The Houston Astros have been hit with a series of huge penalties after a Major League Baseball investigation concluded the club cheated during its 2017 World Series winning season.
The Astros’ manager, AJ Hinch, and general manager, Jeff Luhnow, have been suspended for a year while the club has been fined $5m and deprived of its first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.
MLB’s investigation found the team had used technology to gain an unfair advantage by stealing signs from opponents during the 2017 season, when the team won its first-ever World Series. MLB said that if Hinch or Luhnow “engage in any future material violations” they face a permanent ban. The MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, said Hinch was aware of the sign stealing system but did not bring it to the attention of Luhnow. Luhnow said he had no knowledge of the cheating but MLB held him responsible for his team’s wrongdoings.
The investigation’s findings will not only affect the Astros. Alex Cora, who was the manager of the Boston Red Sox when they won the World Series in 2018, was the bench coach for the Astros in 2017. He, along with then Astros player Carlos Beltran, was found to have played a key role in the wrongdoing. Beltran is now the manager of the New York Mets. The Red Sox are part of an ongoing MLB investigation into allegations they stole signs from opponents during their own title-winning season in 2018. Manfred hinted that Cora will be punished for his actions with the Astros.