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Rob Manfred tries to bring closure to Houston Astros cheating scandal

NORTH PORT, Fla. – On a warm and breezy evening, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred stood at a podium perched atop the Atlanta Braves’ gleaming, new spring-training facility and stated what, in a typical year, would be the obvious.

“We will,” Manfred told an eager throng of news media, “play baseball this year.”

Forgive the commish for stating the obvious. It’s been one week since spring-training camps opened, yet the game remains consumed by the electronic sign-stealing scandal that tainted the Houston Astros’ 2017 World Series title and truncated – possibly ended – the careers of four accomplished baseball officials.

Sunday, Manfred admitted it will be impossible to put the Astros’ misdeeds to bed – the club’s numerous public relations missteps helped ensure that – and aimed to clarify or contextualize the biggest scandal this game has seen since at least the steroids era and perhaps further back.

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