Dave Roberts, A.J. Hinch squirm under barrage of sign-stealing questions

Sporting News

SAN DIEGO — The contrast in demeanors was stark.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts sat for the 4:40 p.m. interview slot. Astros skipper A.J. Hinch replaced his good friend and fellow manager in the same chair, just to the left of the main stage in the Grand Hall at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, for his 5 p.m. session.

Both men were asked multiple questions about the allegations the Astros stole signs electronically at home games in Houston during the 2017 season. Hinch’s Astros, of course, played Roberts’ Dodgers in a classic seven-game World Series that same year.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

MORE: Carlos Correa reportedly on trade block

When Roberts was asked for his thoughts on the allegations, the skipper chose his words carefully. He paused often. He strained his face before speaking.

Have you thought back to that series, about moments that might have been suspicious, Roberts was asked.

“Possibly.”

Does it make you feel differently about the outcome?

“Umm … no. Because nothing’s going to change it.”

Were you taking extra precautions in that series?

Five seconds passed, with only an “Umm …” as he pondered his response. “Were we taking extra precationaries in that series? Yes. Yep.”

So you were somewhat aware?

“Yeah. But, yeah, to what extent, we, we, uh we didn’t know to what extent. But we were trying to, y’know, take some precautions, yes.”

The line of questioning lasted five minutes. Roberts showed restraints with his words, even as he made it pretty clear how he felt about the entire situation. Watch for yourself here.

And here.

And then, it was A.J. Hinch’s turn in the spotlight. His team was on the winning end of the 2017 World Series, claiming Game 7 at Dodger Stadium. This was his first open media session since The Athletic story that detailed the allegations.

Hinch started with an opening statement.

The manager, who knows how to command a media session, was clearly uncomfortable. He declined comment time after time, even though he acknowledged reporters asking the questions had a job to do. He even tried joking a bit, when he mentioned how much time he’d spent speaking with MLB investigators on multiple occasions.

He said he looked forward to one day being able to talk about it, fully.

He’s not the only one.

What to Read Next