TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork) — Here’s another reason to think about spring on a dreary day in the Tri-State Area: The Yankees‘ 2020 season is just around the corner.

Manager Aoone said he was almost done talking about the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, and was just happy to take a look at his pitchers and catchers as they worked out for the first time, but the Astros’ wrongdoings were still a topic of conversation on Thursday, CBS2’s Otis Livingston reported.

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They were the sights and sounds every Bombers fan has been waiting to see and hear — pitchers and catchers hitting the field for the first time as a group.

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Boone is starting his third season as manager and it’s fair to say that the pressure is on. The Yankees are the odds-on favorites to win the World Series.

“It’s an exciting day. We have, obviously, big expectations and we embrace those expectations. We look forward to the long process now of trying to chase a championship, but those foundational pieces start to really get laid in earnest today,” Boone said.

And one of the biggest pieces — and perhaps the final piece — is new ace Gerrit Cole. If you think Boone is under pressure, how about the $324 million pitcher who is expected to get this team over the top.

“I love it. From a player’s perspective, it really doesn’t get much more simple than that. It’s the dream to go out there every day and try to win every single time,” Cole said. “There are a lot of moving parts and there are a lot of people that pour a lot of time into simplifying that one theme: We need to win a world championship.”

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The Yankees last did that in 2009.

But the first few questions to Cole were about the Astros, his former team, and their scandal. He was a little more guarded in those responses, saying despite the Yankees’ anger about the scandal he doesn’t owe his new teammates an explanation.

“I had no idea of any of it going on. I didn’t see any of it. And so, I don’t really have anything to apologize for,” Cole said.

The Astros held a press conference on Thursday in an attempt to put the scandal behind them, and while the clear purpose was to say, “We’re sorry” and hope to move on, owner Jim Crane raised eyebrows with this statement: “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.”

Asked moments later about his statement about the effects on the game, Crane tried to backtrack, saying, “It’s hard to determine how it impacted the game, if it impacted the game.”

The Astros were then blasted on social media, with the popular opinion being they either botched the press conference or were too arrogant to care.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)