PORT ST. LUCIE — J.D. Davis is “ashamed” to have been part of the Astros’ illegal sign-stealing scheme.
The Mets outfielder previously joked about the matter in December, citing his anemic batting average in 2017 as proof he didn’t know what pitches were coming because of electronic surveillance on the catchers’ signs, but Friday he took a different tone.
“I spoke a little bit prematurely,” Davis said before a workout at Clover Park. “I spoke before or during the MLB investigation, and so I was a rookie (in 2017) and was going up and down the system and I was fighting for my life. MLB called and I cooperated with them and made my statements, and back to the December comment in the interview I spoke prematurely.”
Davis’ comments came a day after Astros players largely avoided taking responsibility for the scheme during a press conference at their spring training complex. Davis indicated that as a young player with the Astros, he was in no position to speak up.
“Everybody who was a part of the 2017 Astros, they feel regrettable about that decision,” Davis said. “Looking back as a young guy, being exposed to that in 2017 and looking back and getting a full season now, of course it’s regrettable and you feel ashamed to be a part of it.”
A.J. Hinch and Alex Cora were fired as managers in Houston and Boston, respectively, after MLB issued a report detailing the sign-stealing. Carlos Beltran, who was named in the report — and subsequently has been identified as the “Godfather” in the scheme — departed as Mets manager last month.
“I didn’t really think much of the [sign-stealing], going up there fresh and being part of a major league clubhouse and a major league guy,” Davis said. “Maybe what they did was the norm. I had no idea. I had never been in another big-league clubhouse to compare the two. Looking back on the details of it, it’s terrible. It’s terrible for the game of baseball.
“Anybody who gets crowned the World Series champion, it’s not only a big deal, but it’s a big deal for the baseball world and how they have earned it and they have gone through the 162 games and through the playoffs. To have the incident is very unfortunate.”