CLEVELAND — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred levied severe penalties on the Houston Astros for their usage of technology to steal signs from the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2017 World Series.
MLB announced Monday afternoon that Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for the 2020 season, and Houston lost first- and second-round picks in the draft over the next two years in addition to a $5 million fine, but team management did not just accept those penalties.
Owner and chairman Jim Crane announced in a press conference that the Astros took their own measures and fired Hinch and Luhnow for their roles in the scandal that used replay monitors and equipment to gain an understanding of the Dodgers’ signs, and then, used sounds from the dugout to indicate the pitches.
Although the idea was “player driven,” to the point where Hinch destroyed two monitors in an effort to win straight up, then-bench coach Alex Cora, now the manager of the Boston Red Sox, had an integral role in the plot.
Reaction was swift on social media, with many baseball fans comparing the 2017 Astros to the 1919 Chicago Black Sox and expressing support for the Dodgers, who lost to Houston and Boston in the 2017 and 2018 World Series, respectively.
And it was not just fans and media members who joined in on the reaction, as well-known actor/television host Mario Lopez gave an impassioned reaction to the punishments while at Universal Studios.
“I’m going to tell you what’s really on my mind,” Lopez said. “I’m really fired up today because all my Dodgers fans out there know what I’m talking about. The Houston Astros just got pinched officially. Those cheating’ rat-bastards used technology to steal signs.
“You can steal signs. I know, Tony, it’s a part of baseball, but not using technology. Come on. They are suspending the GM and the manager for a year, fining them $5 million, but that’s too late. Oh, and draft picks for two years, but that’s too late. Take away the ring. They need to take away the ring, give it to the Dodgers.”
Then, there were those fans who understand the Red Sox are about to lose their manager for an extended period of time, if not outright.
Cora was a first-year manager with Boston when the Red Sox went on a near-historic run to capture the 2018 World Series, only later to be accused of using similar tactics to the Astros. Cora is expected to receive a harsh punishment following MLB’s ongoing investigation into the Red Sox.