I’m Sorry

I’m so sorry, and I know my actions caused harm to others and the game.

Now, is that so hard to say?

Over the last month or so, I have wondered what the public apologies by the Astros management and players would look like. Well, it couldn’t have gone much worse. This made me consider what a company should do if it does something wrong, such as the recent Houston Astros sign stealing/cheating scandal.

What if the company claims to stand for Christian values? {Not claiming the Astros did}

Let me be clear. I am far from perfect. So, I can’t say that everything I have ever done would stand up under the harshest scrutiny. And I don’t know what is in the minds and heart of the Astros players.  But, I do know a poor apology when I see one. And what the Astros owner and some players did yesterday seemed to fall short. Some were better than others, especially what Carlos Correa had to say. He admitted that the team’s sign stealing scheme affected other players, games and careers. {https://wgr550.radio.com/articles/radiocom/astros-cheating-scandal-carlos-correa-apologizes}

What are a few lessons that I took from this crazy episode as Spring Training starts? What does a good apology look like?

  • You have to know what you are truly sorry for and be willing to name it. (Yes, even when you are facing a lawsuit).
  • Don’t apologize in one breath and then say it didn’t matter in the other. (See Jim Craine’s statements)
  • “Moving on” is something that everyone has to decide to do when they are ready (especially the offended or hurt party). The person who caused the pain doesn’t have a right to demand that on their timetable.
  • Our bad actions usually affect more than just the directly impacted person or organizations. (That’s why you apologize to the fans and especially the kids for setting a bad example).
  • An apology is not a time to justify your actions.
  • Don’t read it from a script, say it from the heart.
  • Apology should come with a change in attitude and actions.

So, what would my apology look like if I had done what the Astros management and players did? Maybe something like this.

Ever since I was a little kid, I have wanted to be a major league baseball player. Being in the Big Leagues is a dream come true. And my actions in 2017  have sullied that dream for me and others. I participated in the sign stealing scheme identified by the MLB Commissioner. What our team did and my own actions were wrong, and they violated the true integrity of the game.

Did our previous actions impact the game? Sure, they did. But we will never know how much. We were a talented bunch, but we tried to look for an edge. And we justified it suggesting that others had done something similar. I want to apologize to the other players who were impacted as well as our fans and every kid who looks up to us. We did something wrong, and I wish we had all been big enough men to stand up and say, “Some things aren’t worth doing to win.” 

To the kids who we let down, please learn from our mistakes. Doing it the right way is the only way to truly win in the end. Even if nobody else knows, we all know when we do something wrong. I apologize to my family and friends and all of those who feel embarrassed by what we did. The only way I know to go on is to try my best to be the best player I can be – always seeking to win and honor the rules. I hope we can all move on and enjoy what makes baseball so great. I have no right to demand that of anyone. But I believe that is where redemption and the joy of the game can be found. Let’s play ball, and this time I promise to do it the right way. 

— Signed truly remorseful Astros player

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