The Houston Astros have fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch after Major League Baseball found that the club used technology to steal signs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Astros owner Jim Crane announced the firings in a January 13 news conference.
The Astros fired Luhnow and Hinch soon after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred ruled that each man would be suspended for a year for their involvement in the team’s sign-stealing setup during the 2017 season when the Astros won the World Series title.
The Astros will also pay a $5 million penalty and forfeit their first and second-round picks in 2020 and 2021. Also, former Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman will be placed on baseball’s ineligible list.
“It’s the stiffest penalty that any team has ever taken or given, and we accept that. We’re going to move forward in a positive way. I’ll let the commissioner determine how he handles the rest of it,” Crane told reporters.
Last month, it was reported that the Astros stole signs from a centerfield camera focused on the opposing team’s catcher.
Players studied a monitor and warned their batters of which pitch was coming.
As man as 68 witnesses were interviewed in the investigation, some current and some former Astros players.
Thousands of emails, texts, and videos were also reviewed.
“Virtually all the players had some involvement or knowledge of the scheme. Many admitted that they knew the scheme was wrong,” the investigative report said.