HOUSTON – A complex picture is emerging of former beloved Astros manager A.J. Hinch amid the sign-stealing scandal.
Hinch is on the receiving end of harsh punishment. He’s been suspended for a year, plus fired by Astros owner Jim Crane. According to MLB’s investigation, Hinch never explicitly told players to stop the conduct, but believed it was wrong and distracting. Hinch even damaged the monitor twice, according to the investigation. Hinch has been punished for knowing, but not doing enough about it.
Many fans have mixed feelings about Hinch and his role in the scandal, as well as his punishment. Here are some of the best responses KPRC 2 received about the former manager and his conduct.
Jacob Adam Bernal
One of the best coaches in the MLB. He didn't promote it or create it but he knew about it and didn't stop it. The suspension and other fines were fair. I believe Jim Crane was too early to pull the trigger on both Lunhow and Hinch.
Cheating has been tolerated in baseball forever, just as fighting is tolerated in hockey. Some of our most loved and revered players, and in some cases HOF players in baseball history were cheating pitchers. Whitey Ford, Gaylord Perry, Don Sutton, Joe Niekro, just to name a few. Not excusing electronic sign-stealing, but this is an overreaction from MLB and Crane.
I think AJ may have thought these guys are all adults, so why should I have to police them like they’re not? I’ve always thought and still do, that AJ is a good person and the best coach the Astros have had. Sad to see this happen to a good person. Instead, why not go after the sole person responsible for starting it all to begin with? Alex Cora right? It’s time to make individuals responsible for what they’ve done in all of this and quit passing the buck of responsibility onto others who had nothing to do with the cheating to start with.
B Mike Garcia
It’s not like there hasn’t been sign stealing since a pitcher first picked up a baseball. A.J. is an AWESOME individual, one of the best baseball people you will EVER meet. To know him is to like the man, he is genuinely a sincere human being.To bad he got caught up in this mess. To bad the owner couldn’t stand behind his people, instead of throwing them under the bus. Sure, there was something going on, but put your grown up pants on and say " yeah we went a little over board, but we will fix it & do better". To fire AJ is to shoot yourself in the foot. My opinion. Take it for what it’s worth...
Thanks to AJ Hinch and The GM everyone in baseball will look at us, with a side eye. They did this themselves. Guys like Verlander, Altuve, Springer and others could be pass up when they qualify for the HOF in Cooperstown.
I love AJ! He is and will be the best baseball Coach! He is human just like the rest of us! He made a mistake just like the rest us have! Who are we to judge any decisions he has made in his life. All those haters out there act as if they’ve never screwed up or have stolen signs at some point in their life. He will bounce back and Crane will forever regret his decision in firing him! We love you AJ and we wish you nothing but the best wherever you go in life!
He is human and he made a mistake. I love A.J. Hinch! It’s a hard lesson learned some of the best people make bad decisions. He will bounce back stronger and more humble and I will be cheering for him the whole time!
Brenda Mireles Stephens
I get that sign stealing is around in baseball. Is it right? ... No. These players I presume know right from wrong. I don’t get why you would follow the instructions or be lead by (Cora or any one else) to do what is considered cheating/wrong.
Houston baseball fans were on the highest of highs for the Astros. Now on the lows of lows.
I believe it will be better. Still an Astros fan.
All I know is that man helped heal a city when we needed it most. I’ll hold him in the highest regards with The Dream, JJ, Jose, Cole 45, Springer, Big Shot Bob, The Killer B’s, Nolan, Warren, and Earl.
I've been in Houston for about 7 years. I know it's not forever, but in that short amount of time, I grew to love baseball, the Houston Astros & AJ Hinch. It makes me sad and angry to see him go. I've never seen a coach love his team as much as he has. I wish him the best. He will forever be my #1 Skipper.
Linda Abrahamson Severson
SAD, REALLY SAD to ruin a person's career for something that is and has been done for yrs. Even kids in little league learn it. Fire Crane.
As with all families - we may not always agree or condone their actions but we still love them unconditionally. I still love my Astros!! They are not the first team to do this and they certainly won't be the last. I feel really bad for Hinch and Lunhow. They were already punished by MLB and I think Crane went too far but he's the boss. I wish both of them the best and I hope Crane brings in someone that can fill their shoes because they were part of this team and this city. And I hope the MLB takes the same action against other teams as they have on our Astros!!
Renee Bentley Braly
Every team in the MLB (and NFL) does this and I’m shocked they were all shocked. Hinch in my opinion is one of the best coaches in the MLB. Yes, he knew about this although he didn’t support it. Then again, he didn’t stop it either. Suspension was warranted, but not the firing I don’t think. I just hope that the MLB looks at all teams not just Houston as usual. At the same time it’s time to move forward and choose a new leader. But, I would as well like to hear the players explanation too.
Gena Kay Utzman
I tell you one thing. Houston Astro fans.. the true fans... love him and you’ll never see one thing come out of our mouths bad about him. He brought life back to our Astros, no one can deny that .....We’re in mourning in the loss of such a great coach.
Don’t agree with him being fired. What they have done to the Astros should of come into consideration. Losing 100 games a year to the team they are now. He wasn’t part of the so called cheating, he got punished enough by the MLB, so I don’t believe Jim Crane should of fired him. Wrong decision in my opinion.
Sally Caraway Gardner
Every coach in MLB then should be punished and fired because they turned their head too. Crane messed up. I bet players start leaving next. Good bye Astros. It was a fun ride Crane is going to lose more than $5 million because the team is gonna fall apart. This team will never be the same.
I think he’s ultimately responsible for the conduct of his players. He was proven to have destroyed the monitors used, but then ignored it afterwards. I don’t view him in a negative light, as ignoring the issue doesn’t make him a bad person.
AJ was the best manager the Astros ever had. His players had admiration for him and played hard for him. I wish he would’ve pitched Cole in game 7, but that’s about it.
Marilyn Smith Boethel
I am disappointed. I also think this has been going on for years with all teams. AJ happened to make a bad decision. He chose to turn his back and did not put a stop to it. This incident really is about baseball in general. It happens. Our Astros were and are winners with or without sign stealing.
He has been the man who has given the most happiness to the Space City. We all make mistakes and that mistake gave his fans so much joy...He now needs his true fans.
Read more responses and add your own thoughts about Hinch in the comments below.