'We earned the right to be World Series champs': Ex-Astro Keuchel says team should keep title

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel has a few words with manager Rick Renteria Thursday in Glendale, Ariz.

      Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel has a few words with manager Rick Renteria Thursday in Glendale, Ariz. Scot Gregor | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/14/2020 5:54 AM

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For the second time since joining the White Sox on a three-year, $55 million contract in late December, Dallas Keuchel was apologizing for the cheating scandal that helped the Astros win the 2017 World Series. He also said the Astros deserved to remain champs.

"I'm just one dude," Keuchel said Thursday after the Sox's workout at Camelback Ranch. "I guess it's ultimately up to the individual to show remorse or try to move on. I chose the remorse route because, personally, I felt that was what was owed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I felt like I owed it to my family, and that's how I was raised."

Keuchel pitched for Houston from 2012 to 2018. The 32-year-old lefty won the Cy Young Award in 2015 after going 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Lunhow were fired for their roles in the illegal sign stealing. Former Houston bench coach Alex Cora and player Carlos Beltran also paid heavy prices, losing their respective managing jobs with the Red Sox and Mets.

No other players on Houston's 2017 team have been disciplined, and Keuchel was the first one to apologize. That came late last month at SoxFest.

Staying in that lane again on Thursday, Keuchel did veer off when it comes to the Astros possibly being stripped of their World Series crown.

"We're always going to be World Series champs because we were talented and, to me, we earned the right to be World Series champs," he said. "Just because stuff came out about the 2017 Astros doesn't mean other teams weren't doing illegal stuff. It just means we were the ones that were caught. I'm not here to dig into anything that happens. That's my feeling."

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Stealing signs has always been a part of the game, but Houston took it way too far by using electronic buzzers and banging on garbage cans in the dugout to tip pitches.

"Every team is motivated to do everything in their powers, to do everything they can to win," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "Traditionally, doing that based upon your wit or insight or intellect has certainly been acceptable and is what we encourage our guys to do.

"When you cross that line into forbidden activity, that's obviously a different story."

This is a story that has cast a dark light on baseball since it broke and brings back grim reminders of the steroid era.

Keuchel has been open about the Astros' plight with the media and he has the same attitude with his new Sox teammates.

"I'm pretty much an open book with my teammates," Keuchel said. "And like I said, the state of baseball, it was what it was at that time. If they want to talk to me about anything, I'm more than open to talk to them about it. It's one of those things where we've got to move on.

"We've got to remember the past, but we've got to look toward to the future and figure out what the best route is to go."

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