Former Houston Astros slugger Evan Gattis admitted on The Athletic’s 755 is Real podcast that his team “cheated baseball and fans” by improperly using technology to steal signs during their 2017 championship season.
Gattis, 33, spent four seasons with the Astros (2015-18). He played catcher and DH for the club while hitting .245/.298/.471 (109 OPS+) with 96 home runs to help the Astros capture its lone World Series championship back in 2017.
But while most Astros players have largely avoided taking responsibility for the infamous sign-stealing scandal, Gattis vulnerably shared his thoughts and opinions about the matter on the 755 is Real podcast (transcribed by New York Post).
“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,” Gattis said. “I’m not asking for sympathy or anything like that. If our punishment is being hated by everybody forever, just like whatever.”
Gattis: ‘Situation was Powerful’
The 33-year-old also revealed he had no issue with former teammate Mike Fiers, who currently pitches for the Oakland Athletics, and was the one who became the public whistleblower for the scandal last year.
“He had something to say, so he had to f—ing say it, and then we had to get punished,” Gattis said. “Because if not, then what? It’d f—ing get even more out of control. I mean, it’s a tough subject.”
Moreover, Gattis shed more light on why and how so many players within one organization could find themselves getting involved in such a huge ordeal that was very clearly against MLB rules. In short, Gattis said the situation just constantly seemed to feed itself.
“Nobody made us do s–t. You know what I’m saying? People saying this guy made us, that guy made us, that’s not it,” Gattis said. “But you have to understand the situation was powerful.”
Gattis: ‘People Got Hurt’
Gattis basically believes having the extra help the sign-stealing process provided was just too hard for him and other players on the team who were always looking for an extra edge over their competition to pass up.
“You work your whole life to try to f–king hit a ball, and you mean you can tell me what’s coming? It was like, ‘What?’ It’s a powerful thing, and there’s millions of dollars on (the) line and s–t,” Gattis said. “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.”
While he admitted being happy to have won the World Series three years ago with the Astros, he also said the negative aspects of the story today far outweighed his fond remembrances of that experience.
Moreover, Gattis doesn’t expect that part of the puzzle to improve as time marches forward.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy we won the World Series,” Gattis said. “It was a great time for Houston, especially after (Hurricane) Harvey. … But once that all fades, now it’s kind of different. That happened and we cheated. You can’t feel that good about it. As I grow up, this is a story now, this is gonna be a story next year, and this going to be a story in a decade and longer.”
Gatti’s last season in baseball was 2018. He does not expect to return to baseball.