The Houston Astros seem convinced that at least one thing will get everyone to stop talking about their sign-stealing: winning games.
Looking to move past the scandal that rocked Major League Baseball, Josh Reddick and right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. weighed in on the chorus of criticism that the club has received from around the league.
"At some point, you have to move on and not give a shit," Reddick said, according to Sam Fortier of the Washington Post. "We're going to go out there and win and shut everybody up."
"(The trash-talkers) are going to have to play us," McCullers added. "Except for the guys who are popping off the most."
McCullers appears to be referring to Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling and Cincinnati Reds ace Trevor Bauer, both of whom have recently said they would plunk Houston batters if given the chance. The Astros aren't scheduled to meet either of those National League teams during the regular season.
Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger argued last week that Houston should be stripped of its championship as well as Jose Altuve's 2017 MVP. When McCullers was asked if he'd like to settle the dispute with the Dodgers and their stars in the Fall Classic, he replied, "If we get to the World Series, we'll play any team."
Despite losing Gerrit Cole to the New York Yankees, the Astros are still widely projected to win their division. The Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers both made moves to improve this winter, while the Oakland Athletics - coming off of a 97-win season - had very few meaningful departures.