MLB Punishes Astros’ Managers, Owner Fires Them
After an extensive Major League Baseball investigation, Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were suspended for allegedly cheating during the 2017 World Series-winning season.
The pair are believed to be involved in a sign-stealing scandal that involved the use of cameras. According to Sports Illustrated, the scheme involved using a centerfield camera to get a look at catchers' signs, then communicate the pitches to batters by having teammates bang on a trash can in the dugout.
Shortly after the news broke Astros owner Jim Crane fired both Luhnow and Hinch.
CBSsports writes that the full penalties are as follows.
- One-year suspension for general manager Jeff Luhnow.
- One-year suspension for manager A.J. Hinch.
- The loss of first- and second-round draft picks in both 2020 and 2021.
- A $5 million fine.
- The placement of former Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman on baseball's ineligible list.
"I can say our investigation revealed absolutely no evidence taht Astros owner Crane was aware of any of the conduct described in this report."
-Rob Manfred Commissioner of the MLB
One former Astro appears to be the one who blew the whistle. Right-hander Mike Fiers, who pitched for the Astros from 2015-17, gave an on-the-record account of how the Astros crossed the line. "That's not playing the game the right way," he said at the time.
Stealing signs is not necassarly against MLB rules, but the use of techonagly is where they crossed the line.
It's expected that the Boston Red Sox -- and specifically manager Alex Cora -- will also face severe punishment for their alleged use of cameras to steal signs during their 2018 championship season.