In January 2020, the Houston Astros organization was accused of cheating during the 2017 and 2018 baseball seasons. In 2017, the Astros had also won the World Series, thereby offsetting a sports scandal which dominated media coverage for several months. Owner of the Houston Astros, Jim Crane and his players released a statement to the press, a month after the investigation was concluded by the Major League Baseball organization. The investigation concluded that the Astros, in fact, had been stealing pitching signs from opposing teams and using technology to communicate signs to their pitcher. Crane’s response (relying primarily on shift blame, bolstering, reducing offensiveness) to the press initiated a public relations fire of anger and dissatisfaction from their fans, opposing teams, and the media. This study applies the Image Repair theory by William Benoit, qualitative research, and deductive reasoning to analyze what strategies the Houston Astros used to mitigate their cheating scandal and how effective they were in doing so.
Dr. Lisa Bergson, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Jason A. Edwards, Committee Member
Dr. Thomasena Shaw, Committee Member
Copyright and Permissions
Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Edouard, Wendy. (2021). The Houston Astros' cheating scandal: A case study on crisis communication in sports. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 469. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/469
Copyright © 2021 Wendy Edouard