This week was pivotal in the baseball world as Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred announced the punishment he bestowed upon the Houston Astros for their activities regarding sign-stealing in past seasons. A .pdf document of the entire statement and conclusion of MLB’s investigation into the Astros organization can be found here.
Essentially, the Astros were found to have cheated by using technology to steal signs from the opposing team’s catcher and then relaying the sign to the batter by having a player or personnel member hit a trash can in the hallway with a bat. The number of times the trash can was hit (or not hit at all) indicated what pitch was coming the Astros batter’s way, giving them a leg up on the game. Their investigation found this to have happened during the 2017 and 2018 seasons—their ‘17 season was when the won the World Series—and initiated by the players as well as then-bench coach Alex Cora.
The MLB handed down these consequences to the Houston ball club:
- Manager A.J. Hinch is suspended for one year
- General Manager Jeff Luhnow is suspended for one year
- Astros lose their first-round and second-round draft picks for 2020 and 2021
- Astros are fined $5 million, which is the maximum allowed under MLB’s constitution
In addition, Hinch and Luhnow were both fired by the Astros organization on the same day as the announcement by MLB while Cora and the Boston Red Sox agreed to part ways before MLB handed down a punishment on Cora for his actions with the Astros - and possibly the Red Sox.
So the question for the community discussion:
Do you believe that the punishments handed down by Major League Baseball on the Houston Astros organization was just and appropriate? If not, what punishments should have been given?
Let us know in the comments below!