The Houston Astros have just experienced their darkest day in franchise history after MLB doled out their punishment. Why is this the case? Let’s examine.
Today is without a doubt the darkest day in Houston Astros franchise history. Not only did Major League baseball hand down the penalties from the sign-stealing scandal, but the Houston Astros dropped the proverbial hammer by terminating the architect of the Houston Astros, GM Jeff Luhnow, and manager AJ Hinch.
Originally, the suspensions of GM Luhnow and manager Hinch were going to be for 2020 and the Houston Astros were to lose draft picks and owe a $5 million fine according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan in a tweet:
However, during a press conference this afternoon after the MLB released their sanctions, Houston Astros owner Jim Crane made the decision to terminate both Luhnow and Hinch via Mark Feinsand of MLB.com:
"“There are two very important points I want to make today: I have higher standards for the city and the franchise, and I am going above and beyond MLB’s penalty,” Crane said, “Today, I have made the decision to dismiss AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow. We need to move forward with a clean slate, and the Astros will become a stronger organization because of this today.”"
When asked about why he decided to fire Hinch and Luhnow, Crane said that “neither one of them started this, but neither one of them did anything about it.”
When I first heard the news about the suspensions and fine, a friend of mine texted me jokingly said that he was pretty close in his prediction of the outcome of the investigation, a loss of some draft picks, maybe a fine and of course some suspensions.
As I sat and watched the press conference with Crane, my mouth literally dropped when I heard that he fired Hinch and Luhnow. The architect of “Astroball” and one of the best managers in team history were gone, effectively ending the greatest era in Astros history from a front office/managerial standpoint.
When the accusations first came out via The Athletic, I didn’t want to believe my beloved
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Houston Astros would cheat to win because that wasn’t the Houston Astros culture that I knew and loved. They were all about doing things the right way and being good people on and off the field. I also wanted for all the facts to come out before I made a judgment on the scandal.
To say I am disappointed is an understatement by the actions of Luhnow and Hinch. They knew fishy stuff was going on and did not stop it only because it helped them win. Our 2017 World Series title will forever be tainted by some because of the actions of these two men.
However, It’s not the manager or GM that plays, it’s the players that partake in action on the field and I will continue to support them as long as I live. Mr. Crane did what he had to do to protect the Houston Astros organization from further reputation damage.
Brian Smith of the Houston Chronicle said it best in his piece released earlier when he said
"“The Astros will be playing baseball again soon. But it’s going to be a long time before the Astros look and feel like the team you fell in love with in 2015.”"
Well said, Brian. What do you think about the fallout from the sign-stealing scandal? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.