January 14, 2020

Astros fire A.J. Hinch, Jeff Luhnow after MLB report into sign-stealing: Astros owner Jim Crane fired manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow on Monday shortly after Major League Baseball announced the pair would be suspended for a year as part of the penalties for the investigation into alleged electronic-sign stealing.

posted by tommytrump to baseball at 11:16 AM - 9 comments

I'll say, I think the Astros received a pretty steep penalty. I don't believe vacating the title would ever be on the table for MLB, and I recognize that punishing the individual players for a team practice--though warranted--would be difficult to implement. The suspensions left the Astros with tough decisions to make, and they made the prudent ones. They were going to need someone in both of those positions for this season, which has not yet even started. They would not get good/qualified outside interest if it is for one year only while they wait out the suspensions, so either they temporarily promote from within or they take some placeholder for an entire season--or they fire them and look to hire for longer term.

The other side of this is that there is likely some amount of other cheating going on that is either not known or not public. I don't think that every team is cheating, but I bet that others are doing similar things, and MLB may even have some other evidence. They are trying to walk the line of being heavy-handed enough to discourage future cheating without locking themselves into such a harsh penalty that would cripple the league if they had to hand it down to multiple teams at the same time.

posted by bender at 12:18 PM on January 14

If the investigation into the 2018 Red Sox uncovers anything at all, I suspect Alex Cora will get a lifetime ban.

posted by Mookieproof at 03:02 PM on January 14

I think this is going to take the "replay challenge video review" out of team's hands in the near future. It's quite possible that the league will force the managers on the field to challenge calls based on their own eyes (and not being able to consult with their "replay team").

That removes any reason for the team in the dugout to communicate with any personnel outside the dugout (or bullpen), and thus minimize sign-stealing opportunities.

It will also make it easy to say "any communication, except bullpen phone, is forbidden" and then drop harsher penalties on anyone who tries again.

posted by grum@work at 04:33 PM on January 14

I wonder if the Red Sox should get in front of this situation and fire Cora now and give the new manager a chance to start fresh with the team at spring training. It's possible that the MLB investigation into the 2018 Red Sox might not finish until pitchers/catcher report (since it only started a couple of weeks ago).

Even if they find the Red Sox innocent, Cora is still going to be suspended for his actions with the 2017 Astros, so clean the slate and start with a new manager.

Now, if the Red Sox are found guilty of something, then the extra team punishment should be the rehiring of Bobby Valentine for the 2020 season.

posted by grum@work at 04:36 PM on January 14

the extra team punishment should be the rehiring of Bobby Valentine for the 2020 season.

lol

Based on what the local (Boston) scribes and talking heads are saying, Cora should be upgrading his resume. Lists of prospective successors have already appeared. One of the names considered most likely is Ron Roenicke, currently a coach with the Red Sox. The problem is that Cora and Roenicke go back a long way, Cora hired Roenicke to fill his current position, and some of the smell from "the unauthorized intercept and use of clandestine communications" might be clinging to him.

posted by Howard_T at 05:29 PM on January 14

Valentine would be purgatory.

Then there's hell.

posted by beaverboard at 07:35 PM on January 14

If the investigation into the 2018 Red Sox uncovers anything at all, I suspect Alex Cora will get a lifetime ban.

He gone. (I doubt lifetime)

posted by tommytrump at 08:04 PM on January 14

Y'all might be shocked to hear this, but Pete Rose has opinions.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:14 PM on January 15

Oh brother. If they're going to give Rose air time, they might as well try to get Art Schlichter on the line to see what he thinks.

posted by beaverboard at 01:33 PM on January 15

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