MLB Hammers Astros with Historic Punishments After Cheating Probe


Major League Baseball handed down a series of historic punishments to the Houston Astros after an in-depth probe into a cheating scheme that Houston employed during their 2017 World Series championship season.

Among the punishments: Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow was a handed a one-year suspension. Manager A.J. Hinch was given a one-year suspension. The team was handed a $5 million fine, the maximum allowable penalty under MLB’s current constitution. In addition, the Astros will forfeit their first and second round picks in both 2020 and 2021.

The Astros were accused by former pitcher Mike Fiers of operating a sign-stealing system using cameras mounted inside the stadium.

According to USA Today baseball writer Gabe Lacques, the cheating system was an intricate one that involved several people and violated basball’s rule against using technology to steal signs:

According to the Associated Press:

Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the discipline and strongly hinted that current Boston manager Alex Cora — the Astros bench coach in 2017 — will face punishment later. Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros.

Manfred said Hinch was aware of the system but did not bring it to the attention of Luhnow. The GM told Major League Baseball he was unaware of the system but Manfred held him accountable for the team’s actions. Manfred also said owner Jim Crane was not aware.

 While the Astros punishment is severe, it could have been worse. MLB could have forfeited Houston’s 2017 World Series championship.