deal done. But it will likely be the Dodgers and twins deal is the one that finally goes through.
Yea Gary you and many many others (if you even said it). No one is impressed.
Wow. Nice baseball post. It’s not even original. You’re just one of the many who like to tear down.
Word on the street, everyone I’ve read says. They’re stupid to trade him and that they won’t trade him. Very small minority of folks have wanted this trade to happen. They’d rather see mookie play this year for a lame duck non contender, and then walk at the end of the year. I’ve been saying since October that they WILL be trading him. Anyone with a brain could see that.
Thank you Johnny Superscout. Come upstairs your Spaghetti O’s are ready.
Hey kid, did you make up that nickname Johnny super Scout yourself or read it here somewhere? Oh, that’s right. You don’t have that much imagination. . Thanks for the wonderful post.
Now that I’ve said that, I’ll give you this. It was sure funny made me laugh. And that’s with all seriousness.
Wow! Thanks for the insite Gary, all hail Gary great baseball iq!!
sign stealing or not, Morton was the real 2017 WS MVP
completely agree … he was most deserving
While it’s undeniable that some Astros hitters benefited from the unfair sign stealing, I believe that saying the 2017 playoff run and title are tainted is a great disservice to pitchers like Morton, McCullers, and Verlander who pitched so great and really were responsible for the victory.
i mean id go as far as to say that that team was talented enough to win with our without ths signs, but id get yelled at by everyone for any reason for that.
I don’t know what’s more surprising TB trading Pagan, or not trading Morton.
Morton was n is a terrific pitcher. He carried the Astros through the WS, n receiving the Trophy. He did a great job n to this day I have clue why the Astros didn’t try to sign him.
People that use the letter “n” in lieu of the word “and” or simply using an ampersand (&) deserve long painful brain freeze every time they try to enjoy ice cream.
no they deserve something much more sinister
rock n roll, my dude
You all are a bit sensitive
What do you expect, this is the place where grown men come to whine and complain because they have nothing better to do with their lives.
trash cans…… ha ha
This is really odd. If Morton knew about the sign stealing shenanigans, how could he not make that known to the Tampa Bay organization in last year’s playoff series? To say that “he didn’t think the Astros did that anymore” seems totally disingenuous.
This is just how they speak to the media. Everybody knew it was going on. That’s why the signs were changed so much. Members of that 2017 team are spread all throughout the league now. I’m sure either teams took caution recently with their signs and they probably were unable to steal them, or it’s so widespread that it wasn’t a big deal until the media and fans learned of it.
I’m sure he warned his teammates of that possibility but had valid reasoning that it wasnt happening anymore. You know, players code and all to keep things out of the press. Mike Fiers was an anomaly and I’m glad he blew the whistle.
Morton was a good guy here in Pittsburgh during a difficult period. Glad he found it and has thrived.
I ❤ Sports
We love Charlie in Tampa. He had the best stats of his career. I think he was comfortable knowing that his extended family was here & that his wife & kids will have support if needed. I hope that he would give us another year after this one but he has said only 2 years from when he signed.
dynamite drop in monty
Ya ya ya Charlie, you knew the guy was beating his wife, but you didn’t know who to call……
Not saying anything about his on the field performance, but these explanations by the players make me want to vomit. We learned a lot from the Hinch interview, chiefly that managers have almost no influence in the clubhouse at all, which many of us already knew.
Every Astro knew what was going on, and profited (in one way or the other, INCLUDING financially); that’s why nobody spoke up. That, plus they obviously realized what Hinch did, that unless 10 of them said something, nothing was going to be done.
Meanwhile, Charlie, put your big boy pants on….”sorry” don’t feed the bulldog.
I can’t wait to hear Verlander’s side of the story. He’s the golden boy of baseball etiquette, and ‘playing the game the right way’. I’m sure this won’t effect his HOF career, but it shouldn’t be overlooked.
The players are frauds. They all deserve life time bans. But I would settle for year suspensions.
the fault lies on MLB higher up too. The A’s management went to MLB about the sign stealing before the 2017 playoffs. In a important series they noticed the banging and their pitchers getting shelled. MLB took the report and said there was nothing at all going on. Did they even investigate is the question or just looked the other way. It took a news article before MLB did a investigation.
August 2018 was when the A’s went to MLB
Vin, I also believe that the players and managers Involved (not Verlander, etc.) earned lifetime bans. That would set a precedent so harsh, it would nullify any opportunists’ execution of cheating schemes and engender a swift, severe response from teammates of cheaters.
Moreover, The title should be stripped, even if that means vacating it and it defaults to the Dodgers. I think the Yankees would’ve beaten them if not for cheating , but who knows, and the Dodgers were the #2 in MLB.
I respect everyone’s opinion on this topic because it is unprecedented; however, strict compliance is absolute for cheating, and I feel they are not meeting that objective.
You will be waiting a long time for Verlander’s side of the scandal story.
Great pitcher. Great hypocrite.
he sold his story to Disney
I ❤ Sports
The Verlander name will always be synonymous with cheating. My thoughts from the beginning have been about the children of the players. Having to read & hear about this in the history books for the rest of their lives. These men had an opportunity to set an example for their kids to do the right thing. I suppose it’s do as I say, not as I do.
While I don’t fault the trashstros pitchers, as they were not benefitting from cheating, it is definitely weird the entire org knew about it, and just shrugged their shoulders and went “im ok with this, I guess”.
Morton and all the trashstros pitchers just need to shut their mouths on this topic, like Verlander seems to be.
Honestly if I was JV I’d demand a trade so he could try and win a title without his offense cheating. All 13 players from the offense who had over 100 AB that year should be banned for life, no question.
What the 2017 Astros did was literally worse than what the 1919 White Sox did.
The pitchers absolutely benefited as the offense scored more runs for them. Easier to pitch with a bigger lead and they got more wins from it.
this is the 21st century man. wins dont mean much of anything on a pitcher’s leger now. and there isnt any proof of the “easier to pitch with a lead narrative, especially when it comes to starters, who are the main focus here.
Yea, its not like if Verlander had the run support of the 2012 Astros, he wouldn’t have been ace caliber.
Strike Four, the Black Sox scandal is still worse than what the Astros did.
The Black Sox involved some players on the team, the Asstros entire team and organization cheated so I’m not sure how you can think it’s worse.
Maybe because purposely throwing a game to benefit yourself and a bunch of crooks is worse than cheating to increase the chances that you’ll win.
Semantics, 8 players cheating vs. 25 plus call ups and coaches, training staff, etc.
I’ll stick with the opinion that the deeper the cheating goes, the worse it is.
Talk about false equivalency, and a hyperbolic one at that.
If you don’t get the impression that what was happening in that clubhouse was essentially a coup of the managerial position made possible by the veteran player’s status as future HOF player/coach, the bench coach, with data and assistance from the analytics guys you’re daft.
You believing the simplicity of the solution demonstrates your ignorance, that every Astro player was a soulless coward displays your arrogance, and the nausea you’ve experienced a reflection of your naïveté. Maybe you should put your big boy pants on if you can’t handle professional athletes not all being Boy Scouts.
Ignorance? JV was a leading advocate for ‘playing the game the right way’. He’s a hypocritical morale blowhard. Simplicity? Integrity is simple likebanging on a trash can.
Bobtillman, who my comment was directed towards. Yes, ignorant, simplistic, ignorant, and naive.
As for you, Sacamano, “ignorant” doesn’t apply to Verlander, who is anything but ignorant. Certainly hypocritical and self serving. A “hypocritical morale” isn’t something I’m familiar with, sorry. Integrity is complicated when it involves things like alienation, desire to be accepted, fear of retribution, or becoming an outcast in a town you were just traded to. Verlander’s situation was anything but simple in that situation. Hypocritical to remain silent while previously being one of the most outspoken people in the game? Yes, but if we’ve learned anything about outspoken people on Twitter and the net, it’s that it’s just a facade. The truth is most people are flawed and weak, and this entire saga is just a giant mirror pointing back at us as a reminder that life is full of difficult moments where most of us would fall short of our own standards in response. We are all hypocrites.
Yes, “life is full of difficult moments where most of us fall short of our own standards in response”. No one would disagree But none of that removes responsibility for said actions.
It’s referred to as “putting your big boy pants on”. Either ignore the entire affair, which is what players and Hinch should have done. Or assume responsibility. Any other response is pure cowardice, fed by a media which is more than happy to oblige.
Saying the wife-beater is just “flawed and weak’ is pure ethical chicanery. Either have the guts to admit you’re ignoring it, or fix it.
No, cheating in baseball isn’t on the same moral plane as wife-beating. There are causes for both; causes are not excuses. Neither are apologies. Doing so is ignorant, simplistic and naïve.
Bob, I have to agree with you. Old oak is purporting moral equivalency based on the flawed human condition. This can be applied to any circumstance to excuse any behavior.
It is effectively saying you cannot judge a murderer because you are not perfect, which you astutely note as ignoring the problem, thereby making them complicit in the action. It is flawed, circular logic. Everyone is wrong and because of that, nobody is wrong – abs he took a lot of characters to say that, with what he believes to be superlative writing.
I’m suggesting that people shouldn’t speak with authority about things they don’t understand, haven’t experienced, or about the character of someone they know little about.
A murderer is someone that deviates from social and societal norms and ends someone’s life unlawfully. We can speak with some certainty that given similar circumstances you or I would not have committed homicide. Upwards of sixty people were probably aware of the scheme in Houston, and not one of them stopped it. That would either suggest that Houston assembled sixty sociopaths, or that the circumstances were more complicated than we know. I tend to believe the latter.
Bob, I never said people do not have a responsibility to do right. It is possible to be consciously moral and ethical and still make the wrong decisions. It’s also possible to weigh outcomes with a moral lens. I’m sure there were plenty of moral people in Houston who did just that, probably with fear of being made an outcast in the clubhouse, public enemy number one in the city of Houston, and blackballed in baseball. All the while having to perform at an extremely high level.
That’s a far cry from the simple step of calling authorities on your neighbor for abusing his wife.
Hinch seemed disingenuous as well – citing two times he broke monitors. Was it because he had heartfelt regret that they were cheating or because in those two instances the signs were not correctly forecasted? I’d speculate the latter.
its just like the internet to always assume the worst of people
No, just people that have the highest standards for others but fall short of their own on a daily basis. The most significant aspect of this is their failure to recognize their own shortcomings.
I guess you could justify accepting murder by that logic.
Hunch didn’t break any monitors. That is just a made up story to try to sell him as non-complicit in the cheating. Why would he bother to break monitors when he has not only the authority but the responsibility to say “Hey, if I find you cheating again, you are fired.” Seems pretty simple. That is the boss’s job, isn’t it? I mean, what did he do? He broke monitors. Then when the guys did it again, he broke them again? Did he ever say “Hey, you guys need to stop this-or else?” If not he is tacitly allowing it.
Hinch didn’t have the ability to fire anyone. He also didn’t have the ability to bench eight every day players, especially if the front office knew about the scheme. It’s entirely possible that this was a FO sanctioned practice, rendering this strange threat you propose completely meaningless.
In case you don’t realize it, benching every day players causes your team to suck. That gets you fired as a manager, and it was likely non playing players banging on the cans in the first place. One of them probably was Carlos Beltran. Try telling Carlos Beltran you (the manager) will bench him, the bench player, if he doesn’t stop banging on a trash can. The same person your front office just brought in to nurture and guide your young players.
I ❤ Sports
He admitted in his interview that he broke 2 monitors.
They’re ALL disingenuous…..since when does doing something you know is wrong get washed away because you apologized…
I’d much rather all of them go the “no comment” route…..at least then we wouldn’t have rump-swab reporters acting like “Oh, they’re good guys, they apologized”…….
first we’re angry they wolnt apologize, then that it doesnt sound sincere. now that Hinch has apologized again we’re angry he apologized at all. ridiculous.
I hope they all apologize. I feel better about Morton. Not Hinch, so much. He may not have had much influence to stop it but he sure as heck could have gotten serious about it, like threatening to go to the press. And I wouldn’t give the players a pass just because they apologized, but I would appreciate it nonetheless. It’s only right. Just out of respect to all the fans they screwed. But I don’t think many of them have the integrity to do it. Obviously.
I ❤ Sports
No one had the guts to except Fiers . It’s all about the “club house code”
You get cought harbouring a fugitive and tell the judge “it was Robinhood”
the Padres could be clearing center field for a late strike at acquiring Betts. However, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe (Twitter link) suggests the opposite, noting that since Margot was reportedly part of the Betts negotiations between the Red Sox and Padres, sending Margot to the Rays indicates that San Diego decided to go in another direction.
So Margot was the centerpiece of a Betts trade but instead they traded him (and a prospect) for……Emilio Pagan???
“noting that since Margot was reportedly part of the Betts negotiations between the Red Sox and Padres”
“So Margot was the centerpiece”
How ON EARTH do you make a leap from “part of” to “centerpiece” in your own damn post??? Did you get a concussion recently???
From previous reports “sir”
Margot = Verdugo
Margot may have a bit better defense.
Verdugo definitely has more offensive upside.
I don’t think Margot = Verdugo value wise, maybe as a placeholder. although, SD wouldve hoped so.
To be fair, part-of and center-piece are both fractions.
No Margot was not s centerpiece per the article
Something tells me that Manuel Margot was not going to be a major factor in a Betts trade, and that if they still wanted to get a deal done, they can.
Agreed. It’s a new regime in boston up top, but, the talent evaluators are the same one level down.
Remember boston traded Margot away
Maybe they’re like Preller and any player that he once had a positive evaluation of when he was in Texas is a viable trade candidate for the Padres, no matter how badly they’ve played since.
The Tampa Bay Rays play in St.Petersburg, Florida. Tampa Bay is the name of the metropolitan area. The city of Tampa is the major municipality within the metro area.
Just a PSA. I would want to know this kind of info if I was incorrect, so I’m just sharing this with like-minded folks. Kinda like calling Green Bay just Green if you’re addressing the Packers. Thanks for reading.
Except Green Bay is both the city and the body of water. Whereas, as you note, Tampa is the municipality only.
Hence”kinda”. My point is that some people use Tampa and Tampa Bay interchangeably, which is incorrect.
The Houston Asterisks have tainted the sport of baseball permanently, and I despise them for it.
I hope they lose every game they play from here on out.
Whine whine whine mcwhiney whine
I ❤ Sports
They will be reminded repeatedly at every ballpark they visit.
The ol’ Nuremberg Defense