HOUSTON – The Houston Astros have been under fire since the controversial sign-stealing scheme came to light. Let’s take a look at how the scandal unfolded and where the Astros stand today:
December 11: MLB investigation on Astros widens
Major League Baseball interviewed almost 60 people and obtained 76,000 electronic messages about allegations that the Astros broke rules by using a television camera to steal signs.
January 7, 10:54 a.m.: MLB decision on Astros punishment said to be expected soon
MLB was expecting to have a decision on what punishment manager A. J. Hinch, general manager Jeff Luhnow and other members of the Astros front office would face in about two weeks from Jan. 7. Sources said the organization could also be hit with a very large fine.
January 7, 6:12 p.m.: Boston Red Sox under investigation for similar sign-stealing scheme
The MLB said it would investigate allegations that the Red Sox illegally used their video replay room to steal signs between opposing pitchers and catchers during their 2018 World Series championship season.
MLB released a nine-page report regarding the Astros cheating scandal. The report’s main takeaways were the punishments:
- 1-year suspension for manager A.J. Hinch
- 1-year suspension for General Manager Jeff Luhnow
- $5 million fine (the largest MLB allows)
- Loss of 1st and 2nd round draft picks in 2020 and 2021
Approximately one hour after the MLB announced the suspension of Hinch and Luhnow, Astros owner Jim Crane announced the dismissal of both at a news conference.
January 13: Fans loyalty is questioned
KRPC 2 asked fans how they felt about photos from the Astros 2017 championship celebration after the news that the team’s manager and general manager had been fired. Would they still remain loyal to the team or would they be ashamed to call themselves Astros fans?
We broke down the roles each person played in the Astros sign-stealing scheme. Those people were:
- AJ Hinch, Astros manager
- Jeff Luhnow, Astros General Manager
- Brandon Taubman, Astros former assistant general manager
- Alex Cora, Astros former bench coach
- Carlos Beltran, former Astros player and current New York Mets manager
The Astros interviewed three candidates for the team’s manager position. The candidates included former Toronto Blue Jays coach John Gibbons, former Baltimore Orioles coach Buck Showalter and current Chicago Cubs third base coach Will Venable.
Owner Jim Crane told KPRC 2 that several candidates had been interviewed in person and over the phone. Up next in their list was veteran skipper Dusty Baker.
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, of Illinois, sent a letter requesting the leadership of the Committee on Energy and Commerce to "investigate the Major League Baseball cheating scandal fully and to determine the extent to which this cancer has spread.”
Rush said the committee, via the Commerce Clause, has oversight of major league sports.
The Los Angeles City Council said MLB should strip the Astros and the Red Sox of their World Series titles as both teams were involved in a cheating scheme.
January 22: Astros interview 7 potential managers
Astros owner Jim Crane said seven candidates have been interviewed so far. “We need someone strong that can handle the players,” he told KPRC 2.
Rob Manfred, MLB’s commissioner, spoke in his first interview since the nine-page report release and assured that the MLB had no plans in taking away the Astros 2017 World Series title for electronically stealing signs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.