Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press spoke with Twins utilityman Marwin González today about the 2017 Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal. He voiced remorse:
“I’m remorseful for everything that happened in 2017, for everything that we did as a group and for the players that were affected directly by us doing this. I wish I could take it back and do it a different way, but there’s nothing we can do. I just want to move forward and focus on the 2020 team. We have a great team. Unfortunately, this is a trial for this special group of guys. I don’t want it to be that way.”
González was a key member of that World Series winning Astros club, and enjoyed his best season by far in 2017, hitting .303/.377/.530 with 23 homers. While he fell off in 2018, his two-year, $21 million deal with Minnesota was in large part a function of what he did the year before and the belief that that was closer to his true level.
There’s no way to really know how much González was benefitted by the sign-stealing, but between the ring and the contract, it’s safe to say that things went well for him in Houston.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.