Astros fire GM Jeff Luhnow, manager AJ Hinch in wake of suspensions
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane announced Monday that general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch have been fired in the wake of their year-long suspensions, according to James Wagner of The New York Times.
Luhnow and Hinch were both suspended for a year by MLB for their involvement in a 2017 cheating scandal in which the Astros used center-field cameras at Minute Maid Park to steal signs. The bench would then relay those signs to their hitters by banging on a trash can.
Of course, the 2017 Astros went on to win the World Series, making the scandal that much more controversial.
Crane claimed that while neither Luhnow nor Hinch started the scheme, “neither one of them did anything about it,” per Wagner.
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was an Astros bench coach at the time, was viewed as the ringleader, but as Crane notes, Luhnow and especially Hinch were surely aware of what was going on.
Houston won 101 games and captured the American League West division title in 2017 on the strength of a dominant pitching staff led by Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel. The Astros dispatched the Red Sox in the American League Division Series, topped the New York Yankees in a thrilling seven-game ALCS and then defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in the World Series.
Houston has won 100 games three years in a row, winning three straight division crowns and adding another trip to the World Series this past season. However, the Astros fell to the Washington Nationals in seven games.