Houston Astros: Assessing the sign-stealing punishment

Houston Astros Manager A.J. Hinch (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Houston Astros Manager A.J. Hinch (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The league has officially handed the Houston Astros its punishment for the sign-stealing controversy. Here is the breakdown of the fall out from the news.

It wasn’t a matter of when the Houston Astros would face the consequences of its sign-stealing scandal. Rather, the question was going to be when. Well fans, we finally received our answer on Monday afternoon.

USA Today was one of the numerous sources to report that Commissioner Rob Manfred had issued suspensions for president of baseball operations and GM Jeff Luhnow as well as manager AJ Hinch. Originally, the punishment was supposed to last for the entire 2020 season.

That was until Jim Crane held a press conference just hours later. In a move that was both unexpected but welcomed, Crane dismissed both Luhnow and Hinch, taking the punishment from the league even further. This now puts the team in a tough spot with just weeks until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training.

Some of the other punishments handed down by the commissioner include the following:

  1. Loss of draft picks in the first two rounds of both 2020 AND 2021.
  2. A monetary fine of $5 million from the organization.

No doubt, the second of these other punishments will have to come out of the pocket of Jim Crane himself. This could be one of the reasons both Luhnow and Hinch were let go. The Houston Astros organization may also pay the fine via charity donation, although nothing was really specified in regards to the fine.

But wait, there’s more…

Additionally, both Carlos Beltran and Alex Cora have been mentioned as being architects of this

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plot. However, no known punishments have been handed down to either man. It should be noted, though, that the Boston Red Sox are currently being investigated for the same accusation.

If anything is uncovered from that ball club, Cora could face an even harsher penalty than Luhnow and Hinch. After all, he was the Houston Astros‘ bench coach during the 2017 season.  With him becoming the new manager for the Red Sox shortly afterward, there is a very likely possibility he may have carried over schemes to that organization as well.

Frankly, all of this fall out from the sign-stealing scandal are meant to send a message to other teams that such behavior will not be tolerated. No matter where you stand on Crane taking the punishment of Luhnow and Hinch beyond what Commissioner Manfred issued, this was a necessary move to have the Houston Astros remove a stain on their legacy.

Astros should not be the only team tangled in scandal. dark. Next

True, all teams want to win that World Series championship. But at exactly what cost? There’s no denying that this sign-stealing scandal and resulting punishment is going to be a sore wound for us fans for a little while.

But as the old saying goes, this too shall pass.