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Justin Verlander hints that he expressed opposition to Astros stealing signs

Larry Brown Sports logo Larry Brown Sports 2/13/2020 Steve DelVecchio, Larry Brown Sports
An outspoken critic of sign-stealing, Justin Verlander posits that he expressed displeasure with the Astros' cheating tactics in 2017, but to no avail. © Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports An outspoken critic of sign-stealing, Justin Verlander posits that he expressed displeasure with the Astros' cheating tactics in 2017, but to no avail.

Justin Verlander finally addressed the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal on Thursday along with several of his teammates, and the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner seemed to indicate that he expressed displeasure with the tactics when they were ongoing in 2017.

Verlander told reporters multiple times that he “wished I had said more” and apologized for not asserting himself. When asked what he did say at the time to address the illegal sign-stealing, Verlander said that is between him and his teammates.

“I wish I had said more,” Verlander said. “Looking back, I can’t reverse my decision. I wish I had said more and I didn’t, and for that I am sorry.”

Verlander also emphatically replied “no” when asked if he knew about the Astros’ reputation when he was traded to Houston from the Detroit Tigers midway through the 2017 season. While he repeatedly expressed remorse for not putting a stop to the sign-stealing, he kept hinting that he made it known he did not support it.

Before he was traded to Houston, Verlander openly complained about how much of a problem illegal-sign stealing had become across Major League Baseball. Reasons for why he chose to remain silent after it was confirmed that the Astros were cheating were shared by a suspicious Twitter account, but there has been no direct link confirmed between Verlander and that account.

Verlander went 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA after being traded to Houston in 2017 and helped them win the World Series that season. He led the league in strikeouts in 2018 and finished second in Cy Young voting that year. Last season, his 21 wins and 223 innings pitched led the league and helped him win his second career Cy Young Award. Verlander has gone 42-15 with a 2.45 ERA since joining the Astros.

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