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OC Register: Angels’ Mike Trout blasts Astros in wake of cheat scandal


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TEMPE, Ariz. — Normally mild-mannered, reserved and easy going, Mike Trout did not hold back when making his first public comments about the Houston Astros on Monday morning.

“A lot of guys lost respect for some of those guys,” the Angels superstar said before the team’s first full-squad workout of the spring.

Trout added that he considers himself friends with a few of the Astros players, and a couple of them had even reached out to him over the winter to give their side of the electronic sign-stealing situation.

Trout did not express much sympathy for them.

“It’s sad for baseball,” Trout said. “It’s tough. They cheated. I don’t agree with the punishments, the players not getting anything. It was a player driven thing. It sucks too because guys careers have been affected. A lot of people lost jobs. It was tough. Me going up the plate knowing what was coming? It would be fun up there.”

Major League Baseball did not punish the players in the Astros cheating scandal, because commissioner Rob Manfred said he didn’t believe he could get honest answers from the players without offering them immunity. Manfred also said he considered stripping the Astros of their 2017 World Series title, but opted against it.

Trout said he doesn’t view that championship in the same light now.

“You don’t know what helped them or what not, but if you know what’s coming, it’s going to definitely help them,” Trout said. “I don’t know if you take the trophy away or take the rings away, but they should definitely do something. I don’t know what. To cheat like that, it’s sad to see.”

During much of the 2017 season, the Astros were banging a trash can to alert hitters to the type of pitch.

“I didn’t notice the banging,” he said. “I noticed the banging off the bat, from center field. It seemed like they weren’t missing pitches… I can’t tell you when this happened, but I’m sure it did. I can’t imagine what the pitchers feel like. It’s a mental game. You go in a stretch where you’re doing good and you go into Houston and got banged up, it could mentally drain you.”

In the midst of the Astros sign-stealing news, Trout found himself at the center of a brief social media firestorm when there was an allegation that he had a Therapeutic Use Exemption to use Human Growth Hormone. Major League Baseball quickly issued a statement saying that no player had ever recieved a TUE for HGH.

Trout, who said he was “in a tree stand” on a hunting trip when the story broke, made his first public comments, saying “it’s not true.” Trout also said he had received apologies from the source of the initial story — David Brosius, the son of former big leaguer Scott Brosius — and from Trevor Bauer, who had given more life to the story with his comments.

More to come on this story.



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