would like to say that I take full responsibility. I am sorry – not only to my readers, but also to my family, my publisher, and anyone who was affected negatively. Again. I am sorry and will strive to do better in the future.
Was that so hard? It’s three sentences. Forty-four words. Boom. Done. Why can’t people who screw up, cheat, break the law, or otherwise eff up say these three sentences?
You see this all the time in politics. Far too often. The embezzler. The adulterer. The criminal. You get a lot of “through advice from council” or “I’m sorry that you read it wrong.” You get non-apologies. You get deflections. You get redirection.
The past couple of weeks, you saw this in the sports world. The Houston Astros, World Series Champions in 2017 cheated. This is not in dispute. They cheated because they hacked baseball to know what pitches were coming. This gave them an advantage. They won the World Series due to cheating. And yet, they’ve had multiple opportunities to say the sentences above. They’ve said some of those words in some of those configurations, but it certainly hasn’t been the correct configuration.
From the Astros owner, you got an argument about semantics. “I didn’t say it impacted the game.” (Only days earlier he said it impacted the game.)
Alex Bregman, the Astros third baseman added that it was “the choices” that he was sorry about. But failed to take ownership. Plus he said the team made the choices and not him.
The Astros are only the latest in not being able to apologize. It seems simple to me. Maybe that’s because I’ve screwed up a lot and gotten really good at apologizing? If the Astros wanted to really own their cheating, the top paragraph would go a long way. Maybe a large donation to a charity wouldn’t hurt either.
Instead they’re leaning into the wave, hoping that another news cycle picks on something else. It will probably work, eventually. But baseball is an industry with an elephant-like retention span. Hall of Famers like Jose Altuve will see this debate pop up again when his ticket is up – just like the non-apologizers before him. See Macguire, Mark and Canceso, Jose.
The Astros aren’t lying, per se. They’re just not answering the question and they’re certainly not owning their mistake. Cheating is a mistake. It’s a choice that is a wrong choice. Admit the choice, say you’re sorry, and say you’ll never do it again. This isn’t that difficult.
Even the commissioner of baseball, Rob Manfred, doesn’t seem to get it. He doesn’t have anything to apologize for, and yet, he’s not answering questions like he did. Which makes people think that he does have something to apologize for. The whole thing is bonkers. This should have been a one week story if properly addressed and yet it will last long into the 2020 season – maybe defining the entire 2020 season.
While the path seems certain to me, I guess it’s not as easy for others. Closing ranks. Getting stories straight, and deflecting seems to be the soup of the day. For that, I truly am sorry.
(Check out the sorry @TheFakeNed on Twitter because he is the real Chris Kamler. You can also find him on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube)