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Q&A: Full, 37-minute interview with former Astros GM Jeff Luhnow

For the first time since being fired, Luhnow spoke about the scandal, his future plans and more

HOUSTON – On January 13, Astros Manager A.J. Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended by Major League Baseball for what Commissioner Rob Manfred said was their part in a massive, intricate cheating scandal. Astros owner Jim Crane fired Hinch and Luhnow later that day.

Luhnow hasn’t given his side of the story, until now.

In my exclusive sit-down with Luhnow, we touched on several subjects: when the cheating happened, how he found out, and who was involved. He also talked about his interactions with Rob Manfred, documents he has that he said support his case and his message to Astros fans.

Luhnow said no questions were off-limits.

Here is the full question-and-answer transcript from the 37-minute interview.

Vanessa: “Jeff, January 13 was a life-changing day for you I’m sure. What was that day like from your perspective?”

Luhnow: "It’s not a day I ever want to re-live, and it’s not a day I would ever want even my worst enemy to have to live through. It was the culmination of two pretty rough months; finding out in early November that our team had indeed broken the rules and had indeed cheated in 2017 and in parts of 2018 was devastating to me. It was devastating to our fans. And getting suspended by Major League Baseball; because I was GM during that time, I figured I would get some punishment. I figured I was looking at some suspension because I was the GM. I was not expecting a year-long suspension, I was certainly not expecting for the team I spent eight years building to fire me and let me go. So it was tough, no question about it.

“I didn’t know we were cheating. I had no idea. I wasn’t involved. Major League Baseball’s report stated that I didn’t know anything about the trash can banging scheme. They stated I might have known something about the video decoding scheme and not paid it much attention. But there was really no credible evidence of that claim. I didn’t know. I didn’t know about either of them. And it felt like, on that day, that I was getting punished for something that I didn’t do. And it didn’t feel right.”

“From the beginning, you’ve had the same story, which is that you did not know about cheating on any level. When was the first time you heard anything about the Astros cheating in any capacity?”

"There had been some rumors in 2018, and in fact at two points in time, someone from MLB told me either in a casual conversation or called me, and said there had been rumors of the Astros sign-stealing in 2017. But, I wasn’t asked to follow-up on it, they weren’t asking me to do anything. It was sort of a heads-up, and I didn’t think we were doing anything so I didn’t pursue it. It isn’t a story, it’s the truth, Vanessa, and I’ve been consistent with the truth that I didn’t know from the beginning . The very first interview I had with Major League Baseball all the way until today. And when you’re telling the truth, it’s pretty easy to be consistent because you’re just recounting what happened. And if I go through all of my behavior, all of my actions, they’re consistent with someone who tells the truth and they’re also consistent with someone that didn’t know.

"I did a lot to try and prevent us from doing anything wrong. After the Red Sox and the Yankees were punished in 2017, I had a conversation with our manager, and I asked him if anybody in our dugout was using Fitbits or Apple Watches or anything that would be remotely considered against the rules. He told me that someone, one of our coaches, had been using an Apple Watch, but after the incident with the Red Sox had stopped wearing it because clearly we weren’t supposed to be doing that. He did not tell me anything else about trash can banging or any impropriety. I followed up with two other people in the baseball operations area; one on the medical side, and one that works for me, and made sure that they knew the rules and made sure they knew the rules and made sure that we were following the rules.

"In the General Manager’s Meetings, after the World Series, after we won, which was only a week after we had our parade, I argued for and voted for MLB to enforce the sign-stealing rules by putting a monitor in the clubhouses the next year. And they did. In 2018 they did put a monitor in. They only put one monitor in the stadium that would bounce between the clubhouses and that, unfortunately, left some opportunity for some wrongdoing to continue in 2018.

"I also had a meeting during Spring Training with our coaching staff, with Major League Baseball officials to talk about the new rules. And during the season in 2018, about five different times, either because I noticed it myself or because MLB called me said ‘we think there might be a potential violation here,’ I followed up quickly, I followed up vigorously, I talked to the coaching staff, I talked to the video room staff. And I told them, ‘we’ve been accused of a violation, let’s make sure we’re doing everything right.’

"Before the playoffs in both ’18 and ’19, I sent an email to MLB letting them know we were going to follow the rules and that we were not going to do anything improper, and I followed that email up by sending it to people in the video room and people in the coaching staff, and said ‘let’s please follow the rules.’

“Now, why would I do all of that if I were somehow behind this or even if I were aware of it? It just, it doesn’t make sense. I didn’t know about it. I wasn’t aware of it. It happened. It was bad. It shouldn’t have happened. Our team broke the rules. And I’m sure there was some advantage gained from breaking the rules. But, unfortunately, had I known about it, I would have stopped it. Nobody came to me and told me it was going on, and I just didn’t know.”

“Some people will say there is no way you couldn’t have known. Do you have any evidence of that?”

"So, I understand that if I were a fan and I heard about this scandal, I would assume that the GM might have known, so I get that. And let’s start by me saying I wish I knew. Because, if I knew, this never would have gotten to where it got to.

"I do have a lot of evidence. It’s hard to prove that you didn’t know something, it’s proving a negative. But the investigation interviewed dozens and dozens of people; players, video staff members, coaches, etc. None of them said that I knew. The investigation looked at emails, text messages, slack messages, tens of thousands of messages from different people. I handed over my phone to the MLB investigators. They went through all of my messages, and everything on my phone. I provided to the investigators several pieces of evidence that they used in the investigation. Unfortunately, they turned some of those back around and tried to implicate me and say that I might have known. But I was proactive in assisting them in the investigation.

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"And then after the investigation was over and I was fired, I got access to about 22,000 text messages that were from personnel in the video room. And it was clear from those messages that they were communicating back and forth about the rule violations. They were aware of the Red Sox and Yankees rule violations, they were aware it was wrong, and they also were using text messages to cheat on the job. They were communicating signs, and this was to coaches, to people in the video room. It’s all there in black and white. And what’s also clear from it is who’s not involved. I’m not implicated. I’m not in any of those text messages. In fact, there’s a few text messages where they say ‘Don’t tell Jeff.’

“So, it’s pretty clear that I wasn’t involved from that. But it’s also clear who was involved and how often it happened, and the extent to which it happened.”

“Who had access to those texts and documents?”

"The texts and the documents are all part of the investigation. So Major League Baseball had all of it. The Astros have all of it. And, like I said, it’s all there in black and white, pretty clear, when you read through those text messages. And, I’m talking about the video decoding scheme, I’m not talking about the trash can banging scheme. Two separate things. But it’s pretty clear who was involved in the video decoding scheme, when it started, how often it happened, and basically when it ended. And it’s also pretty clear who was not involved.

"And I don’t know why that information, that evidence, wasn’t discussed in the ruling, wasn’t used. The people who were involved that didn’t leave naturally to go to other teams are all still employed by the Astros.

“In fact, one of the people who was intimately involved, I had demoted from a position in the clubhouse to a position somewhere else, and after I was fired he was promoted back into the clubhouse. So none of those people faced any repercussions. They weren’t discussed in the report, but the evidence is all there that they were involved.”

“What were your specific conversations with Rob Manfred during and after the three-month investigation?”

"I had two lengthy interviews with Major League Baseball investigators, and there was a lot of back and forth between Rob (Manfred) and Jim (Crane), and Rob and Jim’s General Counsel, Giles (Kibbe.) And they were telling me more or less what Rob was thinking, and it was clear to me from the very beginning that the players weren’t going to be punished. That the ownership, Jim Crane, was not going to be punished. So it didn’t really leave a lot of places for the investigation to go. When I received a letter on January 3, with all of the accusations about me, I was shocked because none of the evidence that the letter contained was actual evidence that would hold up in a court of law. It just wouldn’t. It was all speculative; ‘he might have,’ ‘he was copied on this email, he might have read it,’ ‘you could read the email to think that he might have known,’etc.

"I asked Rob Manfred for a meeting in New York, and I put together a binder. It’s about 150 pages long. It’s 14 different tabs. And I refuted, with facts, with emails, with documents, with testimony, each and every single allegation that was in that charging document. I sent it to him ahead of him, and I went through it with him there in person. I also looked at him and I told him “I would like to take a lie detector test,” because it essentially came down to one person’s word that I might have known against my word. And I have 16 years in the industry. I’ve been complying with rules for 16 years. In fact, early in my career, I helped Major League Baseball lead a study about how to eradicate wrongdoing in the international market because there was so much mischief going on. I have a long track record of following the rules, and helping apply the rules, and in fact helping create the rules.

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"I knew Rob knew all of this, and I also knew I had a lot of people who would speak for me. So I presented to Rob two pages of references; people inside of baseball on all levels from owners to former commissioners, to people who have worked with me for 16 years. And I presented him a list of people who know me outside of baseball in my three careers before. And I wanted him… he could have called any one of those people to ask about my integrity, my character, my honesty, and he chose not to contact any of those people. He turned down my offer to do a polygraph test. I don’t know how much of the 150 page binder he read, but none of it made its way into the final report, so frankly, he had his mind made up. He was going to punish me. There was nowhere else to go. He was going to punish AJ as well, and AJ admitted that he knew.

“AJ also admitted that he never spoke to me about it and never told me about it. But with me, it was a tougher case. I mean, they extended the investigation for about two weeks just so they could find more evidence about me. And how do I know that? I was told that, directly, from somebody working on the investigation, that ‘you are the target of this investigation, and they are going to continue to dig until they find something on you,’ and they did. They found something that they believe is evidence. It’s not. I refuted it very quickly and thoroughly, but it was enough for them to feel good about suspending me.”

“Why would Rob Manfred say ‘no’ to you taking a lie detector test? Why would he not call your references? Why would he not want that?”

“Major League Baseball had to deliver a punishment that was perceived as severe to the other clubs. The Dodgers, and other clubs, but I know the Dodgers for sure, were adamant about some big punishments. And they wanted the manager, and they wanted the general manager to go down in this scandal. And they got it. And I think the investigation was not attempting to really uncover who did what, and who was really responsible. The goal of the investigation was to deliver punishments that Rob could feel good about and that would calm the panic. There was a drumbeat for punishments and so they weren’t going to punish Jim, like I said, they weren’t going to punish the players. I didn’t have an assistant GM; we have a very thin front office in terms of layers, so there wasn’t too many places to go. So they had to create a case they felt good enough about in order to punish me.”

“When you look at these texts and these emails and you kind of pick out ‘smoking guns’ per se, how many do you have? And are you and AJ included in any of these text messages, these group texts?”

“So, in the 22,000 text messages, and that’s just a small part of the evidence, there’s also emails and slack messages and so forth, a lot of which I haven’t seen. Obviously I have all the ones I’ve been copied on. But it’s pretty clear that the group, the cabal if you want to call it, of people in the video room and aligned with the coaches who were executing the video decoding scheme, that they started thinking about it towards the end of 2016. And then really about May of 2017 is when you start to see evidence of execution. And they weren’t hiding it in terms of their discussions with one another. It was pretty blatant. They were assigning duties, ‘who’s on codebreaker duty tonight,’ they were text messaging signs to a coach who would be in the dugout so that he could communicate the signs to the runner at second. And it went on for all of 2017, and it went on for a portion of 2018. Like I said, I argued for and voted for enforcement from MLB so there was a security agent in the dugout and in the clubhouse in 2018, but they weren’t there full time, so it was a little more hit and miss in terms of when you would see evidence of it in ’18, but it did happen in ’18. It probably stopped around mid-summer ’18, and then there’s absolutely no evidence of it going on after that. But the reality is, the Astros cheated in 2017, and cheated a little bit again in 2018 using just the decoder method, and it was wrong, and it should never have happened, and I’m upset. I’m really upset that it happened. I’m upset for our fans, I’m upset for players on other teams that gave up hits as a result of this that should never have happened. If we won games because of it, it should never have happened, and we didn’t need to do it. We had a great team. The team we put together in 2017, a lot of which is still together today, is one of the best teams of the 21st century, and has had an incredible stretch. And there’s no reason why we needed to explore breaking the rules to gain an advantage, it made no sense to me.”

“The commissioner’s report says, other than Cora, this was ‘player-driven and executed.’ It also says you were copied on these emails from 2017. How much of those emails did you read that included the sign-stealing scheme?”

"There’s three documents that MLB pointed to say that I might have known, none of them prove that I knew. The first one is a document describing what’s called a ‘decoder.’ And Rob Manfred has said, and he’s been quoted as saying, decoder is not against the rules. In fact he said many many, two ‘manys,’ in other words many, many teams use decoders to figure out signs. So I saw one page referring to a decoder out of a 19 page presentation in September of 2016 before we were even doing anything with it, so that doesn’t prove anything.

“There were two emails; one email in May of 2017 from someone in the video room. It was a 1500 word long email, and on or about the thousandth word it referred to ‘the system.’ And it said ‘the system’ talking about pitch tipping. Now, pitch tipping is completely legal. Pitch tipping is when you try and figure out when you’re at the plate what the pitcher is going to throw based on some movement in his hands or some movement of his body. So that doesn’t prove any wrongdoing, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

"The other email from September of 2017, which was sent out, August of 2017, sent out the weekend that Harvey hit, and we were all scrambling to figure out where we were going to play that series. Also 1500 words long, and on or about page six, after 12 pictures of George Springer and 12 pictures of Derek Fisher hitting, it mentions, it calls it the ‘sign-stealing dark arts.’ It does not refer to electronic sign-stealing. It does not refer to rule-breaking behavior. Rob Manfred has said on many occasions sign stealing is allowable. It’s legal, as long as it’s not aided by the use of electronics during a game, or video during the game. There’s nothing in that email that mentions we were using electronics or video, but it did include the words ‘sign stealing.’

"Now, I didn’t read through the entire email. I wish I had, because I might have been curious enough to ask some follow-up questions. About two weeks after I received that email I was clearing out my inbox, and I went through and replied to 19 messages over the course of about an hour and 10 minutes. The last three messages I replied to were all done in the last minute. And the very last one was the message in question here. And I wrote back to the author and I said ‘thanks for your good work,’ and that was it. And from the time stamps on my reply, it is clear that I spent roughly 10-15 seconds on this email. There’s no way I got to 1100 words and read about the sign stealing. I gave all this information to MLB. I have the time stamps in my Outlook. It didn’t matter. Again, they were looking for any shred of evidence that had sign stealing in it where they could say that I might have known.

“I never typed the words ‘sign stealing,’ I never typed the word ‘decoder,’ I never communicated or spoke to anybody about any of these things. It just never happened. The absence of any facts regarding me speak very loudly. I mean, they went through years and years of emails and texts, voicemails, messages, and documents, and there’s nothing in there that suggests that I knew. And if I were involved, there would be something somewhere. And it just didn’t exist.”

“There was another incident before anything about cheating was revealed, and that’s Brandon Taubman allegedly making insensitive remarks to a female reporter.”

"What are your memories of that night, and what was your role in the clean-up?

"I was so disappointed that that happened; that should never have happened, first of all. But I was actually more disappointed in how the Astros reacted to that. The night that the organization found out that this was going to be a story, there were several people actively conversing about what to do about it. Now, you probably know this as a reporter, but as a General Manager, I don’t write press releases. I see them before they go out if they have to do with baseball operations and I’ll approve a quote if it’s supposedly my words, but even my quotes are written by someone else. This particular response was crafted, edited, and written by the person that runs the legal operation for the Astros, and the person that runs the marketing and PR for the Astros. Those two wrote it, edited it, and sent it out. Now, they did syndicate it … when I say syndicate it, there were other people copied on the email traffic that evening.

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“Nobody said, ‘don’t send this out.’ I should’ve said that, and I feel bad that I didn’t, because my gut was telling me this was probably not the right reaction. Even though everybody in that group believed that the incident was innocent, which it turned out not to be, it still didn’t feel like the right reaction because it was so aggressive. At one point I objected to it, not as vociferously as I wish I would have. My objection was ignored. And 20 minutes later the response was sent out. It was very clear, immediately after the response was sent out, that it was horrifically wrong. And it made us look terrible. Nobody wanted to take responsibility for that response. Two days later, we’re in Washington D.C. and that morning I had fired Brandon, and I was asked if I would talk to the media about firing Brandon. I agreed to do it, no one else was willing to do it. About 20 seconds before I walked into a room filled with baseball reporters who were all looking to attack somebody, I was instructed by one of the people that wrote the response not to disclose who wrote it, and to make everybody understand it was an Astros response, but not to talk about the people who were involved. I followed those instructions. I sat there for 20 minutes and was attacked by every media outlet in the country and I know I didn’t handle it as well as I could have, but I didn’t want to lie, so I told them I had seen the response before it went out. Which, essentially made me the face of the response because no one else was willing to face the music. When that interview was over, I received a text message from the other person who had been involved in writing it and crafting it thanking me for ‘taking one for the team.’ I shouldn’t have taken one for the team. I didn’t write that response. It was a horrible response. It never should have happened. But unfortunately I did. I take my responsibility in it. I should have stopped it, but that’s not my area of expertise. I was busy preparing for the World Series. There are people in the company; the legal department, the marketing department, the PR department; those are the people that are involved in crisis management. And they botched this one big time.”

“What is your biggest regret from your time with the Astros?”

"Undoubtedly, the fact that the success has been stained by what happened in 2017, and ’18 to a certain extent. This team was so good. Vanessa, you gotta go back, you weren’t here… we were terrible. 2011, 2012, 2013.. It was the worst team in baseball and it wasn’t even close. And we didn’t have a very good farm system either. We turned it around completely. By 2015, we made the playoffs. Think about it. 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020… five playoffs in six years. Four American League Championships in a row. Two World Series appearances, one title. That’s a run that no other team has been on in baseball has been on that type of run, maybe the Dodgers, but they never got to the same endpoint that we got to.

"Why we have to soil that with ridiculous cheating executed by people who are … they didn’t ask for permission! They just did it. Whether it’s the players or the video staffers, they just decided on their own to do it and that’s a shame, because had they come and asked me for permission I would have said no. Had they gone and asked Jim for permission, he would have said no. There’s just no reason why that should have happened.

"My other regret, quite frankly, was that I looked forward to and enjoyed the challenge of taking a terrible organization and turning it into a dominant organization, a dominant team. I was looking forward to the challenge of keeping the team dominant over an extended period of time. It’s been six years of really really good baseball in Houston and that’s been wonderful for our fans and our city. I was looking forward to, how do we take that six and turn it into 12?

“Now, there’s a lot of good people in the front office, there’s still a lot of good players. Fortunately, I signed Bregman and Altuve before I left and, you know, we kept Tucker, and we still have Whitley on the farm. We still have a lot of promise, and the young players are doing well. And I think James Click will do a terrific job, I really do. And with the people who are in the front office, I think they have a good chance of keeping this team relevant for another couple of years.”

“I was shocked to walk in your house and see Astros pictures, memorabilia, your son’s jersey is framed, you have bobbleheads in your office...are you still rooting for this team?”

“Very much so. All the players on the team from Yuli to, it’s unfortunate JV wasn’t able to pitch much this year, Yordan, but Bregman and Altuve, I mean...you develop strong relationships with players over the course of time, and I’ve seen these players go from undrafted to drafted to joining our minor leagues to getting to the big leagues to winning a World Series. I feel very close to them and some of the coaches and some of the people in the front office, and absolutely I root for the Astros. It was tough seeing the struggles this year during the regular season, especially with Altuve, I could it was weighing on him so much. But as soon as the postseason started, all that experience kicked in, and they figured out how to be the team that they have been for the past six years and it was really, really fun to watch, and yeah, I cheer loudly for them, I always will, and I will always cherish the memories that we created.”

“Have you had conversations with the players, AJ Hinch, or anyone in the franchise? What have those conversations been like?”

“I have. I keep in touch with AJ, I keep in touch with many of the players, they’ve been very supportive to me. You know, when you go through something like this you realize who your friends are, and who was just sort of hanging around because I happened to be in a position, or I could get them tickets, or I could tell them fun stuff. But there have been several of the players and staff members that care about what happens to me.”

“I know this has been really hard on you. How would you describe the last 9 months?”

"Like I said, nothing I would wish on somebody else. It’s been, in some ways, the worst of times. But, at the same time, it’s given me an opportunity. Getting fired for the first time in my life, I mean I’ve been working since I was 16 years old, either working or going to school. So to get fired at this point in my career was a little bit stunning but I never took vacation days so it was nice to have some time at home. I’ve got a six-year-old I spent a lot of time with him. I have two kids in their 20s, and they were here. A combination of getting fired and then having a pandemic allowed me to spend a lot of time with my family which was great because when you work in baseball you sacrifice family time.

“It also gave me an opportunity to think about what I want to do next and there’s so many interesting opportunities out there, and I did a lot of projects. I’m working on a book, I’ve studied a lot of things that I wanted to study, I’ve read a lot of books that I wanted to read. So in some respects, it was a good time for me to take a six month sabbatical and pursue some projects that I wanted to and some family time. I wouldn’t have written it up this way, but it’s been ok.”

“Do you ever want to work in baseball again? What’s next for you?”

“So, I wasn’t in baseball until 2003, it’s been 16 years of my life. I love it, and I love a lot of the people in it, and I love the challenge. I had three careers before baseball. So I came in in my early 40s, actually late 30s, and in 16 years I won five World Series rings. So, that’s a lot. I accomplished a lot. I worked in two organizations and helped completely transform them into winning, consistent winners. I feel good about what I did. Could I do it again? Yeah, I could do it again. Is it something I want to do? It depends. It would depend on the owners. I was not expecting to be treated the way I was treated at the end by the owners of the Astros. If I trusted the owners and the team had potential, and I wanted to do it again, I know I could. I’m good at it. I’ve been doing it for a while. But at the same time, I’m taking a hard look at the NFL, at the NBA, little bit at NHL, I didn’t grow up around hockey so that one’s a little tougher, E-Sports, soccer, both in our continent and in Europe. And what I realized is that the opportunity to apply business practices and analytics and technology and to really modernize a sports organization the way I helped modernize the Cardinals and the Astros, that exists in every sport. So my skills aren’t stuck in baseball. I could easily transfer them to another sport, so I’m considering all my options at this point. There’s some projects I’m currently working on, some projects I have been working on, and I’m hopeful in the next couple of months… I mean, at some point, I’ll have to get a job. So we’ll figure something out.”

“Why was now the proper time to speak out about this?”

“Well, after I was suspended and fired, I wanted to take some time to reflect. I knew that things were being said about me that were wrong, but I also knew that Major League Baseball was investigating other teams, the Red Sox were under investigation. I didn’t want to get in the middle of that. And then the pandemic hit, and the season started, and once the season started I knew I wasn’t going to say anything until the Astros were done playing. I didn’t want to take away from anything they were trying to do this year. But it’s been hard to read and hear how I’ve been portrayed in the media. That I was the mastermind, that I was behind this, that I was somehow involved in this. It wasn’t. I didn’t know. I wasn’t involved. Major League Baseball said I wasn’t involved in the trash can banging, and they say I didn’t direct and wasn’t involved in the video scheme. The only thing they hung their hat on is that I might have known and that I was the general manager. And I’ll take my punishment for being the general manager because what happened, happened while I was there. But, think about for a second, all of the people who are with the organization that...no one questions why they didn’t know. My special assistants, Biggio, Enos Cabell, Reid Ryan, Jim Crane, all the marketing people, they’re all around the clubhouse, they’re all around the players. None of them knew. Why is it all on me? And to read, I mean, everybody likes to boil things down to soundbites, or Twitter, or tweets. ‘Luhnow’s the mastermind,’ ‘Luhnow was behind this,’ ‘this is Luhnow’s culture.’ It’s not. It couldn’t be further from the truth. And I have to let people know that. My integrity is being questioned here. Everything I worked for for the past 16 years is being questioned here. And it’s wrong. I was accused of something I didn’t do. I’ll take my punishment because I was the general manager. But I’m not going to let people label me as a cheater. I didn’t have anything to do with it. And so I want people to know that.”

“What would you say to Astros fans who are watching this?”

"Those memories that we all shared; 2015 beating the Yankees, Dallas Keuchel on the mound, you know, the crazy series against the Royals that went five games and then they ultimately won the World Series, the bad start in ’16 but getting back into contention the rest of the year. 2017… everything about 2017 was incredible. I mean, beating the Red Sox and then the Yankees and the Dodgers, the three most powerful teams in baseball, and winning our first championship in franchise history. No one can take that away from us. Those are memories that will always be with us. Going back out in ’18 and going back to the ALCS. In ’19 getting to the ALCS. In ’20 getting to the ALCS. In ’19, eight outs away from winning our second World Series. I mean, that happened. It happened, we had players on the field, the fans were joyed. Don’t ever let anybody take that away.

“But at the same time, let’s learn from this experience. You know, the Astros broke the rules. They shouldn’t have done it. I’m mad about it. We should be mad about it. We should use it as a learning experience. And I will use it as a way to teach my kids between right and wrong, and that you’re supposed to follow the rules. The rules are there for a reason. And this is a life lesson for everybody. And as long as we recognize that it was wrong, and we don’t do it again, and we learn a lesson from it, there’s no reason we can’t appreciate all the great things that happened during that time because those memories will be with me forever. And this city; I gave it everything I had. I want every Houston Astro fan to know that. Eight years, I gave it everything I had.”