And, of course, this isn't an isolated PR incident.
Crane was asked by reporters about speculation that the Astros wore buzzers under their uniforms in 2019 to steal signs. Apparently, nobody in the PR department warned them that in their first public appearance following the scandal breaking, they might be asked about it.
I'm honestly not sure the best approach for the Astros in this situation. They scheduled this press conference as a chance to meet as a team and prepare an apology. Then they just left. "I believe they can learn from their mistake".
Maybe at some point MLB will be able to get the spotlight off this story - the league got a one-day break earlier this week so that everyone could talk about how bad and weird its new playoff proposal is - but that time is clearly not now.
But perhaps one reason baseball fans and media have no interest in moving on is because the Astros are unbelievably bad at apologizing and taking accountability for the cheating that helped them win a championship, as commissioner Rob Manfred detailed in his report that stated the Astros continued using their illegal sign-stealing system in the 2017 postseason, even after all 30 teams were warned that September not to use electronics improperly to steal signs.
Crane remained at the presser to take questions.
"I$3 especially feel remorse for the impact on our fans and the game of baseball", he said. We affected careers. We affected the game in some way.
Our friend @MarlyRiveraESPN with the knockout blow! "When you say you don't believe that I didn't have a buzzer, you don't believe what Major League Baseball investigated". To imply that it didn't impact the game is complete insanity. If you don't fully understand the effects of your actions, how could you possibly apologize for them? And let Major League Baseball take its share of the blame, too, if their cheating really was an "open secret" about which the sport's top executive knew for a long time before they did anything to stop it. Crane did not flat-out deny the accusation. I didn't. I wish I had said more. You guys know me. You can't just sit there and say it's just one team. You would say, "Those accusations are completely ridiculous and absolutely unfounded".
The team said more players would be made available to the media later Thursday. Carlos Correa, in particular, addresses the scandal in a respectable manner. Both had an emotional meeting with players on Wednesday before Astros pitchers and catchers reported to training camp for pre-season workouts.
Regardless, the entire press conference was a complete disaster.