Waking up this Monday morning, Houston fans probably thought that things couldn’t get worse for them. To be fair, it was hard not to think that. After yesterday’s epic collapse of the Texans, it was hard to see things getting worse for them. Blowing a 24-0 lead and then losing by 20 in the playoffs is quite the tragedy. Tragedy enough that it was probably easy to forget what was going on with their baseball team lately.
The MLB made sure to remind them about it quickly.
Today, after an extensive investigation into allegations that the Houston Astros were sign stealing during their 2017 championship run, the MLB finally handed down their punishment. Manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow were both given 1 year suspensions, the team lost 1st and 2nd round draft picks for the 2020 and 2021 drafts and the team received a 5 million dollar fine.
This is a huge punishment but it didn’t stop there for Hinch and Luhnow. Not long after the verdict came in, Astro’s owner Jim Crane fired them both because of the incident. This was probably the right move for Crane in order to save some face for his organization. Despite the fact that Hinch insisted that he didn’t condone the actions of his players, he did not try to stop them either. This is not the mark of a very good leader. By firing Hinch and Luhnow, Crane proved that he took these issues seriously and wouldn’t put up with them in the future.
This isn’t the end of the story though. It is still yet to be seen what the punishment will be for Alex Cora. Cora, the bench coach for the 2017 Astros, has been cited in the MLB’s report as the coach that really orchestrated the whole thing. However, the MLB must wait to punish Cora until they finish investigating the 2018 Red Sox for doing the same thing. The one thing the 2017 Astros and the 2018 Red Sox have in common? Alex Cora.
Intro of a nine-page statement from Commissioner Rob Manfred on the Houston investigation. pic.twitter.com/LupM6pKCbH
— Jen McCaffrey (@jcmccaffrey) January 13, 2020
The only person that really works out in all of this is Bill O’Brien. Last night, many people were calling for him to be fired after somehow screwing up a 24 lead in one quarter’s time. Now with the Astro’s suddenly in the lime light, he may be able to sneak off without anyone remembering what he did. Of course, his bosses within the Texans’ organization probably haven’t forgotten. But for now the attention is off of them.
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