Earlier today, MLB passed down its penalties for the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal. Among them: a $5 million fine to the franchise, the loss of the team’s 2020 and 2021 first-round picks, and one year suspensions for manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow.
The hits keep coming for Hinch and Luhnow. They will no longer be with the Astros when they return from their suspensions.
In the wake of the MLB decision, Houston Astros owner Jim Crane has elected to let go of the two figures that led the team to its 2017 World Series title, the only one in franchise history. That decision comes after suspensions that some in the game considered too light, given the breadth of the scandal.
#Astros owner Jim Crane fired Jeff Lunhow and AJ Hinch.
— Michael Baron (@michaelgbaron) January 13, 2020
The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich broke open and detailed the Astros’ system back in November, right around the 2019 World Series, which Houston lost to the Washington Nationals.
The MLB’s release about its decision made it pretty clear that Jeff Luhnow and AJ Hinch weren’t the major figures in starting the cheating system, which utilized outfield cameras, and communications from the dugout to batters after stealing signs from opposing teams.
Crane acknowledged that designation, but made a forceful statement about his decision to let the two men go, during a press conference today. Via MLB Network’s Tom Hanslin:
“Neither one of them started it, but neither one of them did anything about it.”
Crane went on to say that the team needed a “clean slate” from the scandal.
The biggest piece left to fall is not in Houston, but in Boston. Red Sox manager Alex Cora was the bench coach for the 2017 Astros, and went on to lead Boston to a World Series title as manager in 2018, where he is now accused to developing a similar scheme. The MLB’s release was not kind to him at all, and some think he could receive an even harsher penalty than Hinch or Luhnow. The MLB will announce it after it wraps up its investigation into the Red Sox.