The aftermath of the Houston Astros cheating scandal has burned many a bridge in its wake. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addressed the media this past weekend answering questions regarding the Astros cheating controversy. In his address, Rob Manfred revealed why the Houston Astros were not stripped of the World Series title and the reason behind the players escaping punishment in the Astros cheating scandal.
"The 2017 World Series will always be looked at different "— SNY (@SNYtv) February 16, 2020
Rob Manfred says he considered stripping the Astros of the World Series, but ultimately decided against it pic.twitter.com/ppGHxmofWY
In an interview with ESPN, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred discussed the Astros cheating scandal at length this past weekend. Defending the magnitude of MLB's punishment on the Houston Astros, Rob Manfred said, "The desire to have actual discipline imposed on them, I understand it and in a perfect world it would have happened. We ended up where we ended up in pursuit of really, I think, the most important goal of getting the facts and getting them out there for people to know it." The MLB handed suspensions to Astros manager A.J. Hinch and Astros GM Jeff Luhnow after an investigation that went on for months.
The duo was then fired by the Houston Astros moments after the suspensions were announced. The Astros were then levied with a $5 million fine, the largest fine allowed in the MLB Constitution, in addition to losing multiple top draft picks. The Houston Astros players, however, escaped punishment in the Astros sign-stealing controversy. While the popular opinion among fans and pundits alike was that the MLB had only handed the Astros management a slap on the wrist, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred defended the severity of the punishment to the media.
“The memorandum went to the general manager, and then nothing was done from the GM down,” Manfred said to the media. “So we knew if we had disciplined the players in all likelihood we were going to have grievances and grievances that we were going to lose on the basis that we never properly informed them of the rules. Given those two things, No. 1, I knew where, or I’m certain where the responsibilities should lay in the first instance and given the fact we didn’t think we could make discipline stick with the players, we made the decision we made.”