The Houston Astros were already handed out their punishment from the MLB for using an illegal video system during home games. However, there were still plenty of people hoping for harsher sanctions.
Manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow received one-year suspensions from the MLB and were eventually fired. Houston also lost its first-round pick in the 2020 and 2021 MLB Drafts, plus received a $5 million fine.
What really stood out to the public was that none of the players were punished by the league. Well, it turns out the MLB granted immunity to the players during the sign-stealing investigation.
According to the Wall Street Journal‘s Jared Diamond, the MLB granted immunity to the players because the Astros’ front office failed to pass on an official memo from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred regarding sign-stealing.
Since the memo wasn’t passed down to the players, the league thought it would lose grievance hearings.
The players would have likely won their appeal process if they received a suspension from the MLB.
One reason why MLB agreed to grant immunity to players in the sign-stealing investigation: The league thought it would lose grievance hearings, in part because the Astros' management never passed on Rob Manfred's 2017 sign-stealing memo to players.https://t.co/mSC8X1UVgs pic.twitter.com/1Y4g1xtvP3
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) January 22, 2020
Even though most of the fallout from this cheating scandal is over, there are still plenty of accusations being made by current and former players on social media.
The MLB probably wants to move past this dilemma, but it’ll be hard to envision the public just letting go of one of the biggest stories in baseball history.
As for the Astros, they’ll actually have to turn the page from this sign-stealing fiasco and move forward. Spring Training is almost here and the reigning American League champs still don’t have a manager.