Published: Tue, January 14, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

AJ Hinch 'deeply sorry' for Astros cheating, denies direct involvement

AJ Hinch 'deeply sorry' for Astros cheating, denies direct involvement

Manager A.J. Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended without pay for the 2020 season.

Here are the biggest takeaways from the report, which you can read here.

In the sport's largest scandal since the Biogenesis drug suspensions in 2013, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the discipline Monday and strongly hinted that current Boston manager Alex Cora- the Astros bench coach in 2017 - will face equal or more severe punishment. Major League Baseball will come after Cora hard for being a repeat offender but the Red Sox shouldn't be punished for what their manager did during his stint with another organization. The Astros won the World Series in 2017. "It is impractical given the large number of players involved, and the fact that many of those players now play for other clubs". If a team can interpret what those signs mean, it can give them an advantage when their batter is at the plate.

■ Astros owner Jim Crane did not know about it, but is "extraordinarily troubled".

Crane did the right thing by firing Hinch and Luhnow.

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"Witnesses explained that they initially experimented with communicating sign information by clapping, whistling, or yelling, but that they eventually determined that banging a trash can was the preferred method of communication", the report says.

"Assessing discipline of players for this type of conduct is both hard and impractical", Manfred said. Citing unnamed sources, ESPN's Jeff Passan said in a tweet that he's been told that word of punishment for Cora is imminent, and "is going to be harsh". At times, an employee in the replay room would convey the information by text message to the watch or phone of a staff member in the dugout. What the Red Sox allegedly did in 2018 isn't the elaborate scheme that the Astros were doing. The report explains how the Astros knowingly used schemes involving technology after receiving the memo. Players normally used the feed in-game to adjust their swings. The Astros used it to decode signs. The scheme is described as "player driven".

A person in the dugout would notify players in the dugout or signal the sign sequence to a runner on second base. That process stopped sometime during the season "because the players no longer believed it was effective".

Discipline for Red Sox manager Alex Cora is coming. The investigation didn't find evidence that the Astros cheated during the 2018 postseason.

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