Houston Astros commit multiple errors in sign-stealing scandal

The team members and staff, crowned 2017 World Series champs, booted their opportunities to explain and sincerely apologize. Here’s what PR pros say they should have done better.

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Astros PR crisis

The Houston Astros may have won the 2017 World Series, but the team lost the public relations ballgame following revelations they used an illegal sign-stealing scheme that season.

Major League Baseball suspended the Astros team manager and general manager and announced other penalties but let the team keep its title. The league did not punish any players who participated in the sign-stealing, including some stars.

Taking the MLB punishment a step further, the Astros fired the team manager and general manager. Though PR crises experts and sports pundits approved that move, they say the Astros committed many errors in their crisis management response.

Much of the criticism focused on the team’s press conference  at the start of spring training. Star players Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve read prepared statements then exited the press conference, leaving Astros owner Jim Crane to field questions from reporters.

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