What we learned and did not do

Rob Manfred’s report answered many questions about the electronic signal theft of the Astros. But we have more questions and answers:

Q: The Astros were found guilty of stealing signals illegally throughout the 2017 season, including the postseason, as well as the regular season 2018, and received substantial penalties. Why didn’t Commissioner Rob Manfred revoke his 2017 championship?

A. The Commissioner’s Office made it clear from the beginning of this investigation that such a decision was not on the table. Think of Pandora’s box that would open: Do you take away the 2000 Yankees title because Ace Roger Clemens allegedly used illegal drugs to improve performance that season? What about Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard‘ Round the World “in front of Ralph Branca, which was probably achieved through illegal theft of posters? It is too messy.

Q: Will Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch went back to work in baseball?

A: I will say yes to Hinch and probably not to Luhnow, based on the first statements of both men following the news that they had been suspended for a year and fired by the Astros. Hinch assumed full responsibility for not preventing bank coach Alex Cora and players from stealing signals illegally, while Luhnow, while “accepting responsibility”, proceeded to deny all knowledge of what happened and did not mention that all involved entered to the organization with his blessing. While Luhnow did a brilliant job in building the Astros, the industry does not lack mental capacity.

Q: Since you raised him, what will happen to Cora?

A: It is in more hot water than a package of oats cut in steel. Given the confirmed level of their participation in the 2017 Astros scheme, and now on top of that, Major League Baseball is investigating the 2018 Red Sox that achieved similar transgressions, and Astros owner Jim Crane put the High bar with the layoffs of Hinch and Luhnow? It would not be surprising in the least if he never achieved Bosox again, if he succeeds.

Q: What about Carlos Beltrán?

Once MLB decided to grant immunity to all players in their investigation, Beltrán, a 2017 Astros player, found it clear, in terms of discipline, whenever he cooperated, what baseball officials believe he did. However, this was a bad day for Beltrán and the Mets, who introduced their former All-Star as their new manager in November. Manfred’s report named a single player, Beltrán, and identified him as the plan leader. Suddenly, Beltrán’s reputation as a baseball sage doesn’t seem so golden. If the Mets are smart, they will hold a press conference this week with Beltrán and Brodie Van Wagenen, the man who hired him, and let Beltrán offer his story and, presumably, some regret.

Q: The focus has been on poster theft, but wasn’t this investigation supposed to cover the October incident that involved former Astros general manager Brandon Taubman, verbally pointing to a reporter and the terrible handling of the organization?

A: Yes, and Manfred included a good excavation in the Astros in which he connected the two misdeeds, citing “the island culture of the baseball operations department: one that valued and rewarded the results for other considerations, combined with a staff of people that often lacked sufficient direction or supervision. “

A.J. Hinch
A.J. HinchAP

Q: Wow, good for Manfred! It’s an accusation of team owner Jim Crane, who also has to pay a $ 5 million fine.

A: You think so, right? Except that the report turns into a pretzel repeatedly to not only exonerate Crane from any wrongdoing: “Like many clubs with very experienced people running their baseball operations departments … Crane and his senior executive team spent their energies focused on managing the commercial side of the Club. ” while delegating control and discretion on the side of baseball to Luhnow, “but frankly deifies:” Crane is extraordinarily concerned and upset about the behavior of his organization’s members, fully supported my investigation and provided unlimited access to all requested information. . “Yuck. Too much for the dollar that stops at the top.

Q: So what kind of equipment does Crane have left? Are the Astros still a threat to the Yankees?

A: Based on your current core of stud position players, as well as veteran aces Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke, don’t underestimate the punches they’ve received recently. They possibly lost their three most important baseball operations employees in the last three months, as the team fired Taubman during the 2019 World Series. They lost their first and second selection in each of the next two amateur drafts. And they lost their youngest ace, Gerrit Cole, to the Yankees, of all teams. They are so vulnerable within their own division, with the young and fighters A’s and the restarted Angels that represent threats, and clearly inferior to the Yankees on the pitching side.


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