MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Former baseball player Alex Rodriguez looks on before Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Former New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez believes the Houston Astros have “earned” whatever is coming their way.

This past offseason, the Houston Astros were at the forefront of arguably the largest sports scandal in recent memory. MLB investigated the ballclub and found them guilty of stealing signs in both the 2017 and 2018 campaigns. The former season ended with them winning the World Series and hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy.

Thus, the Astros have become one of the more hated teams in sports and are now the target of insults, boo-birds, and hit-by-pitches. Many in and around the sport believe the organization deserves it all, and this includes former New York Yankees slugger and current ESPN analyst Alex Rodriguez.

“I think the one thing that really has upset the fans is this: you cheat, you win a championship, there is no suspension [for any player], and then there’s no remorse,” Rodriguez said during the Yankees-Red Sox spring training matchup on Tuesday. “And the last one I think is probably the worst one because people want to see remorse, they want a real authentic apology, and they’ve not received that thus far.

“I served the longest suspension in Major League Baseball history. It cost me well over $35 million. And you know what? I deserved that. And as a result, I came back, after acting like a buffoon for a long time, I had my apologies, and then I went dark. And I wanted my next move to be contrite but I also wanted to change my narrative. The way you change your narrative is you have to be accountable. You’ve earned all of this negative talk. You’ve earned whatever comes your way, whether it’s getting hit by a pitch or negative press. You have divorced yourself from having the ability to protect yourself.”

Houston didn’t exactly provide an effective apology when addressing the scandal last month. Owner Jim Crane even said he believes that the cheating “didn’t impact the game.”

The Yankees and their fans have shown a little extra anger towards the whole scandal. This is due to the fact that Houston defeated the Bombers in the 2017 American League Championship Series. The Astros won that slate in seven games before defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Fall Classic.

Houston also defeated the Yanks in this past year’s ALCS, a series in which cheating has been speculated. Nonetheless, MLB didn’t find the Astros guilty of any wrongdoing.

Everyone’s saying it’s going to be a long year for the Astros. But if we’re going to be completely honest, the sports world will be discussing this scandal long past 2020.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.