Astros Receive Punishment From The MLB

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HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 29: AJ Hinch #14 of the Houston Astros speaks with umpire Gary Cederstrom #38 during the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals in Game Six of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The MLB has handed down punishments for the Houston Astros on Monday. An investigation was brought forth by commissioner Rob Manfred in mid-November. They invested allegations of the Astros illegally using technology to steal signs in 2017, the year they won the World Series. Manfred warned teams about cheating a while ago and yet do it anyway. These punishments look pretty legit and the aftermath was not good either. 

Astros Receive Punishment From The MLB

One-year Suspensions For Luhnow And Hinch

Astros’ general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch both received one-year suspensions for the teams’ actions. It’s really a season-long suspension but that’s enough to get the team’s attention. Moments after the news of the suspensions, Astros’ owner Jim Crane fired both Luhnow and Hinch. Crane said he wanted to do one better on the MLB and he did. Crane said he knew nothing about the act and was “extraordinarily troubled” by what had happened. Now the team has to literally pay for what the staff and players did.

Five Million Dollar Fine

As mentioned, the team has to pay for what the players and staff did. The Astros were fined a total of five million dollars. That is no small fine as they get millions taken away from them. People might think the amount should be higher but they also agree it’s very fair. 

Draft Picks Taken Away

The last punishment handed down is that draft picks are taken away. The Astros first and second-round picks for 2020 and 2021 will be confiscated. This is a huge deal when it comes to the farm system. The team has already given up some of there farm to acquire players like Justin Verlander and Zack Grienke. By taking away the draft picks, the farm system takes even more of a hit. Even if it doesn’t affect them this year or next year, it will certainly affect them down the road. Draft picks are very valuable, especially in a sport like baseball.

Personnel Involved

There were a handful of people involved in this scandal, including former bench coach and now Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora. It is reported that Hinch knew what was going on but he did not create it or partake in it. It was mostly player-driven but Manfred had said previous to this that players will not get punished. Luhnow denied involvement but the MLB thought that “it is the job of the general manager to be aware of the activities of his staff and his players, and to ensure that those activities comport with both standards of conduct set by club ownership and MLB rules.” Former Astros player Carlos Beltran was heavily involved in this as well. He knew about everything all along as was part of the plan to deliver signs to players. Manfred said he will not face discipline as he was a player at the time. 

The name to watch now is Alex Cora. He is the main guy in this scandal and is likely to face punishment as well. Cora was the Astros bench coach so there’s no way out of this one. He was the main reason how this all became a reality. Alex helped create the systems the team used to steal signs. It included banging on trash cans to tell what pitch was coming to the batter. He also utilized the replay room to decode and transfer signs. He left for the Red Sox managerial job and it sounds like things haven’t changed. Now it is reported that the Red Sox used electronics to steal signs in 2018, which was also their Wolrd Series year. MLB is investigating the situation as we speak.

Rounding The Bases

Commissioner Manfred said that penalties would be harsh for all involved and it was. His tenure as commissioner will likely be known for this alone and he wants to act swiftly and quickly so his name is not tarnished. He wants teams to know that this is unexceptionable and it should never happen again. Now it’s wait and see time to find out what happens from here.

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