Houston Astros: Takeaways from AJ Hinch’s interview with Tom Verducci

Former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

AJ Hinch sat down with Tom Verducci to discuss the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal. What are the major takeaways from this interview? Let’s look.

Most players on the Houston Astros have remained silent after the MLB’s investigation concluded that the Astros illegally stole signs during the 2017 season and part of the 2018 season, but former Astros manager AJ Hinch felt like he needed to address the issue since he was the manager when all the illegal sign-stealing took place.

Hinch sat down with veteran reporter Tom Verducci to discuss the sign-stealing scandal for an exclusive interview that aired on MLB Network Friday night. Let’s take a look at the major takeaways from this interview.

1. Hinch has guts

Back Jan.13, the MLB suspended Hinch for the entire 2020 season and later Astros owner Jim Crane fired him. Less than a month later, Hinch opened up to the public. It takes guts for Hinch to openly speak on camera less than a month after his whole world was turned upside down.

No one forced Hinch to agree to do this interview, but rather Hinch freely chose to sit down with Tom Verducci to discuss the Astros sign-stealing scandal because he felt he needed to. While this fact will get overlooked by many, Hinch should be applauded for his willingness to address the scandal shortly after the commissioner released his report.

2. Hinch is a stand-up guy

The commissioner’s report made it clear that Hinch neither initiated the system the Astros used to steal signs nor approved of using technology to steal signs. In fact, Hinch twice took a baseball bat to the monitor being used to pick up their opponent’s signs to express his disapproval of what the Astros were doing. Because of this, it would have been easy for Hinch to play the blame game in his interview but Hinch did the exact opposite.

Hinch took full responsibility for what took place since he was the manager of the Houston Astros and expressed genuine remorse for not putting his foot down and stopping the

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Astros use of technology to steal signs. While Astros players still have yet to come out and address their involvement in the sign-stealing scandal, Hinch is taking the bullets for his players which is a testament to his character and why players love playing for him.

3. Hinch will manage again

While the sign-stealing scandal clearly revealed flaws in Hinch’s leadership, it appears that Hinch has grown immensely as a leader since 2017. Hinch’s ability to sincerely apologize and willingly taking the blame for what happened during the 2017 season and part of the 2018 season shows that Hinch is already a better leader than he was three years ago.

While Hinch failed to put a stop to the Astros sign-stealing, he has shown that he is genuinely sorry and that he will use this as a learning experience to grow both as a leader and a person in general.

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In the interview, Hinch expressed his desire to manage again. Hinch will continue to grow and learn from his mistakes during the course of his suspension and there is no doubt in my mind that he will be managing again shortly after his suspension ends.