The punishments rain down on the Houston Astros for the sign-stealing scandal and they’re severe. Jeff Luhnow and AJ Hinch suspensions will hit hard.
The MLB investigation is complete and Rob Manfred has made a strong statement to the baseball world. Teams will pay dearly for electronically stealing signs, as shown by the penalties handed out to Luhnow, Hinch, and the Astros for their 2017 cheating accusations.
Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch have been suspended for the 2020 season. The suspensions take place beginning today and will run through to the day following the last game of the 2020 World Series. No players will be suspended.
On top of the suspensions, the Astros will lose their first and second-round draft picks for the 2020 and 2021 drafts. They have also been assessed a $5 million fine.
Jim Crane will be addressing the situation with the media this afternoon at 2:00 pm. MLB has stated, “Crane is extraordinarily troubled and upset by the conduct of members of his organization, fully supported my investigation, and provided unfettered access to any and all information requested.”
Rob Manfred: “While it is impossible to determine whether the conduct actually impacted the results on the field, the perception of some that it did causes significant harm to the game.” via Bob Nightengale of the USA Today.
The Red Sox are also under investigation for electronically stealing signs. It can’t be a coincidence that Alex Cora was on the Astros coaching staff in 2017 and then managing Boston in 2018, the year they allegedly cheated. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cora receives the same punishment as Hinch, if not more severe. The nine-page report even claims that Cora was behind the sign-stealing done by the Astros players.
These penalties are hard to swallow and how they will affect the Astros this season and in the future beyond that are still to be seen, and it has to be a blow to the players to lose their manager for the season. But I feel the Astros will still prevail and get over this as a strong and close-knit team and show the world, it’s the talent that won them a ring.