Ex-Astros slugger Evan Gattis offers profanity-laced apology for sign-stealing scandal

Mark Townsend
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Many Houston Astros players have been criticized for their lack of remorse when addressing the sign-stealing scheme that ranged from their 2017 World Series championship season until 2019.

Evan Gattis does not want to be among those players.

The former Astros slugger offered an apology on The Athletic's "755 Is Real" podcast that was highlighted by a series of profanities, according to Peter Botte of the New York Post.

‘We f----d up’

The apology would not have played well in a more formal setting due to the language used. That’s the beauty of unscripted and uncensored podcasts, we imagine. But Gattis agreed that the punishment laid down by MLB was necessary and that the Astros 2017 World Series championship was in many ways tarnished by the team’s action.

From The New York Post:

“Everybody wants to be the best player in the f-----g world, man … and we cheated that, for sure, and we obviously cheated baseball and cheated fans,” Gattis said on the podcast. “Fans felt duped. I feel bad for fans.”

“I’m not asking for sympathy or anything like that. If our punishment is being hated by everybody forever, just like, whatever. I don’t know what should be done, but something had to f-----g be done. I do agree with that, big-time. I do think it’s good for baseball that we’re cleaning it up. … And I understand that it’s not f-----g good enough to say sorry. I get it.”

Gattis also pointed out that not every player was on board with the sign-stealing. But not much was done to stop it.

"It got out of f-----g control," Gattis said. "That's why I'm actually glad that the objective truth is out there. We f----d up, and it was not right. It was wrong. It's a little easier to see it being f----d up afterwards.

"Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy we won the World Series … But once that all fades, now it's kind of different. That happened and we cheated. You can't feel that good about it."

Who else has apologized?

Gattis is the second former Astros’ hitter to publicly apologize for the sign-stealing scheme. Veteran infielder Marwin Gonzalez offered a statement when he arrived to spring training with the Minnesota Twins on Feb. 11.

Both players were around when the scheme peaked. Gonzalez debuted with the Astros in 2012 and remained a lineup fixture through the 2018 season. He signed a two-year, $21 million contract with the Twins prior to 2019.

Gattis was with the Astros from 2015-18, appearing in 493 total games. He has not appeared in an MLB game since leaving Houston.

Was Gattis sincere?

When you cut through the profanities and listen to the message, Gattis undeniably acknowledged the gravity of the situation. But a Twitter post last week might suggest he was more upset about getting caught.

Gattis purchased this glass from a Houston-area restaurant. It features the likeness of former teammate and sign-stealing whistleblower Mike Fiers. Below Fiers’ likeness is the phrase "snitches get stitches," which implies that anyone who is considered a snitch should be physically beaten up.

The post seems to indicate that ill-will exists toward Fiers, though Gattis seemed more understanding of Fiers’ position on the podcast.

“He had something to say, so he had to f-----g say it and then we had to get punished,” Gattis said. “Because if not, then what? It’d f-----g get even more out of control. I mean, it’s a tough subject. Yeah, I think a lot of people feel duped, and I understand that.”

Only Gattis knows where his feelings truly lie.

One thing we know for sure? The Astros sign-stealing saga isn’t going away anytime soon.

Ex-Astros slugger Evan Gattis apologizes for sign-stealing scheme with series of profanities. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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