If you missed it yesterday, the Astros sign-stealing scandal reached a breaking point. The organization was fined $5MM and lost its top two draft choices in each of the next two drafts. The club canned GM Jeff Luhnow and skipper A.J. Hinch after each received one-year league suspensions. Individual players were not punished. Former bench coach and current Red Sox manager Alex Cora awaits his fate.
We ran some polls on the punishment. You can add your opinion there. But don’t expect to hear from other organizations at this time. We also covered an apparent leaguewide gag order on the controversy that emerged last night through a curious club announcement from the Dodgers.
Let’s run through some other notes and reactions …
- Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper explains how the draft situation will be resolved. Rather than simply striking the Astros’ picks from existence, and reducing the overall spending pool by a significant figure, MLB will bump every other team up a peg in the slotting system. That’ll result in only a relatively meager reduction in the total draft spending outlay that incoming professionals can receive. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com looks at the lost prospect value for the Astros. It’s reasonably significant, though it’s important to highlight the fact that the Houston club was already locked into a low choice for the coming season and seems highly likely (barring a change in organizational direction) to select down the line again in 2021. While there’s no questioning the impact to the overall slate of talent that the team will be able to pull from these two drafts, it’s not likely that the ’Stros will end up missing out on down-the-line superstars.
- There’s still a lack of clarity regarding the near-term leadership of the Houston baseball ops department and dugout. In the front office, Crane says he’ll run things for the time being (via MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand; Twitter links). He also noted that he still employs someone who was brought in previously for GM interviews by other organizations — clearly, a reference to assistant GM Pete Putila. It stands to reason that Putila will be leaned upon heavily in the near-term, though the long-term plan remains to be seen. Feinsand further tweets that bench coach Joe Espada is “expected” to take over for Hinch. It’s fair to wonder whether these approaches are really set in stone. Crane said he was looking for a blank slate and said the team’s internal assessments were still ongoing. Perhaps there’s a path for Putila and/or Espada to take on expanded roles, but that’ll surely depend in no small part upon whether either ends up being implicated in whole or part in the scandal. And Crane will need to consider whether an immediate outside hire or two would be wise — a tough move at this late juncture of the offseason.
- ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan examines the (still muted) reaction from around the game. It seems that other teams aren’t overly impressed by the seriousness of the sanctions, which were announced by Manfred in a conference call in which he also made clear that there was to be no public whining. But anonymous complaints are perhaps only beginning. Passan reports that those in other organizations feel the Astros — and Crane in particular — were able to orchestrate things to perfection. As we noted yesterday in our above-linked poll, Manfred cabined responsibility to the Astros’ baseball operations while specifically absolving Crane (and the team’s business side as well). And Crane got to put on a public show of shock and contrition, filling the airwaves with his emotional response and the drama of a live, public firing announcement.
- That report mirrors the earlier trickles of reactions that we have seen. An unnamed top executive that spoke with ESPN.com’s T.J. Quinn (Twitter link) explained why even the seemingly harsh sanctions weren’t really adequate. The impact on game and season/postseason outcomes is impossible to isolate but unquestionably significant. Quite a few opposing players surely missed out on earning opportunities, whether through missing postseason proceeds, dents to their statistical track record, and/or lost MLB opportunities. The same is true of rival organizations, though it seems in at least some cases they may also have misused technology — albeit not, so far as has been alleged, in anything like the manner the Astros did. None of that can be unwound, but it’s important perspective.
- Additional top baseball decisionmakers spoke to that same point with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription link). The damage is widespread. So is the blame, Rosenthal opines. While we’ll all have our preferred villains and heroes in the scandal, perhaps none but a few brave whistleblowers deserve anything approaching plaudits. If Luhnow’s punishment reflected the culture he created within the Houston organization, as much as anything, then perhaps Manfred carries an analogous responsibility for the sport’s overall spiral in this arena. Rosenthal says “this is Manfred’s sport,” hinting at a lack of foresight in rolling out replay streams and facilitating the rise of a generation of “general managers emboldened by analytics, all trying to outsmart one another.”
These punishments are for the purpose of making examples of people for the next time–and particularly for the coaching staff and non-equity management. Losing a year or more in the game, being tarred by the scandal, will cost these folks job opportunities, money, and maybe even careers. Astros aren’t really hurt, and neither is Jeff Crane, in any material way when you place that against the backdrop of a billion-dollar business.
i dont see how this doesnt hurt the organization. $5 million isnt a whole lot of money for a billionaire, but its not like Crane just wants to give away 5 million for nothing. they’ll have less cheap talent given the loss in draft picks, will probably lose many fans, and need to find workable replacements for their entire FA and coaching staff. (given the GM and manager will want their own people) i think this is a clear reason for other teams not to do this again.
I think better wording for his/her point is that yeah the Astros are hurt, but they’ll recover. What happened to Luhnow and Hinch could be devestating and may never possibly recover career wise.
Crane’s net worth according to Forbes is estimated at $1.3 Billion.
The $5 mil fine is the equivalent to a bit under $200 for a person who earns $50,000 a year.
Speeding tickets are more than $200.
I won’t even get into how much the postseason ownership share likely was…
It’s a capped fine. They couldn’t do more.
you miss my point though. it may be the same percentage ammount as your example, but having more money doesn’t make the $5 million worth less as legal tender. whole lot can be done with $5 million whether you have only 5 million or you have 5 billion.
Jim Crane made his money as a Bush Pentagon contractor during the illegal Iraq war. That was a scheme where the Pentagon gave out contracts to the “private sector” who charged the tax payers three times more than it cost the Pentagon to do the same thing.
Lots of super rich people were created.
he is not paying the fine with with his own. it is coming from the team’s operation. he can massage the books not to lose anything.
Cool bro. Baseball???
the 5 mil fine is a joke IMO. should have been 20 Mil paid over 4 years and no first round pick for 4 years … The year long Suspensions were fine with me.I also think the players should have been fined or suspended …if they investigated then they should know which players were doing it … and the players unions should also be punished for allowing it to happen.
the problem by saying its a capped fine is, capped by who mlb, if they capped it, they can uncap it, they make there own rules its not like its law
Great. So Forrest Cobra demonstrates that google and wikipedia are cool.
I disagree. Coming from a red sox fan, knowing what’s heading down the pike, if Manfred wanted to inflict pain on Crane/Astros in a monetary sense they would look for evidence of how many GAMES where they could show something occurred, and give a fine for each GAME. Might not be $5m per game, but, if you did 500k per game conceivably thats a 40m fine. $1m/game, 81m fine.
Don’t like that? Hit them with a fine for each player or staff member involved.
There were ways to hit for more than 5 million. Manfred chose not to
There was also a direct way around the $5 million limit. Manfred has the power to do pretty much whatever he wants for transgressions that harm the integrity of the game. He chose not to invoke this option, but should have. A $50 million fine would have been more appropriate.
Would you pay $5 million to make $30 million or more?
$5 million barely buys a middle reliever in FA. Teams give draft bonuses to players who never sniff the major leagues as much or more.
In terms of a 10 plus billion a year industry, $5 mil is insignificant. Same for a guy who quadrupled his franchise value since he bought the team.
Also and again, compared to what the Astros made in the postseason, etc. – that fine was more than worth the risk.
I understand this was the maximum fine the owners allowed each other, my only point is that the dollars are insignificant…even before you realize that the cheating aided them in making much more than the fine.
30 out of 30 Owners would give up $5M to win a WS…
Would they if that WS is tarnished?
lol tarnished world series still equals world series…
He will end up saving substantially more money than 5MM by not being able to sign a 1st or 2nd rounder for 2 years. Obviously he would prefer to be able to spend that money on talent, but from a strict dollars perspective this isn’t really a punishment.
that is kind of what i mean its like the previous owner drayton was notorious for not signing drafted players to save a buck so in other words taking the draft picks away saves him probably 5 mil if not more lol…. so you un cap the max fine amount and make it 20 mil .. .and not only just take away the picks but i think they should send the picks to the dodgers and still have to pay for it lol.
He’s also on the hook for the remainder of Hinch and Luhnow’s contracts after 2020. Probably around another 5 M for that.
He gave away $5mil and bottom end draft picks for a championship. It’s not like they were picking 2nd or 3rd in the upcoming draft.
Sure they are hurt
But they are not hurt nearly in the same amount that they, team AND players, gained from this 3 year scandal.. 5 mill and 4 picks for a title maybe 2? But you lose your coach+gm at the end
Sorry, but Every owner would do that deal- which means it not enough
Why doesn’t MLB just strip the ASTROS of their title, make the ultimate example of them. I know stealing signs is part of the gig, blah blah blah, but they got caught, take the trophy back!!
Hey, I live in Black Bears territory!
Despite what they did at HOME during the 2017 season the Astros were tied for 1st with a 53-28 ROAD record.
And had a losing record on the road in the postseason.
Per reports, the players admitted to using theses tactics at home and on the road. So that would definitely explain that great road record.
Yeah, they had cameras installed in every stadium so they could cheat.
You didn’t read the full report did you?????? They also utilized the video replay system not just a centerfield camera. The replay system is in all stadiums. You Gtfoh!!!!!!!!!
Don’t even go there.
Hey man, don’t let facts get in the way of a good argument.
Lmao. Yeah they can’t carry a tv stand into a new stadium. Not like the entire 2017-2019 Astro focus was on the postseason
Shut up homer
They don’t need a TV stand or even a TV for that matter. Just a tablet or smartphone.
Anyone that claims these penalties are too much just doesn’t have all the facts of this scandal. The trash can was just the beginning during the early stages of this process. It evolved to using hidden cameras, smart phones, smart watches and tablets and involved both players and staff. It also took place during the postseason.
Braves Fan 138
This punishment isn’t as bad as the one the Braves got and the Astros got a World Series ring out of it. Honestly I think this punishment will encourage organizations to cheat. Manfred got this seriously wrong, I understand at a point you punish the fans but too bad that’s what happened to the Braves and we survived. Anyone associated with this management wise should have gotten life time bans and all the trophies won by individual players and World Series should have been forfeit. This tainted the game unlike anything since the steroid era but atleast the steroid era was individual players this was entire organization which imo makes it way worse. I love how they still have international pool money to get players so the draft picks they lost doesn’t really hurt them as much as it sounds. Oh and 5 million dollar fine Yawn. Astros fans have to be ecstatic about this outcome.
Glad to see Players other than Dodgers complaining since they were screwed by the Astro players who participated
Who to say the Yankees, Indians or Red Sox shouldn’t have been playing the Dodgers in the World Series
And we may find the same thing with Boston’s run to the ‘18 Series
They cheated everyone in the game and no player gets touched
They get to keep the rings; who says cheating doesn’t pay
What Manfred handed down to Coppolella and the Braves versus the Astros was vastly different. Coppolella got a lifetime ban While the Braves lost a dozen prospects who Manfred declared free agents as well as strict restrictions on the international free agent market for 3 years. It also cost them a 3rd round draft pick. All the money they signed the dozen or so guys that Manfred declared free agents was also lost. Manfred is a joke and should be fired.
Braves Fan 138
If I’m any other organization, then cheating should be on the table now if this is the consequence. This won’t even break up their core players and they still have international pool to get players what a joke. They lost their first 2 rounds of picks for 2 years and got ring out of it; if you had to ask any GM that this is the price for a World Series and don’t even get banned for life but one year suspension I guarantee you most organizations would take this trade for a WS ring.
oh please. we know the damage is widespread, but how crazy do we want to go about this? are we going to have people sueing the Astros claiming playing against them in specifically damaged their earning power. seems pretty hard to prove. how about current players sueing the organization for strong-arming them into the situation and thus tarnishing their reputations? Garrison Lassiter ever work or play in the Stros organization?
A few commenters and I assume many others either fail to see or just do not want to see how far-reaching this scandal is. I didn’t read that portion as saying that these harms would have an available remedy, only that this scandal has deeper implications than some want to believe. Just because it is hard to prove does not mean it can be equated to Lassiter’s meritless and borderline, frivolous suits.
This isn’t some meritless crap like Lassiter. There has been proven wrong doing.
i know that, but im saying where does it end? do free agents claim that the cheating meant the Stros weren’t suitors for them because they didn’t need more hitters? do their prospects claim the same? its a huge can, and it probably has more than just worms in it.
You can use college basketball as as example for your argument when schools get severe penalties and lose recruits, etc. It is usually a 3-4 year downswing before things turn around. I see this as an important message to the rest of the league that it just isn’t worth it to steal signs anymore. The Stros and Sox are NOT the only teams guilty, just the ones that got busted. Now everyone will think twice.
Well if I’m a player on Boston, NY or LA, I’m on the phone to my agent. Houston cost those guys a lot of money.
I remember a couple of years ago the team i was cheering for played the astros in their stadium. The starters got lit up every game. the announcers were saying the starters must have been tipping their pitches. Rumors has been going around baseball for a few years about them stealing signs. Its now official them were cheating. This is a slap on their hand but MLB couldn’t do much more. The owner should have been suspended from operations too. It wouldn’t matter much but would show he knew about the cheating instead of pretending he was innocent.
Ironically, while there is blame to lay all over management and coaches, it took players to execute this and they’re the only ones getting off scot free.
Yeah, well Joe, it was only a few short years ago that the Yankees and the Red Sox were employing a sign-stealing scheme themselves…
the players should be suspended and fined as well.
Well Bobby I see you don’t let facts get in your way. The Yankees were fined for their infraction. What happened was then pitching coach Larry Rothschild called to the video room to ask if a certain pitch was a ball or strike. As well documented as this was I don’t know how you missed it. But hey don’t let logic keep you from hating the Yankees bad enough to make things up.
Except Boston and NY got caught doing the same thing in Aug 2017 per the report. Hence the Sept 2017 memo. Read the 9 page report. It’s all there
Joe has it correct. The Yankees didn’t do what the Red Sox did. And, they were only hit with their silly fine because Manfred was pissed at Cashman for making the Red Sox accusation public and forcing him to deal with it.
It’s obvious from both situations that Manfred had no intention of dealing with any of these issues until he was backed into a corner; first by Cashman and then by Ken Rosenthal/Mike Fiers. By ignoring this issue for years and ignoring it until there was no option but to deal with it, he’s taken baseball down the same faulty path that Selig did with steroids and history won’t judge him kindly.
You do realize NY and Boston we’re doing the same thing, right?
Don’t think Red Sox players will be getting a lot of sympathy from anyone.
If you win the World Series and make the league min, your World Series bonus DOUBLES your yearly earning
Don’t act all high and mighty. These are legitimate gips to other players. And that’s just one example
What about the dozen individual awards diff Astros got in 2017? You can’t think they’re legitimate…
Small price to pay for some world series rings. Should have been lifetime bans for all involved.
I still contend this would have been the ultimate punishment. Entirely justified too. While you can’t hand anything over to the Dodgers or Yankees, I have no issue whatsoever scraping this off the WS history. Just a dash or blank mark would suffice in the 2017 column. Same with the Red Sox in 2018. That would be an interesting story in 30,40 years from now to share with kids when they look up the history of WS winners and there are just blank spots in 2017 and 2018.
I’d be on board with this idea. I’m a Yankee fan, but I know there’s no guarantee the Yankees would have won without the cheating. You can’t hand anyone a WS ring, but you can take one away! I think Astros players and staff should have to return their rings, and let the record books show as you mentioned.
Most fans are probably alright with your idea, provided the Yankees return all of their rings they won while using HGH/Roided-up cheaters like Pettitte, Clemens, Giambi, etc…
Here we go with the boohoo bad Yankees nonsense. If that’s the case there are other teams that would have to return their rings too. Ridiculous.
I agree. No need to incorporate the Yankees into this idea. The Yankees didn’t cheat. No team cheated from PED’s. Players cheated. At least every team had one or more.
This event was focused to about 1/2 dozen management folks that spread across two teams: Astros and Red Sox only. You can’t even bring Beltran into this, because he hasn’t managed one game, thus not practicing these same methods, which we now know Cora did. Totally different scenario. Beltran is guilty as a player that’s it.
Beltran was doing this WITH THE YANKEES and brought it with him to Houston. Read the first report.
Beltran was doing the exact same thing WITH THE YANKEES. He’s the one that brought this idea over and got it started with the Astros. Read the first article about this whole scandal.
Players union wouldn’t have gone for that.
Flags fly forever!
Beltran’s innovations will be sweet.
Might have hurt Beltran’s Hall of Fame chances
Hinch will be hired before his suspension is up. He didn’t lose much
Guess what, you can not hire someone who is suspended!!!
Yes you can. He can not start working until after the suspension. Teams can sign players that are suspended they just are not able to play until it is over.
Yeah I should have taken a bit of time thinking before I posted that reply
If by “hired” you mean as counter help at a Dairy Queen, then that may happen.
But a suspension from MLB is just that. He isn’t banned from just the Astros, he is banned from the game for a year. Is that really so hard to understand?
He can still be hired they can make his start date the first day he is eligible to work. Same thing happens in the real world. I did not say he was going to be a manger. But he can agree to a contract as long as the start date is after his suspension. Michael Pineda is suppleness yet he got signed. He is not eligible to play. Until his suspension is over.
yeah bubba, what team would hire a guy in tar and feathers? and the commish would allow him to be hired by a mlb team? lmao!
Uh, yes, the commish would allow it. If he didn’t want him in baseball ever again, he would’ve given lifetime bans – which would’ve been perfectly justifiable.
So a team is going to hire Hinch to be their manager next year during the season while they currently already have a manager on staff?
Beltran is the manager for the Bernie Madoffs.
if i had to put money on it … i feel like this is something Carlos Beltran brought to the team from his many stops.
He will definitely get a job. Time heals wounds, and he is still one of the most intelligent managers in today’s sports. I mean let’s not lose total perspective, it’s not like he won every game by cheating. I’m a big critic of this whole charade, but he is good enough of a manager that he will get another chance and wipe the slate clean.
More so Luhnow who I think got a little more severe of a punishment than deserved might have the toughest time getting a new job on par with what he had, if even close. In upper management crap like this is not tolerated at all. Stuff like this is potentially career ending. He’s in corporate, so to speak, different standards. Let’s not forget the debacle with the Cardinals, Maybe he was on the other end of that one, but some serious accusations of cheating were involved there too and it’s just maybe too coincidental his name was part of that. I think his time in upper management in baseball is over. I can’t see how anyone hires him after this trail of crap he now has following him.
Hinch on the other hand is on the field, a players manager and he just exercised poor judgment not calling this in. He will be forgiven. Give it a couple seasons and he will be back out there. I would suggest he take a job at 3rd or 1st base with a team in a year or two. Just get back on the field. Let him make his apologies now.
When will the Angels organization be punished for supplying multiple players with controlled substances and the murder of Tyler Skaggs?
Probably when there is proof of that. You are only parroting rumors. MLB has been investigating since Skaggs’ death. So far, nothing.
Oh, yeah, being reported to the DEA is just something that an Angels employee did for funsies. Get real.
when time comes we will all know. why deviate from asstro’s cheating?
Skaggs wasn’t murdered. He took that stuff on his own. He was the one responsible for and paid the price for his actions.
the Angels web will be harder to untangle. this case was much more clear-cut by way of involving more visible employees.
I wonder what happens first, Cora and the Red Sox resolution announced or the grievance by Bryant is resolved or Donaldson admits he was too greedy and signs for 4 years and 69 mil.????
The coaching staff of the Astros 2017 team should be banned from coaching in baseball. Hinch says he tried to get them to stop. I bet he negotiates with his kids when they throw a tantrum.
Exactly. If Hinch knew about it, he’s fully responsible. He alone could have stopped it and CHOSE not to. No one had authority over him inside the clubhouse and he let it slide, at the very least. Total cheat and a liar.
He lied over and over again when asked.
If I was in Crane’s position I’d be on the phone with Buck Showalter. A take charge details oriented guy from the outside.
But does he really want to clean it up? I doubt Crane is innocent in all of this.
I’m looking forward to Beltran’s improvement on the scheme.
Mets are the team to watch this year.
The punishment to me is fair. As we’ll all see in the coming months, there are multiple teams who were using this technology. Maybe not to the extent the Astros and Red Sox were, but it was being done. I also wouldn’t be so quick to applaud whistleblowers like Mike Fiers. After all, he certainly didn’t come out with this DURING the 2017 when this practice was being done while a member of the Astros. He got a ring out of it. There are cheats all over baseball as there are still players getting busted for PED’s like Robinson Cano. In my mind, there are no totally “clean” teams in baseball, so no Rafeal Palmeiro finger wagging by any players please. You can only speak for yourself, but not your teammates!
You’re rationalizing. A few draft picks, (none of which will be high picks), a paltry fine and a couple of guys getting temporarily suspended is getting off lightly. If you’re really concerned about other teams cheating, then lifetime bans would’ve been the way to get their attention in a lasting, meaningful way.
So they’re punished for organizationally sanctioned cheating and then promote from within? That’s not the best look if you’re wanting people to think you’re wiping the slate clean
I guess I see this as a record punishment so fairly satisfied with how this was handled. 4 draft picks over two years, the Astros top picks is a pretty significant penalty. I would have liked Manfred to clearly state that if this happens again, the penalties will only get worse. And the suspensions for Ludlow and Hinch were appropriate. They lost a year of work and pay in baseball and it will damage their ability to work in positions of authority for many years.
I don’t like that the players get away with it
That’s why the punishments levied are absurd. If MLB refuses to punish players now; what did MLB expect Hinch to do?
Let’s pretend for a second that Hinch snitched. Do we really think MLB would have suspended Astros players during that season? You think Altuve during his MVP year is getting suspended?
I’m sure the MLB attorneys advised Luthnow and Hinch to “take one for the team”. This will all blow over and both will be working again in 2021.
But, wouldn’t the bench coach (Espada) know about the cheating going on right in front of him?
He wasnt the bench coach in 2017, the year in question
I wonder if players, or other organizations even, could sue the Astros for lost revenue etc?
Is it a fair discussion to have yet, why the Red Sox historically hire not the best character players and personal? I mean there is a clear pattern at this point and I don’t think this is too far out of bounds to mention. Players with bad attitudes, personal with checkered histories. I just don’t see many other organizations operating like this or have people like this, but this dates back for a long time for the Red Sox. It’s almost like they are predisposed to this type of stuff, right? I dated a girl many, many years ago who live in Boston and I traveled up there a couple times. I couldn’t get a read for things, but what’s the deal and why does this happen up there?
That’s a pretty anecdotal statement.
I think it’s a little sad that players were not punished. You can point to Cora and Hinch etc but ultimately it was the players who benefited from the cheating. And the fact that it took a pitcher to speak up tells you the depths they would go to keep it a secret.
This is the equivalent of dusting the drug dealer and not anyone that has bought from them.
That last sentence is usually how it goes
That’s a pretty false equivalence. Drug dealers are making money and purposely skirting the law to do so. Users are typically just addicts who haven’t been able to get clean for whatever reason. They’re not really getting a benefit aside from getting high. To equate them with the players who were covertly cheating to get a leg up on the competition (and win games and earn more money) seems bizarre.
Blaming Manifred for being in charge while a bunch of dimwits were replaced by people who believe in math is exactly what I’d expect from an English major covering athletes.
Before you call anyone a “dimwit” you may want to spell correctly. It’s Manfred.
No players where punished. Talk about a complete joke!
Afraid of the players union.
Espada is probably the top choice to be manager. I also would not overlook their former AA manager, Omar Lopez. He just was promoted to 1st Base Coach, he spent the last 2 seasons for the Hooks, winning Texas League Manager of the Year once. He also won a similar award managing in the Venezuelan league (winter ball) in 2015. He could be either promoted to bench coach or made the manager outright.
In reality, John Henry and Chaim Bloom have no other recourse but to fire Alex Cora. Cora has been fingered as the brains of the operation in Houston and is currently under investigation in Boston for the same issue. There is almost zero chance his punishment will be less severe than those given to Luhnow and Hinch and it would allow the Red Sox to get in front of the situation before it gets worse for them.
they are waiting for the suspension not to pay the remainder of his salary.
MLB – “We’re making tons of money, why should we worry about things going on that might be wrong?”
Fans – “Kill them all.”
See the ball, hit the ball.
Rob Manfred: “I’m going to have to hit Luhnow and Hinch for this. They know how those people are and they didn’t watch them closely. They let Cora and Beltran rob the store.”
The $5 million team fine was unfortunately the maximum value allowed. Language regarding this should be addressed. A $50-100 million fine might get a team’s attention. Their international signing ability should be removed for 2-3 years as well.
The players should be punished. Not sure exactly how, but a financial hit would make sense. Maybe reduce their salaries to the league minimum for a year. This punishes the higher paid veteran stars proportionally, as you would expect more leadership from those people. Another area to consider might be modifying their pensions after they retire. I’m guessing there will be some interesting new matters of discussion for the next CBA.
no one is raising the allowable fines that much. it does nothing for owners to potentially open themselves up to higher fines, and such fines harm the signing of players, which the MLBPA wolnt be too big on.
How about $5 million fine for 2020 with a Commissioners option for 2021? Let’s get Boras involved and he can work an opt out into the deal.
While I would have liked to see the Astros lose international bonus money as well I think the sanctions are pretty close to what we should have all expected. Also to say “they likely won’t be missing out on a superstar” after being stripped of their picks is a bit ridiculous. Plenty of stars come from late first round and even later round picks. For a team that already has payroll issues and a thinning farm system, the loss of those picks will definitely hurt them
Yeah, I would have liked for them to lose their international bonus money for 2 years. They could make a mockery of the penalty by going way over their bonus limit in July. They sign a couple of high end guys for big bucks and not really suffer much
The farm system has gotten thin with about 15-16 prospects being traded for Cole, Giles, Verlander and Greinke. Now, Giles is gone, Cole is gone and all they have left is a pair of. good (but old) starting pitchers. They’ve had some good drafts but they also had a few big misses, particularly two 1 picks in consecutive years wasted on Brady Aiken and Mark Appel.. Without high draft picks the next two years, the best way to get good young talent may be to trade one of their top tier players (Altuve, Correa or Springer) to a team with lots of talent in their farm system.
There were prospects in the Cole trade?
“Passan reports that those in other organizations feel the Astros — and Crane in particular — were able to orchestrate things to perfection”
So conspiracy? Like wtf is Passan even saying here?
Look, either 1 of 2 things are true. MLB isn’t “orchestrating” anything and this is a legitimate outcome OR MLB is conspiring with the league and The Astros are being scapegoated by Manfred and the rest of the owners. Which is it? You can’t have both.
The difference matters because if you want to believe this is solely the Astros then there is no reason for MLB to orchestrate anything with Crane. But if this is an MLB wide problem and Manfred is complicit in covering it up then let’s play the orchestrate card but back off the Astros.
it is simply other team’s executives complaining the puny punishment astros got and no penalty on crane.
Athletic just reported 8 other teams are potentially involved. Manfred is not handling this to anyones liking.
At least Joe Espada gets his shot at manager. He interviewed with a half dozen teams this offseason and everyone liked him. Somehow he just didn’t win any of the jobs. I’m pretty sure he was the 2nd choice of Pittsburgh, San Fran, and Chicago. It’ll be cool to seem him in action alongside Shelton, Kapler, and Ross.
The Braves GM and a high-level scout were banned from baseball because of illegally signing international players – those players were five to seven years from ever seeing the big leagues.
What the Astros did effected the games being played now – much worse.
They got off easy.
Ask yourself it was so effective why did they stop in 2018? If it was such a difference maker how could essentially the same team be even better in 2019 when they stopped? I get I won’t change your mind but if you sincerely think this is worse and not simply seeking the same competitive advantage that baseball has been seeking since the 1800s nothing will make you see the truth.
The Braves GM was giving money to “those people” in the islands after the John Middleton wing of the owners made clear they wanted that to stop.
That guy also publicly spilled the beans on top of Greg Maffei as being intimately working as owner of the Braves, totally destroying the Big Lie about “Liberty Media”.
Venezuela’s not an island.
Their punishment should have changed the organization for the foreseeable future. They shouldn’t have been able to participate in the draft at all for a few years, and their competitive balance tax should have been lowered to $160 million instead of the $208 million everyone else is at. That would have financially effected the ownership and made the organization suffer because of it. Players participating should be suspended as well. How they aren’t getting punishment is beyond me. This punishment doesn’t seem like it will make other teams worried about cheating in the future.
Steroids? What about the Yanks/Red Sox? Moving foul lines in the early 1900s? Pine Tar? Gambling? Throwing Games?
Can you please tell me how exactly you (and the rest of the internet) figured out that this is objectively the worst thing in sports history? No you can’t and nobody can. Because they’re the same picture. There’s no logic behind believing this is the worst offense in MLB history it’s all emotion. We’ll beat your team again in 2020 and make you even madder.
Players union wouldn’t have gone for that
Players union would have a tough time saying “they’re cheaters, but not that bad” given the only similar case is the black Sox…
In reality, manfred knows MLB makes too much money off Astro players+ their success to blow the team up. It’s clear as day
I still think the punishment was not harsh enough.
That’s because you’ve convinced yourself that’s the only reason we keep beating you guys despite the fact we weren’t using it in 2018 or 2019 and the Clevinger/Bregrman spat. You’re biased.
Didn’t know you were a part of the team dejota. I’m not biased here when I say this is a slap on the wrist. Suspending only the GM and manager is a joke. 5mil fine? They saved that with the firings of the 2. Loss of draft picks may hurt but HOU is in win now mode anyway.
What were Yankees fined in 90s when 82% of their team were on peds?
Yankees = Ratings
Next five World Series:
Yankees – Dodgers
Yankees – Dodgers
Yankees – Dodgers
Yankees – Dodgers
Yankees – Dodgers
You’re a couple of decades late to that conversation.
“What were Yankees fined in 90s when 82% of their team was on peds?”
Probably the dumbest post yet. You might want to look at some of the other teams that have won in the last 2 decades instead of whining about the Yankees.
It will be very Boston-like if the Red Sox don’t fire Alex Cora if he also gets a one year suspension after that investigation is concluded. Similar to the Patriots not firing their head coach or gm following multiple cheating scandals.
The Red Sox are an “Iconic franchise”.
Special rules for them.
whenever astros play away “cheaters” shout will be punishment players get. manfred chickened out not to fight the players union.
Cora, you’re next………
Bob Kraft is one of the sleaziest owners in professional sports. So it is pretty big of me to assume he would do the right thing.
Has it been determined how many times they cheated? A couple times or every at bat? Did anyone get a hit? Or did they crush every pitch? Was it just fast balls or all pitches? Would like to know if it made a difference in wins or losses or just pad the score or they would have won anyway.
Per the mlb findings report it was described as throughout the 2017 regular season and playoffs. Why take the risk to pad stats? I think it would be very naive to assume it didn’t impact wins and losses.
Mike Fiers is brave? He’s a whiny tool who broke the players’ code.
he’s a hero turning in cheaters!
Yeah, if only everyone obeyed prison rules about “rats”.
MLB wants this to appear to be 1-2 guys responsible for an isolated incident. Alex Cora. Hinch/Luhnow are now examples of what will happen if you tolerate a “Cora” to transpire.
If they really investigated every team and interviewed every player, I would wager every single organization is breaking the rules. But that would be catastrophic for MLB. But people acting like this is isolated to 1-2 teams must be kidding themselves.
Side note, my guess is the Astros players are going to destroy everyone this year just to prove how good they are. If you want to argue that they only succeeded because of a Trash can then you obviously don’t watch baseball.
No one is saying that the Astros don’t have talented players and that they are the only team doing this. Clearly, the Red Sox were doing the same thing in 2018. But the trash can was just the beginning at the very early stages. This evolved to using hidden cameras, center field cameras, smart phones, smart watches, tablets and bluetooth devices per the mlb findings report.
Good Guy, I read the report. The trash can was the culmination of the scheme. The original call to action was in 2017 when the Yanks and Red Sox both got caught doing the same thing.
I don’t want to say you misread but it’s also being discussed on hot stove on Mlb network and the trash can is referred to as an “early stage of the process that evolved into more.”
The trash can was a stupid idea and ultimately led to the Astros being caught. This process was later replaced so instead of a guy banging on a trash can twice to represent a change up a smart watch or bluetooth earpiece was used so that a hitter could be more discreetly told what pitch was coming.
Lol. How many batters have you seen wearing smart watches or wearing ear pieces. Hahaha
I’ve seen smart watches, though probably not any more. And ear pieces, like hearing aids, can be made to not be seen.
Then why did they use the trash can?
They used a hidden centerfield camera and streamed that picture to a monitor to steal an opponent’s signs Then used the trash can to relay that information to the hitter. As I stated the trash can was in the very early stages and was too obvious. So the trash can was replaced with smart phones, smart watches and bluetooth devices.
Good guy, there is not a single paragraph in the 9 page report that says anything other than the trash can was used to relay signs to hitters currently batting. They tried having the replay room text signs to the dugout, but it wasn’t fast enough. They then installed a monitor in the dugout to bypass the replay room. They then tried clapping, whistling, and yelling to hitters. They found the trash can to be the most effective. After the White Sox game they removed the monitor and they stopped with the trash can. They did use a portable monitor again to determine sign sequences for runners on second. But after the White Sox game, the trash can ceased along with attempting to relay information during at bats. It’s all in the report.
Yep, read it as well. It is in the Astros article on MLB.com if anyone else would like to read it. Some of the information that I’m referring to is additional info currently being discussed on the MLB network.
Anyone remember the Blue Jays had someone relaying signs earlier than 2017 from the outfield seats..
The Astros will definitely be under a microscope this year. If they win a lot of games, it becomes more believable that stealing signs may not have benefited them. If they don’t make the playoffs there will likely be some criticism.
There us precedent for a coach not to be fired after being suspended. Sean Payton of the NO Saints was suspended 1 full season by the NFL for bountygate. And here we are today with him still in NO and someone any team would cough up millions to have. Hinch will be back somewhere next season
Not as skip, maybe never again.
What about George Springers arbitration? 22.5mil may be hard to justify now.
Why dont they just fix the problem?
Give the defensive team earpieces. A coach, or even the pitcher could call the pitch and location.
Lots of amateur teams wear wristbands. They work fine.
This could have all been avoided with a little bit of foresight. If it continues Manfred needs to be fired.
I use to love mlb I hate all the bad news cheating suck I don’t want to heard everyone cheats ..no wonder I’m getting over mlb I still like it but not like I did in my youth..
Pretty similar to what the Patriots were caught doing. So the NFL is no different. At least the Astros owner had the decency to fire the coach and gm.
I haven’t seen if this also effects international signings and $’s.
Logan Morrison said that it is known that the Red Sox, Dodgers and Yankees also participate in this type of activity. Pretty sure it extends beyond just the Astros. I hope these (and any other) organizations are investigated as well and that their punishments are just as severe…
I think those poor trash cans are the real victims? How many have lost their lives? How many are in a dump now because of cheating!!!!!
I’ve been busy with work, so my thoughts are as follows:
I get that it could only be a $5 million dollar fine… but that’s not enough. It needs to be at maximum what their payroll was the year they won, and at minimum $50 million. Then it actually hurts.
How is Hinch is only suspended for one year? I know he “did not condone” the plan, but he also didn’t try to stop it. To me, that’s a tacit condoning of the plan. Turning a blind eye should not absolve you to the point of only a year suspension. He needs to be gone for at least 3 years but probably more.
Finally: how in the hell are the Astros still considered the champs? The hitters knew what was going on. Hinch knew. Crane and Luhnow probably knew (or at least had inklings). Like If I cheated on a test in high school or college I’d get an F on that test (and additional punishment)… and if that exam was worth a diploma then I’d be stripped of the diploma. The fact that the Astros are allowed to keep their championship is the biggest screw up of all, IMO.
And I’m not saying give it to the Dodgers. I’m saying just vacate like they do in the NCAA. Then no one has officially won. And there is at least some semblance of justice for the Dodgers and the other teams the Astros cheated against and beat in those playoffs.
Did the win a World Series? Has it been redacted from our memories? No. Did they profit more than 5M from those victories? I call it a win for the Stros no matter how you slice it. 2 WS appearances and 1 win. All 3 will be hired again next season. Spygate got less penalties.
Baseball and ethics don’t necessarily go together. Stealing signs, stealing bases, pitch framing, the old hidden ball trick and other intentional deceptions all are common practices.
An outfielder holding up a trapped ball to make it appear like a clean catch is not exactly ‘cheating’ but it’s not entirely ethical either.
Unethical behavior is often condoned and even encouraged in baseball. From this environment are cheating scandals borne.
The steroid using Yankees won more and didn’t receive any punishment but yet are the main ones crying about someone cheating.