The Houston Astros addressed the 2017 sign-stealing scandal Thursday morning in West Palm Beach, Florida. With players showing up for spring training ahead of the 2020 MLB season, the team was forced to answer questions about the cheating system that resulted in one-year suspensions for manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow.

Owner Jim Crane spoke with the media at the team’s spring training facility, along with new manager Dusty Baker. Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman read brief prepared statements at the press conference before meeting with reporters later in the clubhouse.

Crane placed almost all of the blame on Hinch and Luhnow, who were fired in the immediate aftermath of being punished by MLB. The owner took no responsibility for the scandal and refused to say the team cheated on its way to winning the 2017 World Series.

Crane promised that the Astros would not be involved in any sign-stealing scandals moving forward. 

The players showed contrition. They apologized for stealing signs in real-time with video that allowed them to relay what pitch was coming to teammates by banging on a trash can. 

The team was also asked about rumors that some Astros might have worn buzzers under their clothing in order to steal signs during the 2019 season. Video of Jose Altuve demanding that his teammates didn’t tear off his jersey after he hit a series-clinching home run in Game 6 of the 2019 ALCS has raised suspicion about a new cheating method.

When asked about buzzers, Altuve pointed to the MLB investigation, which found no evidence of Houston cheating in 2019. Carlos Correa and George Springer flat-out denied that the Astros used buzzers to steal signs last season.

Corea also addressed a recent report in The Athletic, which named Carlos Beltran as a leader in Houston’s sign-stealing scheme. Beltran was fired as manager of the New York Mets this offseason because of his role with the Astros in 2017.

The Astros will play their first spring training game on Feb. 22 against the Washington Nationals, who beat Houston in seven games in the 2019 World Series.

Alex Bregman Jose Altuve Astros Alex Bregman #2 and Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros celebrate their team's win over the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park on October 13, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Elsa/Getty Images