Astros manager, wife open up about life in offseason

HOUSTON – After a season with playoff surprises, the Astros are back at it in Florida for spring training. But before he went back to work, Astros manager A.J. Hinch and his wife, Erin Hinch, sat down with sports director Randy McIlvoy to talk about their life off the field.

It’s a side of Astros manager A.J. Hinch you haven’t seen. The husband and father opens up about life off the field.

When the 2015 calendar hit October, the magic returned to Minute Maid Park.

The Astros enjoyed champagne showers because they never gave up. They played with heart and  they believed from day one in their manager and leader, A.J.Hinch

“Awesome. (This was) my most enjoyable season in baseball," A.J. Hinch said. "This is my 19th year in MLB. It’s a distant No. 1."

For A.J. Hinch, his wife, Erin Hinch and their two daughters, Haley and Kaitlin, the last four months have been a time to enjoy some much needed down time as a family.

“It’s nice when the season ends, we get A.J. home," Erin Hinch said. "Being a dad and husband -- (he) goes to kids games, here when dinner’s on the table.“

“For me as a dad (and) husband, I want family involved," A.J. Hinch said. "(We're) invested in Astros and our community. That’s our life." 

A baseball season has its peaks and valleys.

“(It's) definitely emotional," A.J. Hinch said. "It’s more than just a game to us. We are invested."

A.J. Hinch and Erin Hinch have been married 17 years. Their story began on a blind date. He was a player with big league dreams. She was not a sports fan.

"I knew he played," Erin HInch said. "He said (he was) going to the big leagues."

"I was a big shot back then," A.J. HInch interjected.    

"I asked, 'What’s the big leagues?' I had no clue. (It's) been a learning process, asked questions. Now it’s great," Erin Hinch said.

"She knows how I am (on) field and at home," A.J. said. "(I) can be a tough parent. Erin reminds me, 'These aren’t your players. A 13 and 11-year-old need dad and not a coach.' (She) keeps me grounded."

Keeping a balance between baseball and family is a top priority for A.J. Hinch. He said it’s about being present at home.

So what’s the Astros manager like at home? 

“Every off-season we have a top 10 list of things to fix,” Erin Hinch said.

Erin HInch said A.J. HInch can cook a little and gives electrical repairs a shot.

“(I'm) not great at electronics," A.J. HInch said. "I like to try to fix it first before I call for help -- give it a shot.”

The Hinch family said they have enjoyed their first year in Houston. This is home now.

With camp, they understand the new season is approaching.

“Opening day is our favorite," Erin Hinch said. "(We get) kids out of school. (It's) great. Can’t wait “

“The stability we have -- driving by Erin and the kids -- allows me to go to the ballpark each day, with clear head, conscious and a desire to do great things," A.J. Hinch said.