“We Obviously Cheated Baseball”: Thank You, Evan Gattis

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Former Astro Evan Gattis (above) has publicly shown remorse for his team’s actions in 2017. (Courtesy of Flickr)

Hudson Flynn, Contributing Writer

“Everybody wants to be the best player in the f—ing world, man … and we cheated that, for sure, and we obviously cheated baseball and cheated fans, fans felt duped. I feel bad for fans.”

Evan Gattis’ words rang out with a sharpness and regret not seen in baseball since the early 2000s, and the end of the steroid era. Gattis, a former Astros catcher and a World Series winner in 2017, spoke with a sense of remorse that baseball has not seen from a member of the forever-tainted Astros 2017 World Series team.

Gattis continued on The Athletic’s “755 is Real” podcast, “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—ing 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—ing good enough to say sorry. I get it.”

While there were consequences handed down by the league office, namely the one-year bans and eventual firings of Manager A.J. Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow, many did not see it as enough. Right or wrong, the MLB provided clemency for Astros players in exchange for their help in unearthing this massive scandal, and with that clemency came a general lack of remorse from the players. However, in some circumstances, a lack of remorse can be considered an understatement, with numerous Astros players making light of the situation.

Gattis had more to say than to just apologize; he defended former teammate Mike Fiers, who blew the whistle on the scandal, which has led to numerous death threats and general hatred from Astros fans.

“(Fiers) had something to say, so he had to f—ing say it, and then we had to get punished,” he continued. “Because if not, then what? It’d f—ing 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.”

While he did address the allure of knowing the next pitch that would be thrown to you, he didn’t defend his and his teammates’ actions. “It’s a powerful thing, and there’s millions of dollars on the line and s—. 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.”

The world of baseball was first rocked by the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal where an elaborate system of cameras and trash cans (yes, trash cans) led the Astros to a World Series victory, then by the global devastation of the coronavirus, which has brought an end to normal day-to-day life and is likely to bring an end to this coming baseball season. Most fans did not expect to get any form of an apology or true recompense from the organization or the individual players involved, but Gattis stepped up to the plate (pun intended) and said what he felt needed to be said.

While it may not be enough for some fans, which Gattis fully understands, it is far and away the most apologetic tone we have heard from anyone involved. Gattis concluded by saying, “We f—ed up, and it was not right. It was wrong. It’s a little easier to see it being f—ed up afterward. That happened and we cheated. You can’t feel that good about it.”

As a Yankee fan, I will always hold massive amounts of resentment for the 2017 Astros, but at least one of them was man enough to say what needed to be said. And for that, I thank you, Evan Gattis.