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 Posted: Mon Jan 13th, 2020 06:17 pm
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srossi

 

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https://www.mlb.com/news/astros-sign-stealing-penalty?fbclid=IwAR1Hf71_hcYSwKytOgiqWRNYHhP9goesMJhu0x8ZZq8ILLJBzJkzVlKoNow

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch have each been suspended without pay for the 2020 season by Major League Baseball, which on Monday released the findings from its investigation into Houston’s sign-stealing allegations.

Houston also forfeits its first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 MLB Drafts as part of the penalties. In addition, the Astros were fined $5 million, which is the highest allowable fine under the Major League Constitution.

 • Read MLB's official findings (pdf)

In addition, former Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman, who was dismissed by the club in October after he made offensive and insensitive comments directed at a group of female reporters at the conclusion of the American League Championship Series, has been suspended for one year. Taubman, who is currently not employed by a Major League club, will not be able to work in baseball during that time.

The suspensions of Luhnow, Hinch and Taubman are to begin immediately, ending on the day following the completion of the 2020 World Series.

 “I find that the conduct of the Astros, and its senior baseball operations executives, merits significant discipline,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said as part of the nine-page ruling. “I base this finding on the fact that the club’s senior baseball operations executives were given express notice in September 2017 that I would hold them accountable for violations of our policies covering sign stealing, and those individuals took no action to ensure that the club’s players and staff complied with those policies during the 2017 postseason and the 2018 regular season.

 “The conduct described herein has caused fans, players, executives at other MLB clubs, and members of the media to raise questions about the integrity of games in which the Astros participated. And 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.”

 As part of the suspension, Luhnow and Hinch are prohibited from performing any services for or business on behalf of the Astros or any other club. They will not be allowed in any Major League, Minor League or Spring Training facilities including stadiums, and they may not travel with or on behalf of the Astros.

Should either Luhnow or Hinch be found to engage in “any future material violations” of Major League rules in the future, the offender will be placed on the permanently ineligible list.

 During the suspension, the Commissioner’s Office will discuss with Luhnow “an appropriate program of management/leadership training to ensure that no incidents of the type described” in the report will occur in the future.

As for Taubman, the report stated that due to “his inappropriate conduct in the clubhouse” on Oct. 19, 2019, he will be ineligible to perform services on behalf of any Major League club -- either as an employee or independent contractor -- through the end of the 2020 World Series.

According to the ruling, the investigation revealed “absolutely no evidence” that Astros owner Jim Crane was aware of any of the team’s conduct.

 “Crane is extraordinarily troubled and upset by the conduct of members of his organization, fully supported my investigation and provided unfettered access to any and all information requested,” Manfred said.

 The report says that the illegal sign-stealing was mostly player-driven, though it states that former bench coach Alex Cora, who is now the manager of the Red Sox, was involved in setting it up. Cora was not disciplined as part of this investigation, but the report states that he could face penalties at the conclusion of the ongoing investigation into allegations of illegal sign-stealing by the Red Sox during the 2018 season.

 MLB began its investigation into the allegations against the Astros back in November after a report from The Athletic highlighted the club’s illegal sign-stealing system from 2017, the year the Astros won the franchise’s first World Series title. A's pitcher Mike Fiers, who was a member of the Astros at the time, was quoted in the story, as were three other unnamed sources who were inside the organization in 2017.

 Fiers said the Astros were using a camera positioned in the outfield to detect the signs, which were then relayed to hitters by somebody banging on a trash can in an area between the dugout and the clubhouse so they knew which pitches were coming.

 “The allegations in the article created significant concern among many of our fans and other MLB Clubs regarding the adherence to our rules by those participating in our games, and the principles of sportsmanship and fair competition,” Manfred said in the ruling. “As I have previously stated, I treat these allegations with the utmost seriousness, and I instructed our Department of Investigations to conduct a thorough investigation. I believe transparency with our fans and our Clubs regarding what occurred is extremely important, and this report is my attempt to achieve that objective.”

 The Astros have been fully cooperative with MLB during its investigation, which involved the interviewing of more than 60 witnesses, including players, field staff, and front office personnel who were with club in 2017. The league has also been combing through more than 70,000 e-mails during its investigation, as well as text messages.

 MLB opened a new investigation last week after The Athletic reported that the Red Sox had used their video/replay room during the 2018 season to learn opponents’ sign sequences, a strict violation of Manfred’s September 2017 edict on the subject.

Last edited on Mon Jan 13th, 2020 06:18 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Mon Jan 13th, 2020 07:18 pm
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srossi

 

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And now the Astros have fired them both. Wow.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 01:39 am
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Cora probably getting fired too. You can steal signs just don't use an electronic device.
Mike Fiers won't be visiting Houston anytime soon.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 05:15 am
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Heenan Fan
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Good thing for Bill Belichick that he and Tommy went into the (more) corrupt NFL instead of MLB.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 12:23 pm
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carpetbeggar
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Heenan Fan wrote: Good thing for Bill Belichick that he and Tommy went into the (more) corrupt NFL instead of MLB.

Yeah really. Too bad that Roger Goodell didn't have the balls Rob Manfred does. Good on him for using The Astros as an example. I'm sure the rest of the League's teams are having meetings this week to get things in order to make sure that anyone else doing this sort of thing shuts it down, or finds a better way to do it without getting caught.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 12:56 pm
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srossi

 

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carpetbeggar wrote: Heenan Fan wrote: Good thing for Bill Belichick that he and Tommy went into the (more) corrupt NFL instead of MLB.

Yeah really. Too bad that Roger Goodell didn't have the balls Rob Manfred does. Good on him for using The Astros as an example. I'm sure the rest of the League's teams are having meetings this week to get things in order to make sure that anyone else doing this sort of thing shuts it down, or finds a better way to do it without getting caught.

Baseball has always taken the hardest line stances on things, from the Black Sox to Pete Rose to steroids (eventually) to the Astros.  Sometimes they just flick a switch and get into "We ain't fucking around mode" and heads roll and careers are destroyed.

What kills the Astros is that Manfred basically told then in 2017 that he knew shit was going down, it was starting to become public knowledge and causing a little controversy, and he gave them the slap on the wrist then and said "Clean up your house before this makes MLB look bad."  They didn't, it exploded, and now Manfred is beyond pissed.  They were a high profile team contending for a World series title every year, in postseason games that are often nailbiters that can go either way, and he anticipated how this would blow up, and they didn't take it seriously.  But they certainly stole a few postseason games and maybe a World championship by doing this.  We can never be sure, but those games are so close and sign-stealing can be such a huge advantage.  It's not like they only did it against the Orioles in May when they were winning 12-5.  Postseason games are a different breed.  MLB has enough problems attracting generations of fans without this nonsense.

And I think the Red Sox need to show some integrity and suspend/fire Cora before MLB even makes a decision.  We all know he was more involved than anyone.  No way should he get off easier than the other two.  

Last edited on Tue Jan 14th, 2020 01:06 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 05:49 pm
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Benlen



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Weren't they both fired? Not just suspended?



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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 06:10 pm
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Benlen wrote: Weren't they both fired? Not just suspended?
Both.  First MLB suspended them.  An hour later, the Astros fired them.

Last edited on Tue Jan 14th, 2020 06:10 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 06:10 pm
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Heenan Fan
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Benlen wrote: Weren't they both fired? Not just suspended?Yes, but they were only fired because they were suspended for a year. I don't believe Houston should have their World Series Championship annulled, but I do think there should forever be an asterisk next to the result of the 2017 Series*

*Somebody needs to trademark the term Houston Asterisks or Houston Astrorisks, and make some easy cash selling t-shirts.* 



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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 06:11 pm
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tamalie
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They were suspended for a year by MLB and then the Astros fired them later in the day.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 11:39 pm
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Heenan Fan
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And now the Red Sox see the storm coming. Alex Cora fired today!



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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 11:53 pm
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Heenan Fan wrote: And now the Red Sox see the storm coming. Alex Cora fired today!
Did they fire him? Last I heard was they were going to wait until the investigation is over.
In light of this Pete Rose should be reinstated, put into the HOF and made king of the world.
He may have bet on baseball, did it badly by all accounts, never on his own team and hustled 2r/7 but wouldn't imo anyways have actually cheated to wine or lose.
An argument can easily be made that had the Astros and Red Sox not cheated as they did neither would have won the World Series.
I'm disgusted enough over this, never mind the joke of a steroid era where everyone knew what was going on and looked the other way because fans ( not real fans I'm sure, more akin to the joke wrestling "fans of the last quarter century) to possibly never watch another baseball game again. It's actually been nothing like real baseball for several years now anyways.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2020 12:07 am
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srossi

 

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Alex Cora is officially gone. Boston needed to get ahead of this because Cora was more guilty than anyone and MLB is going to cone down hard on him.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2020 02:31 am
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The Houston fans melting down on my Facebook is a thing of beauty. Between the Texans choke and this, they're all on suicide watch.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2020 06:07 am
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Cora is suppose to be the mastermind . If that's true he might get a lifetime ban.



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