(670 The Score) -- While the Cubs weren't directly affected by the Astros' sign-stealing scandal in the way so many other teams and players have been across MLB, they nonetheless harbor anger and ill will toward a cheating scheme that has rocked the sport.
Usually mild-mannered and affable Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant didn't hold back in his opinion of the Astros as he met with the media upon reporting to spring training in Mesa, Ariz. on Saturday.
"What a disgrace that was," Bryant said. "Watching their apology too, there’s no sincerity. There's no genuineness when it comes to it. I certainly know that if I messed up big in that way, I'd be the first one to let you know just how big of a mess-up it was. It's just hard to believe. It really is. It's sad.
"There's players that don't want it. I still think they were going through the (trash can) banging and stuff, because I really think it turned into a routine there. A lot of the apology was about 2017. It's like, I'm pretty sure it's going on in 2018 and 2019 too. That's just so sad. If they didn't get caught, they'd still be doing it. They're only doing this apology because they got caught. There's a lot of feelings on it, and I know everybody around the league is really upset and rightfully so, because it's really a disgrace to the game."
The Astros utilized cameras and technology in their sign-stealing scheme to relay the pitch types coming to their batters while winning the World Series in 2017, cheating that has continued over the past few seasons. In the fallout from the scandal, the Astros fired manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow and the organization was fined $5 million and docked its first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.
There have been accusations that the Astros used electronic buzzers on their bodies as well, which they've denied. Bryant wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the Astros did use buzzers.
"I totally believe that too," Bryant said. "I really do. I mean, I think if you find a way to cheat the system in one way, you're only going to continue to try to push the boundaries. A lot of the situations and circumstances surrounding this is very suspect. It's definitely not far-fetched to believe that there were other means of cheating involved."
Asked if Astros players should've been punished, Bryant responded "absolutely."
"If I did it, I would accept the punishment," Bryant said. "You would have to. I thought the whole punishment was weak. I mean, was is it? They got fined, what, 5 million bucks? You make that selling the price of beers at the games now. You make that -- I don't know how many games -- but you make that real quick."
Bryant went on.
"That just feels so wrong," he said. "I'm playing golf with my dad, and I feel bad for taking a one-foot gimme putt. Doing this? This is people's livelihoods too that they're messing with.
"I personally think it's worse than steroids. I really do. With steroids, you have to compete and hit the ball."