The Houston Astros have been disciplined by Major League Baseball for its sign-stealing scheme in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
- Manager AJ Hinch, GM Jeff Luhnow suspended for season
- Team used video tools to steal signs, which is not allowed
- Boston Red Sox also being investigated
Manager AJ Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow have been suspended for the entire 2020 season.
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the suspensions Monday. Shortly afterward, the team announced that Hinch and Luhnow were fired.
Houston has been fined $5 million, and the Astros will also forfeit its next two first- and second-round draft picks.
The sign stealing allegations were made by a former Astros player last year, leading to MLB's investigation.
The Astros used technology to gain a competitive advantage, including during the 2017 season when Houston won the World Series.
While sign-stealing has long been part of baseball, using video tools to steal catcher-pitcher signs is not allowed.
Houston's scheme involved, among other things, banging on a trash can to relay signs to a hitter so that the hitter would know the pitch to be thrown.
The Astros started playing spring training games in West Palm each in 2017 after a 31-year run in Kissimmee.
Manfred hinted that current Boston manager Alex Cora — the Astros bench coach in 2017 — will face punishment later. Cora joined the Red Sox in 2018, helping them win the World Series. But Boston has also come under fire for alleged use of video sign-stealing.
No players will be suspended, but for managers and front office personnel it is one of the harshest penalties in the game's history.
Former Atlanta Braves GM John Coppolella was banned from the game in 2017 for infractions regarding the Braves' signings of international players. Pete Rose, a longtime player and manager with the Cincinnati Reds, was banned in 1989 for gambling on games.