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Ex-Astros catcher Evan Gattis: Sorry isn't 'good enough' for sign-stealing

Evan Gattis played four seasons for the Houston Astros before retiring after the 2018 season. File Photo by Trask Smith/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/5a2d2620f0e8ba953ade4ca02636f53c/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Evan Gattis played four seasons for the Houston Astros before retiring after the 2018 season. File Photo by Trask Smith/UPI | License Photo

April 3 (UPI) -- Former Houston Astros catcher Evan Gattis says saying sorry isn't "good enough" after his former team was caught illegally stealing signs during its 2017 World Series winning run.

Gattis made the comments Thursday on the 755 Is Real podcast. Gattis said Astros players cheated baseball, and he feels bad for fans.

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"I'm not asking for sympathy or anything like that," Gattis said. "If our punishment is being hated by everybody forever, just like, whatever. I don't know what should be done, but something had to [expletive] 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 [expletive] good enough to say sorry. I get it."

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A MLB investigation found that at the start of the 2017 season, the Astros began to use a camera-based system to steal signs from opposing teams, allowing their players to know what type of pitches were coming during at-bats.

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It also found that the Astros used versions of the system during the post-season that year, when they won the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The practice continued for parts of the 2018 season.

Former Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow and team manager Grady Hinch were suspended and fired by MLB for their roles in the scheme. The Astros also were fined $5 million and forced to surrender a total of four picks in the first and second round of the MLB Draft this year and next.

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Former Astros bench coach Alex Cora and former Astros player Carlos Beltran -- who were with the team during the sign-stealing -- lost their managerial jobs after the investigation.

No players have been directly punished for their roles in the sign-stealing scheme.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has said he won't strip the Astros of their World Series title, despite players and fans criticizing him for the Astros' punishment not being strict enough.

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Gattis, 33, retired after the 2018 season. He spent his final four seasons with the Astros. He said Hinch knew about the sign-stealing scheme during his tenure as manager.

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Hinch and Luhnow's season-long suspensions will be fulfilled in 2020 even if the MLB season is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"You work your whole life to try to [expletive] hit a ball, and you mean you can tell me what's coming? It was like, 'What?' It's a powerful thing, and there's millions of dollars on the line," Gattis said. "And that's the bad of it, too, that's where people got hurt. And that's not right. That's not playing the game right."

Several current and former Astros players have apologized for their roles in the scheme since the conclusion of the investigation.

Astros players were booed and heckled by opposing fans during spring training games before Major League Baseball suspended the 2020 season indefinitely.

"It got out of [expletive] control," Gattis said of the Astors' cheating in 2017. "That's why I'm actually glad that the objective truth is out there. We [expletive] up, and it was not right. It was wrong.

"It's a little easier to see it being [expletive] 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."

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