Good at stealing signs. Not so good at pretending they're sorry about it.
The team's official mea culpa Thursday in Florida turned out to be as predictable as it gets. From owner to star players the message was the same, almost as if it had been rehearsed the night before.
A few words of remorse for the worst scandal to hit baseball since the steroid era. Then it's on to 2020 and, just maybe, a World Series title without having to cheat to get it.
If the Astros were as bad at stealing signs as they are at apologizing for it, there might be championship flags flying in Los Angeles and New York now. If they were getting paid for being honest and forthright, they would be driving Toyota Corollas to spring training instead of Range Rovers.
Instead, they put on a dog and pony show, minus the pony. Well maybe not, because Astros owner Jim Crane was there to make the absurd claim that his team would have won the 2017 World Series even without cheating.
"We had a good team," Crane said. "We won the World Series and we'll leave it at that."
Good luck explaining that to Yu Darvish, Clayton Kershaw and the rest of the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers. Trying to defend the indefensible is not a good look, and Crane might have been better served simply keeping quiet.
If not for manager Dusty Baker looking very cool behind sunglasses in his new job, it would have been a total disaster.
Need more proof? Just listen to Justin Verlander, who expressed his regret that he didn't say more about what was going on in Houston.
And what exactly did Verlander say at the time?
"That's between myself and my teammates," Verlander said. "I don't want to get into specifics. As a team we've expressed our remorse, myself included, and I'll leave it at that."
Just millionaire ballplayers being millionaire ballplayers. Accountability is for losers and, besides, we have a season in front of us that everyone should focus on instead.
Not so fast. The Astros still have some explaining to do, and a lot more to apologize about.
The fact they don't seem terribly interested in doing so should make a lot of people around baseball — players included — even madder than they currently are.
"It is what it is," outfielder Josh Reddick said. "It happened, and we ask for forgiveness from everybody and to try to move forward in 2020 and focus on that."
If only it was that easy. The upcoming season will be like no other for the Astros, beginning with the first road game on April 3 in Anaheim, where Dodger fans have bought tickets by the thousands to boo the Astros against the Angels.
There will be many other uncomfortable days for players to deal with like they did Thursday in Florida. The Astros will surely be regaled by loud banging sounds wherever they go, a constant reminder of the scheme to steal signs that helped win them a World Series title they didn't deserve.