Boom. As fans, let’s take a few moments to assess what we just witnessed in the latest edition of “As The Baseball World Turns”…
I wish I had time to go in-depth on this situation, which is still evolving as we speak. But I do have some references for you to follow up and discuss if you wish.
What we know so far:
- The Astros got As-whupped (PDF download) for their rather frank cheating activities during ther 2017 season which resulted in them being crowned World Series. champions.
- After being suspended for one year each by Major League Baseball, Houston Astros owner Jim Crane fired GM Jeff Lunhow and manager A.J. Hinch.
- Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was bench coach with the Astros for the 2017 season, was implicated in the report and ongoing investigation into the 2018 Red Sox cheating allegations.
- New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran, who formerly played on the 2017 Astros team and was also implicated in the report as one of a group of players who discussed ways of interpreting signs and signals by the other team, will not be punished by MLB (no players were punished).
There has been and will continue to be plenty of discussion about what this all means for the people involved; we know that the Astros lose their first and second picks in both the 2020-21 drafts and also have to pony up $5 million; an unprecedented punishment indeed for the fifth-year commissioner Rob Manfred and for baseball overall, but then Crane went beyond that and fired Luhnow and Hinch for essentially embarrassing the organization and the city of Houston. Cora is still under investigation; he was singled out as the person who implemented the cheating system, then allegedly carried it over to his new job as manager and won a championship with it there. If he gets the book thrown at him, it will likely be bigger than the one thrown at Luhnow and Hinch, and likely result in his dismissal. meanwhile, Beltran, while not escaping the eye of MLB investigators, managed not to get punished by MLB. Yet, that doesn’t mean the story is over for him; there will likely be internal discussion about his suitability for running the Mets going forward, depending on what or if he told the Wilpons and GM Brodie about his part in the scandal and whether or not it means anything to them (did they even ask?) The New York press is going to have a field day with this, for real.
Happy New Year, folks, your Hot Stove is on fire…
The Athletic, Article 1 and Article 2 (subscription needed)
MLB Trade Rumors, Article 1 and Article 2
MLB.Com (video featured)