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Dallas Keuchel apologizes for 2017 Houston Astros' sign-stealing scheme

Former Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel pitched for the club from 2012 through 2018 before signing with the Atlanta Braves last season. File Photo by Trask Smith/UPI
Former Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel pitched for the club from 2012 through 2018 before signing with the Atlanta Braves last season. File Photo by Trask Smith/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Former Houston Astros ace and current Chicago White Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel apologized Friday for the Astros' sign-stealing scheme used during their 2017 run to the World Series.

Speaking at a fan convention for the White Sox, Keuchel became the first member of the 2017 Astros to offer a public apology for the cheating scandal. He was both apologetic and surprised at the attention surrounding the sign-stealing operation.

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"I think first and foremost, apologies should be in order ... for everyone on the team," Keuchel told reporters. "When the stuff was going on, it was never intended to be what it's made to be right now."

Keuchel pitched for the Astros from 2012 through 2018 before signing with the Atlanta Braves last season. He signed a three-year, $55.5 million contract with the White Sox in December.

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Earlier this off-season, a league investigation confirmed the 2017 Astros cheated during the regular season and postseason of their World Series-winning 2017 campaign. According to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, the Astros used an illegal camera-based system to steal signs of opposing teams.

The sign-stealing operation led to the suspension and subsequent firing of Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch.

"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,'" 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?

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"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."

Former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers revealed the team's sign-stealing operation in an interview with The Athletic in November. Keuchel was measured in his response when asked about Fiers' role in revealing the scheme.

"A lot of guys are not happy with the fact that Mike came out and said something, or the fact that this even happened," Keuchel said. "At the same time, there is some sorrow in guys' voices. ... This will be going on for a long time, but I'm sure in the back of guys' minds, this is still fresh.

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"I don't think anyone is going to come out from other teams. They see what happens now. ... It sucks to the extent of the clubhouse rule was broken and that's where I'll go with that. I don't really have much else to say about Mike."

The scandal also extended to other MLB teams. In the aftermath, the Boston Red Sox parted ways with manager Alex Cora, who served as the Astros' bench coach in 2017, earlier this month for his role in the scheme.

The New York Mets did the same with Carlos Beltran, a veteran player with the 2017 Astros who was named the Mets' manager in November. Manfred said the league is still investigating allegations that the 2018 Red Sox, under Cora, also used technology to steal opponents' signs.

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