Controversy seems to be hanging over the head of the Houston Astros administration. After former pitcher Mike Fiers revealed that the Houston Astros used electronic equipment to steal pitching signs during their championship season three years ago, the repercussions from that incident have now come to light. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were fired by owner Astros owner Jim Crane earlier this week.
Speaking in a press conference on the back of the announcement, Jim Crane said that he took the decision to fire Jeff Luhnow and AJ Hinch in order to preserve the lofty standards he has for the city of Houston. “I have higher standards for the city and the franchise, and I am going above and beyond MLB's penalty,” Crane said in the press conference. “We need to move forward with a clean slate, and the Astros will become a stronger organization because of this today. You can be confident that we will always do the right thing and will not have this happen again on my watch.”
Just under an hour before the announcement from the Houston Astros, the MLB announced the penalties for the Astros sign-stealing incident. The direct implication of the Astros sign-stealing incident will see the Houston Astros forfeit their first and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 MLB Drafts. A fine of $5 million was also levied on the Houston Astros, the highest allowable fine under the Major League Constitution. However, the MLB ruled that the compensation pick the Astros received for losing Gerrit Cole to the Yankees in free agency will remain untouched.
Former Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers told The Athletic that the team used a camera in center field during their championship season in 2017. https://t.co/aEv9Rvl4kZ— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 12, 2019
Interestingly, Jeff Luhnow, AJ Hinch and the Astros will not be the only ones bearing the brunt of the Astros sign-stealing incident. With the MLB levying the highest possible fine on the Astros, a precedent has now been set for the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox are alleged to have used cameras to steal signs during their 2019 championship season. Two years before this incident, the Red Sox were also fined for using Apple Watches to steal signs. Upon further investigation, Red Sox manager Alex Cora was found to be the "ringleader", according to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's report.