(CNN)The Houston Astros kicked off spring training with another apology for illegal signal-stealing during their 2017 championship run -- but don't expect the owner to disavow their World Series win or feel that he should be punished.
Astros apologize again for sign stealing, but owner Jim Crane says he shouldn't be held accountable
Astros owner Jim Crane and two players expressed remorse Thursday for the scandal during a news conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, where Houston's preseason training has begun.
"I want to say again how sorry our team is for what happened," Crane said. "I want to also repeat that this will never happen again on my watch."
But as reporters pressed him about whether the Astros should retain the 2017 title, or whether Major League Baseball should punish him personally, Crane drew a line, leaning on MLB's January report that concluded there was no evidence he knew about the scheme.
"No, I don't think I should be held accountable," Crane said. "I'm here to correct it. And I'm here to take this team forward."
"The commissioner made it clear that we're not going to go backward, that the championship would stay intact," Crane said, "and I agree with him."
The MLB report found the Astros illegally created a system that decoded and communicated the opposing teams' pitching signs to their own players at home games during their 2017 championship season.
As a result, Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired January 13, eventually replaced by Dusty Baker and James Click, respectively.
The team must forfeit its regular first- and second-round selections in the 2020 and 2021 drafts and pay a $5 million fine.