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Houston Astros' Jeff Luhnow, AJ Hinch suspended 1 year; Alex Cora (Red Sox) and Carlos Beltran (Mets) Out

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Houston Astros' Jeff Luhnow, AJ Hinch suspended 1 year

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Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch have been suspended for one year after an MLB investigation found the team used technology to cheat during its World Series-winning 2017 season, it was announced Monday.

Additionally, MLB will fine the Astros $5 million and take away their first- and second-round draft picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts, sources tell Passan.

No players were disciplined by MLB in the Astros' investigation. While Mets manager Carlos Beltran was part of it, he was a player at the time and thus was not suspended.

Discipline for Red Sox manager Alex Cora is coming and is going to be harsh, sources tell ESPN.

 

 

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What I had expected. And remember, Jim Crane

is Manfred’s boss, of course you aren’t going to fine the team that much or take away titles. The hammer was always going on come down on the manager and GM for this.

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25 minutes ago, Kal-El814 said:

5 million dollars lol. Vacate some wins, that’s the only thing that will matter. 

 

Not even that would matter unless you're talking about the WS itself.

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3 minutes ago, GeneticBlueprint said:

 

Not even that would matter unless you're talking about the WS itself.

Yeah sure. Why not?

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Thought there was a limit on how much MLB could fine a team?  If so the fine makes sense. 
 

Was hoping for longer for Hinch and Luhnow but I’m guessing MLB didn’t want some long drawn out court case. 

 

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There's one silver lining for me in all these scandals: My team is definitely not cheating thus giving me the only baseball victory I'll ever have--the moral one.

 

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1. Seattle Mariners

 

The Mariners’ 17-year absence from the playoffs is the longest active drought in North American professional sports. They are one of just two current MLB franchises never to reach the World Series (along with the Expos/Nationals) and the only one to have been so futile in a single city since way back into the 20th century. The coming season will be the Mariners’ 43rd. They have made the playoffs just four times, the last in 2001. They have never won more than two games in the ALCS. They have outscored their opponents on the season just twice in the past 15 years (in 2014 and ’16). This offseason, they traded Jean Segura, Robinson Canó, Mike Zunino, James Paxton, Edwin Díaz and Alex Colomé, among others, and let Nelson Cruz leave as a free agent. Those were seven of their top 11 players in 2018 per Baseball-Prospectus’ wins above replacement. Meanwhile, with Félix Hernández having declined sharply in recent years and entering his walk year, this could be the final season in Seattle for one of the franchise’s most beloved players. This is not a good time to be a Mariners fan, a statement that has been true more often than not for the last 40 years.

 

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5 minutes ago, rc0101 said:

Was hoping for longer for Hinch and Luhnow but I’m guessing MLB didn’t want some long drawn out court case. 


Honestly, reading the report...the players are the ones who deserve to be punished. But that whole collective bargaining agreement thing.

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2 minutes ago, sblfilms said:


Honestly, reading the report...the players are the ones who deserve to be punished. But that whole collective bargaining agreement thing.

I agree

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Directly from the report MLB issued:

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Jeff Luhnow (General Manager). Luhnow adamantly denies knowledge of both the banging scheme and the efforts by the replay review room staff to decode signs and transmit them to the dugout. The investigation revealed no evidence to suggest that Luhnow was aware of the banging scheme. The investigation also revealed that Luhnow neither devised nor actively directed the efforts of the replay review room staff to decode signs in 2017 or 2018. Although Luhnow denies having any awareness that his replay review room staff was decoding and transmitting signs, there is both documentary and testimonial evidence that indicates Luhnow had some knowledge of those efforts, but he did not give it much attention.


 

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A.J. Hinch (Field Manager). Hinch neither devised the banging scheme nor participated in it. Hinch told my investigators that he did not support his players decoding signs using the monitor installed near the dugout and banging the trash can, and he believed that the conduct was both wrong and distracting. Hinch attempted to signal his disapproval of the scheme by physically damaging the monitor on two occasions, necessitating its replacement. However, Hinch admits he did not stop it and he did not notify players or Cora that he disapproved of it, even after the Red Sox were disciplined in September 2017. Similarly, he knew of and did not stop the communication of sign information from the replay review room, although he disagreed with this practice as well and specifically voiced his concerns on at least one occasion about the use of the replay phone for this purpose.


I feel bad for Lunhow especially since it’s plainly presented that he didn’t know what was going on. Hinch is a little more questionable, but he physically broke the monitors on two occasions and explicitly spoke against the use of the reply room for decoding signs.
 

Jim Crane sucks.

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I still maintain that if you get busted cheating in game, you forfeit that game. Sorry, the Astros aren’t WS champs. 

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9 minutes ago, Kal-El814 said:

I still maintain that if you get busted cheating in game, you forfeit that game. Sorry, the Astros aren’t WS champs. 

After Crane threw Lunhow and Hinch under the bus, I fully support vacating the championship. It’s clear his actions here are simply about protecting the image of the club, despite the fact that damn near all the actual cheaters are still signed to contracts with the team.

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1 minute ago, sblfilms said:

After Crane threw Lunhow and Hinch under the bus, I fully support vacating the championship. It’s clear his actions here are simply about protecting the image of the club, despite the fact that damn near all the actual cheaters are still signed to contracts with the team.

Yeah.

 

In the grand scheme of things I don't super care... but if a league wants to actually discourage cheating, make it sting. Vacate the win, the fine to the team is 100% of the profits from the game in question (broadcasting, advertisement, anything sold in the park, etc.), whatever. That or just... don't care. It's easily worth $5M to win the World Series, who gives a shit?

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2 hours ago, CastlevaniaNut18 said:

I haven't really been following this story...but ouch.

 

Here you go, from the best baseball YouTube channel nobody watches...

 

 

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Feels like a slap on the wrist since it it looked like the Astros efforts were pervasive over multiple years. Plus they had fucking emails from FO people talking about it. 

 

Will be interesting to see what happens to Alex Cora, the story I saw had a footnote that his punishment will be harsh. Honestly if they can show he orchestrated this across two different franchises, he should be banned for life. Like literally, not just effectively through a multi year suspension. 

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17 minutes ago, sblfilms said:

#FreeJeffLuhnow

 

 

He had members of his FO fucking emailing about it. I'm gonna pull a @SFLUFAN here and say if he shouldn't be fired because he never cheated, he should still be fired for gross incompetence as it all happened plainly right under his nose, and as the top executive for baseball operations, if he had his shit together he would have known about it and could have told everyone to knock it off. So to the guillotine with him either way. 

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14 minutes ago, Dodger said:

He had members of his FO fucking emailing about it.

 

That is not what the MLB report details, nor did any previous reporting say what you claim. The emails you reference encouraged scouts to figure out what would be necessary to steal signs from within the park, it didn’t direct the use of technology to do it. In that email

chain, some scouts explicitly pointed out that using cameras to do so would be against the rules. Sign stealing is legal. Electronically assisted sign stealing isn’t.

 

Facts, bruh.

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5 minutes ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

If the GM and Manager weren't involved -- those involved should be severely punished.  And that hasn't happen yet.

Alex Cora is going to get hammered according to Jeff Passan, his will be longer than the Hinch/Lunhow one year bans. Basically everybody else involved was a player and they really can’t be punished based on the CBA. Beltran is managing now but was acting in the scheme as a player and thus won’t be punished.

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Manager knew but did little to stop it. GM supposedly didn’t know. Organization should have lost international pool money as well since they will just focus on that over the next two years. 
 

Wish players were suspended but I get (don’t agree) why MLB didn’t pursue that. 
 

 

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2 minutes ago, rc0101 said:

Manager knew but did little to stop it. GM supposedly didn’t know. Organization should have lost international pool money as well since they will just focus on that over the next two years. 
 

Wish players were suspended but I get (don’t agree) why MLB didn’t pursue that. 
 

 

 

If the organization isn't going to see wins vacated then they really should be more severely punished. International pool money would be a good place to start.

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:lol:
 

Some other commentators I’ve seen noted that the 5 million penalty would have been less than the cost of Hinch/Lunhow’s forfeited salaries for 2020. Even the picks aren’t that bad because the Astros would be selecting in the bottom of the rounds. Jim Crane really got away with one here. Obviously sucks to lose top tier GM/manager talent, but the Astros jobs will be very coveted due to Crane’s general willingness to spend money and the talent of the roster.

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Astros are not World Series champions. MLB is too pussy to do it this is a fan takeover. 

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1 hour ago, sblfilms said:

Alex Cora is going to get hammered according to Jeff Passan, his will be longer than the Hinch/Lunhow one year bans. Basically everybody else involved was a player and they really can’t be punished based on the CBA. Beltran is managing now but was acting in the scheme as a player and thus won’t be punished.

 

1 hour ago, rc0101 said:

Manager knew but did little to stop it. GM supposedly didn’t know. Organization should have lost international pool money as well since they will just focus on that over the next two years. 
 

Wish players were suspended but I get (don’t agree) why MLB didn’t pursue that. 

 

I don't know the details of the CBA, so I don't know if punishment was possible, but I just read Manfred's release.

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I will not assess discipline against individual Astros players.  I made the decision in September 2017 that I would hold a Club’s General Manager and Field Manager accountable for misconduct of this kind, and I will not depart from that decision.  Assessing discipline of players for this type of conduct is both difficult and impractical.  It is difficult because virtually all of the Astros’ players had some involvement or knowledge of the scheme, and I am not in a position based on the investigative record to determine with any degree of certainty every player who should be held accountable, or their relative degree of culpability.  It is impractical given the large number of players involved, and the fact that many of those players now play for other Clubs.  

But more importantly, the Club’s General Manager and Field Manager are responsible for ensuring that the players both understand the rules and adhere to them.   Our office issues a substantial number of detailed rules and procedures to Clubs – many of which, including the sign stealing rules, are not sent directly to players.  It is the obligation of the Club, and, in this case, the General Manager and Field Manager, to educate and instruct their players on the rules governing play on the field.  Here, because the Club’s Bench Coach was an active participant in the scheme, and the Club’s Manager was aware of the scheme and did nothing to stop it, I recognize that some players may have understood that their conduct was not only condoned by the Club, but encouraged by it.  This was misconduct committed by the team, and with the exception of the individuals whom I will hold personally accountable, my disciplinary action will be directed at the team. 

To me, this explanation is bullshit.  If players are cheating to gain advantage, they should face discipline (just like if they were using a corked bat, or other foreign substance).

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I'm more interested in the Boston punishment. Do remember Boston already got in trouble for sign stealing in 2017. At this point it would seem to me Boston hired Cora to step up there cheating game in the sign stealing department. 

Also I find it complete bullshit players aren't being punished. If anything this makes player more likely to go along with schemes for cheating as they won't lose anything if it is found out. 

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