Astros fire GM and manager after duo are banned by MLB

By Sports Desk January 13, 2020

The Houston Astros have fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch after the duo were suspended following an MLB investigation into allegations of sign stealing.

Luhnow and Hinch were given year-long bans by MLB while Houston were fined $5million and have been forced to forfeit their first and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts.

In a statement, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the Astros were warned about the league's policies on sign stealing in September 2017 and "took no action" to comply with these during their run to a maiden World Series title later that season.

"While it is impossible to determine whether the conduct actually impacted the results on the field, the perception of some that it did causes significant harm to the game," Manfred said.

Shortly after that announcement, Houston owner Jim Crane conducted a news conference in which he confirmed Luhnow and Hinch had been dismissed.

"I'm going above and beyond MLB's penalty, today I have made the decision to dismiss A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow," Crane told reporters.

"We need to move forward with a clean slate and the Astros will become a stronger organisation because of this today.

"You can be confident that we will always do the right thing and we will not have this happen on my watch."

MLB instigated an investigation following allegations from a report in The Athletic, which quoted Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers, who said Houston were using a camera positioned in the outfield to detect signs and relay them to hitters.

As well as suspending Luhnow and Hinch, former Astros assistant Brandon Taubman has also received a year-long ban from MLB. 

Taubman had been fired by the Astros in October following offensive comments he directed at a group of female reporters.

Related items

  • Severino's season over before it starts as Yankees star undergoes Tommy John surgery Severino's season over before it starts as Yankees star undergoes Tommy John surgery

    Luis Severino will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery in a huge blow for MLB championship aspirants the New York Yankees.

    Severino's season is over before it starts after being diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced on Tuesday.

    A two-time All-Star – who was limited to just three regular-season starts in 2019 – Severino experienced discomfort during the American League Championship Series (ALCS) clash against the Houston Astros last term.

    "Sevy has acknowledged and agreed the surgery is necessary," Cashman said during the Yankees' 4-1 preseason win over the Blue Jays.

    "His plan is to have it done as soon as possible. He's obviously contemplating the doctors and who to do it with."

    "My gut is, it's something that dates back to when he started feeling something [during the ALCS]," Cashman added. "The prior MRIs had no problem, and the point of injury was not around the ligament.

    "Our athletic trainers, our physical therapists and the orthopaedics who examined him both in Tampa and New York could not produce anything that showed the ligament issue in any shape or form [until Tuesday]."

    In 99 games and 88 starts since 2015, Severino has 42 wins and 589 strikeouts for the Yankees.

    "My immediate reaction is just kind of feeling for him, wanting to check in with him and seeing how he's feeling," manager Aaron Boone said. "Obviously, it's losing a great pitcher, but we'll manage it. We'll figure it out and just try and support Sevy right now."

  • Yankees' Stanton takes aim at Astros: I would've hit 80-plus homers if I knew pitches Yankees' Stanton takes aim at Astros: I would've hit 80-plus homers if I knew pitches

    New York Yankees star Giancarlo Stanton said he would have hit more than 80 home runs in 2017 if he knew signs like the Houston Astros.

    The MLB has been engulfed by a sign-stealing scandal involving the Astros, who were found to have stolen sings of opposition teams en route to winning the 2017 World Series, as well as for part of the 2018 season.

    Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were subsequently fired by Houston in January after they were initially suspended for the entire 2020 campaign by the league, while the Boston Red Sox dismissed manager Alex Cora.

    The Astros edged the Yankees 4-3 in the American League Championship Series three years ago and New York's Aaron Judge has already labelled the punishment "weak".

    Yankees team-mate Stanton, who tallied 59 homers for the Miami Marlins in 2017 before moving to New York the following year, weighed in on Wednesday.

    "If knew what was coming in '17, I probably would have hit 80-plus home runs," Stanton – the 2017 National League MVP – told reporters midweek.

    Stanton, who is a four-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, added: "They did their investigation and it was clear-cut that they cheated that year, which means it should be taken away.

    "If you cheat in another way during the season, you can't even be in the playoffs. It's pretty much the same difference."

    Astros players were not disciplined by MLB following the investigation and Stanton said: "I don't think the penalties were harsh enough player-wise. At the end of the day it gives more incentive to do that if you're not going to punish the players."

    "We know that they really don't care to give an apology or explain their side, and it showed by their response," Stanton continued. "You know the repercussions of doing something like that. You're really only sorry because you got caught. You have all this whirlwind of which you've got to deal with, not the actual action."

  • 'I'd be f****** irate' – LeBron fumes over Astros sign-stealing scandal 'I'd be f****** irate' – LeBron fumes over Astros sign-stealing scandal

    LeBron James called out MLB commissioner Rob Manfred over the handling of the sign-stealing scandal involving the Houston Astros.

    The Astros were found to have stolen signs of opposition teams en route to winning the 2017 World Series, as well as for part of the 2018 campaign.

    General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were subsequently fired by the team in January after they were initially suspended for the entire 2020 season by the league, while the Boston Red Sox dismissed manager Alex Cora.

    The fallout from the scandal continued on Tuesday after New York Yankees star Aaron Judge labelled the punishment "weak" and NBA icon James weighed in via social media.

    James – a three-time NBA champion and four-time MVP – tweeted: "Listen I know I don't play baseball but I am in Sports and I know if someone cheated me out of winning the title and I found out about it I would be f****** irate! I mean like uncontrollable about what I would/could do!

    "Listen here baseball commissioner listen to your players speaking today about how disgusted, mad, hurt, broken, etc etc about this.

    "Literally the ball is in your court [or should I say field] and you need to fix this for the sake of Sports! #JustMyThoughtsComingFromASportsJunkieRegardlessMyOwnSportIPlay."

    James' comments came after he announced his first children's book will be released in August.

    The 35-year-old – who is also set to feature in the next 'Space Jam' movie – has teamed up with HarperCollins Publishers for the picture book titled 'I Promise'.

    "Books have the ability to teach, inspire, and bring people together. That's why these books, and the opportunity to get children and parents reading together, mean so much to me," James said.

    "Most importantly, we wanted to make sure these stories are ones that every single kid can see themselves in."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.