Houston Astros arrive for spring training with some explaining to do

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The activity is slowly picking up in West Palm Beach ahead of baseball’s return in less than 24 hours.

Employees and ballpark staffers are making their rounds on golf carts transporting equipment and personnel to various locations around the complex.

Wednesday is when pitchers and catchers officially report for the start of spring training Thursday morning. Full squad workouts won’t begin until Monday.

Before a pitch is even thrown, the Astros have some explaining and apologizing to do if owner Jim Crane follows through with what he told the media at last month’s Houston Sports Awards.

Crane plans to gather most, if not all, of the team today to discuss how they will address the sign-stealing scandal that has put a dark cloud over the organization for the past month, which led to the firings of both GM Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch.

Now, new leadership is in place after Crane hired Dusty Baker as the new manager and James Click as the club’s new general manager.

A new start is about to happen, but first, the players need to man up, admit what they did and why. Then they will need to prepare for the continued backlash that will come their way at every spring training and regular-season road game.

Let the fun begin.