WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Alex Bregman spoke for about 30 seconds and said he was sorry, but did not say why. He said he had learned, but did not say what.

On a patch of grass between the Houston Astros’ spring training building and fields, under a sun obscured by clouds, the star third baseman stepped to a microphone at a news conference, becoming the first player Thursday to apologize — without really discussing with any details — for the sign-stealing scheme from the club’s 2017 World Series championship season.

“I am really sorry about the choices that were made by my team, by the organization and by me. I have learned from this and I hope to regain the trust of baseball fans,” Bregman began, before thanking Astros fans and saying he and his teammates “are totally focused on moving forward to the 2020 season.”

And thus the script was set.

The most eyebrow-raising statement came soon thereafter, when Astros owner Jim Crane replied to a question from a reporter by saying: “Our opinion is that this didn’t impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series. And we’ll leave it at that.”

Moments later, Crane tried to backtrack, saying, “It’s hard to determine how it impacted the game, if it impacted the game.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred disciplined the Astros after he found the team broke rules by using electronics to steal signs during 2017 and 2018. The investigation found the Astros used the video feed from a center field camera to view and decode opposing catchers’ signs. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what was coming, believing it would improve chances of getting a hit.

Manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow were given one-year suspensions by Manfred; Crane then quickly fired both. MLB did not punish any players for the cheating and Crane said he stood by that.

“We’re not going to do anything to the players,” he said.

Crane and players denied that Astros hitters used buzzers to get information about pitches.

The owner repeatedly pointed to MLB’s report instead of directly answering questions and vowed: “This will never happen again on my watch.”

A day earlier, the Astros gathered at their facility, barring media from the grounds, and it was apparent that they mostly agreed on a unified message.

The talking points became clear Thursday before the first official workout of the spring as, one by one, the faces of the franchise spoke to the media in the clubhouse: Bregman, second baseman José Altuve, shortstop Carlos Correa, outfielder Josh Reddick, pitchers Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers.

The Astros share a Florida complex with the team they lost to in last year’s World Series, the Washington Nationals, and this time, it was the runners-up that drew a lot more attention than the champs as both teams’ camps opened.

“In the long run, some of their actions will speak louder than words and being sorry that you got caught and being sorry for what you did are two different things. It’s not going to go away in one day. This is going to be an ongoing process, unfortunately,” Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle said.

“This is something that all of baseball has to reckon with, and we’re all still trying to come to grips with it and process it. So it might take a bit.”