The Houston Astros didn’t wait long to fire A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow following MLB’s punishment for the team’s 2017 sign-stealing scandal.
Well, that escalated quickly. Before fans could even process the news of MLB’s ruling on the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, team owner Jim Crane fired manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Crane’s decision came shortly after the MLB handed down year-long suspensions to Hinch and Luhnow, which was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Additionally, the Astros are forced to forfeit their first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021. Crane is also on the hook for a $5 million fine, which is the maximum allowed.
The cherry on top of the entire report is the decision to place former Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman on baseball’s ineligible list. Taubman made headlines for going on a tirade aimed at reporters following Houston’s American League Championship Series win over the New York Yankees.
This news represents a major blow to one of the premier teams in baseball and a dominant force in the American League. Hinch and Luhnow were the architects behind the franchise’s complete turnaround that resulted in its first World Series championship. It just so happens that they were also the architects of the most extensive sign-stealing scandal in the history of baseball.
Although the Astros are moving on from this situation and MLB has decided their fate, this story is far from over. Current Red Sox manager Alex Cora was the bench coach in Houston in 2017 and the reported mastermind of the entire operation. He’s currently under investigation for a sign-stealing incident with the Red Sox in 2018 as well.