This investigation report definitely mars the reputation of both the Astros organization and the players. It’s very likely this is a scar that cuts pretty deep, taking more than a few years to heal.
How other teams react to our players this year and whether the players are able to withstand the scrutiny that will follow them from clubhouse to clubhouse throughout the duration of 2020 remains to be seen. We are used to having a target on our backs, so it’s possible and likely this scandal just pushes the boys to their best season yet.
Huge questions remain outstanding. Will traveling fans suffer for supporting the Astros? How will other fan bases react to our players this year? Most likely, away games will have stands filled with lots of booing hecklers. Some away games may require extra security for traveling Astros fans. One has to wonder whether any of these factors were considered by Crane when making his decision to fire both Luhnow and Hinch.
I understand this decision by Crane, but it doesn’t feel like firing Luhnow is a positive step in rebuilding our farm system. And the loss of Hinch severely inhibits my confidence in the organization’s abilities to overcome this blight on the reputation of the Astros. After all, he is a genius at handling the media.
And then there’s my thoughts about Alex Cora. I felt so betrayed when he left us after 2017. At the same time, there is something about him that just always leaves me cold and mistrusting. (Maybe I just have a sixth sense or something.) One thing is for sure — his punishment is likely to be much more severe than what Hinch and Luhnow were dealt.