Tagged in: AJ Hinch

Astros´ Jeff Luhnow, AJ Hinch fired for sign stealing

Former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow will likely forever be tied to the team’s sign-stealing polemic, but he insisted he is not a cheater.

Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle shared Luhnow’s statement in which he accepted responsibility for the violations that occurred under him but clarified: “I am not a cheater. Anybody who has worked closely with me during my 32-year career inside and outside baseball can attest to my integrity. I did not know rules were being broken.”

Former manager AJ Hinch also released a statement that was not as brazen but said, “while the evidence consistently showed I didn’t endorse or participate in the sign stealing practices, I failed to stop them and I am deeply sorry.”

ESPN’s Jeff Passan stated Luhnow and Hinch were both suspended for one year as part of the penalties levied against the Astros. The team was also fined $5 million and stripped of its first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.

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Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reported Astros owner Jim Crane adopted to fire Hinch and Luhnow in the aftermath of the punishments.

Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported on the Astros’ sign stealing in November. Four people who were with the team during the 2017 championship campaign, including pitcher Mike Fiers, said the American League West club used a camera positioned in the outfield as a way of stealing opponents’ signs in real time.

Gabe Lacques of USA Today noted the league interviewed 68 witnesses and also sent out memos in 2017, 2018 and 2019 warning against electronic sign stealing and saying general managers and managers would be held most accountable.

Rosenthal and Drellich also reported the 2018 Red Sox used technology to help steal opponents’ signs on their way to a World Series title. Luhnow became the Astros’ general manager in 2011, while Hinch was the manager since the 2015 campaign.

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