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.
The Associated press has learned that umpire Kerwin Danley will soon be named the first African-American crew chief in baseball history. MLB will likely make the announcement official some time this week.
Danley, 58, called his first game in the majors in 1992 as a minor league fill-in and was hired as a full time big league up in 1998. He has worked two World Series and has worked ten other postseason rounds. He has also called two All-Star Games.
It’s quite a thing that it has taken until 2020 for there to be a black crew chief. Baseball, however, has historically lagged in hiring and promoting black umpires. The first black big league umpire — Emmett Ashford — did not make his debut until 1966, nearly two decades after Jackie Robinson broke the color line for players. In all, the Associated Press notes, there have been only ten black umpires in the game’s history.
As for Danley himself, in the nearly 11-year history of this website, we have only written one post about any bad calls he has made, and that was a very minor and ultimately meaningless bad call in a Rays-Orioles game in 2010. If you’re an umpire and you’re not making the news, you’re doing a good job.
Congratulations on the promotion, Kerwin Danley. Per what I said in the last paragraph, here’s hoping that we only mention your name when you are given postseason assignments in the coming years.