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Bo Bichette: Tough to hear Astros' response to scandal

By MARK DIDTLER

Associated Press

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Bo Bichette says it's been tough to watch the Houston Astros response to their sign-stealing scandal exposed in Commissioner Rob Manfred's report.

"I don't know what they're really thinking," the 21-year old Toronto Blue Jays shortstop and son of former player Dante Bichette said Saturday. "I don't know what their true intentions behind the apologies are. From the outside looking in, it doesn't seem to be too apologetic."

MLB acknowledged the Astros guilty of using video to steal catchers' signs in 2017 and 2018. The cheating was publicly revealed when former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers, now with Oakland, discussed it with The Athletic in November.

Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr, son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, also doesn't like what transpired.

"I'm not very comfortable with that," Guerrero said through a translator. "It's been a while for them to be doing that, so they should get some kind of punishment. I believe if I know what's coming, I will hit .500."

Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for one season each, then were fired by the Astros. No players were punished.

"People do things they regret. But when you get away with it, it just becomes a bit bigger than it is," Bichette said. "We'll move on from it but I think it's a tough pill to swallow."

Bichette would "absolutely not" take part in a similar scheme.

"I would hope that I would have made a pretty big ruckus that we were doing that in the first place," Bichette said.

Los Angeles Dodgers star Cody Bellinger said Friday that he felt Houston's Jose Altuve stole the 2017 AL MVP award from the Yankees' Aaron Judge and the Astros swiped that year's World Series title from his team.

"I'm glad that Bellinger stepped up and said something," Bichette said. "I think that more guys in his position need to. There's so many people, not just the Dodgers, not just Judge, guys who got hit hard for an inning, all that."

BIGGER ASPIRATIONS

Bichette is "super excited" about what the Blue Jays can accomplish this season.

"I expected us to do really well," Bichette said. "I think we've got a lot more talent than people realize. I don't think people are taking into account some of our guys are going to take steps forward and become really impact players."

Toronto went 67-95 last season but added a number of pitchers, including Hyun-Jin Ryu. Bichette, Guerrero and second baseman Cavan Biggio, all made their big league debuts last year.

CAMP DEVELOPMENTS

Guerrero is working on his launch angle in an attempt to cut the number of ground balls he hits. Manager Charlie Montoyo plans to rotate his designated hitter this season and is looking for his regulars to start 145-150 games. Brandon Drury will fill-in at short when Bichette is rested.

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Updated February 15, 2020

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