Astros’ Hinch, GM banned for season for sign-stealing

MLB

Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch speaks during the Major League Baseball winter meetings, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

NEW YORK (AP) — Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for the entire season Monday and the team was fined $5 million for sign-stealing by the team in 2017 and 2018 season.

Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the discipline and strongly hinted that current Boston manager Alex Cora — the Astros bench coach in 2017 — will face punishment later. Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros.

Houston also will forfeit its next two first- and second-round draft picks.

Manfred said Hinch was aware of the system but did not bring it to the attention of Luhnow. The GM told Major League Baseball he was unaware of the system but Manfred held him accountable for the team’s actions. Manfred also said owner Jim Crane was not aware.

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