Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch have been fired after a Major League Baseball investigation held them responsible for illegally stealing signs during the team’s 2017 World Series run. Astros owner Jim Crane announced the dismissals an hour after each were suspended for one year for their roles in a sign-stealing scandal that also will cost the Astros their top two picks in the next two drafts and a $5 million fine.
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the punishments Monday, then Crane followed by dismissing the GM and manager that won the franchise its first World Series.
The investigation began in November, when former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers told The Athletic that Houston illegally stole catchers’ signs in 2017, using a live video feed, a television monitor, a bat and a trash can. The Astros won the World Series in 2017, winning eight of nine home games that October.
The nine-page report issued by the commissioner’s office confirms the method and says it continued during the 2017 postseason. MLB investigators found that Alex Cora, the Boston Red Sox manager who was then serving as Astros bench coach, arranged for the live video feed in the tunnel “approximately two months into the 2017 season” after a group of players including now-Mets manager Carlos Beltran suggested the team’s sign-stealing methods could be improved. The report says Manfred will not assess discipline against individual Astros players.