It is the news taking baseball by storm this week: the Houston Astros have been punished by Major League baseball for their illegal sign-stealing activities. Yes, this is a St. Louis Cardinals blog, but the Cardinals and Astros go way back. Many of the folks involved should be familiar to Cardinals fans. Let’s review.
Back in 2017 the Astros used their replay room to decode catchers’ signs during games and give these signs to the dugout and then bench coach, current Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who shared the signs with the players. After 2017 and the Red Sox cheating scandal, MLB explicitly warned teams against using replay to steal signs. During 2018 the players where able to get the signs directly after the replay room was moved closer to the dugout and used that access to directly give the signs by banging on trashcans. A different number of bangs represented a different type of pitch. What they were doing was pretty obvious and eventually they were caught.
Major League Baseball announced an investigation resulting in punishments levied against general ganager Jeff Lunhow, manager A.J. Hinch resulting in their dismissal from the Astros. The Red Sox have also parted ways with former Astros bench coach Alex Cora.
BREAKING: Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch have been suspended for one year after an MLB investigation found the team used technology to cheat during its World Series-winning 2017 season, sources familiar with the punishment tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2020
Jim Crane says Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch have been dismissed.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) January 13, 2020
While no players involved in the scandal were said to be punished, it appears Carlos Beltrán, after taking a job with the Mets earlier this offseason, has decided to step down.
Carlos Beltran has told the Mets it is best if he steps down. Looks like the direction this will take.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) January 16, 2020
I wish Carlos Beltran had the signs after I walked in the 2006 playoffs.— Paul Lo Duca (@paulloduca16) January 13, 2020
The whole is thing is a complete mess impacting not just the Astros, but several other teams across baseball, making it one of the biggest scandals to hit baseball in recent memory.
Wow. Manfred also went after the Astros’ baseball ops culture. He called it "very problematic” and “insular” and "one that valued and rewarded results over other considerations.” I am surprised he would make those points so bluntly in this report.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) January 13, 2020
A.J. Hinch, crossed the line— Matt Sussman (@suss2hyphens) January 13, 2020
Luhnow gone, heavy fine
Draft picks lost, rings are not
Owner sad for getting caught
Crane denied part in team's
Making up the banging scheme
Taubman censured in the text
Cora, Beltran might be next
We didn't blame Mike Fiers
And it might not be over yet.
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