MLB hammers Houston Astros with $5M fine, suspends Luhnow and Hinch for 2020 season

UPDATE: Shortly after the news broke about the suspensions, Houston fired GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch.

The Houston Astros have received their punishment for illegally stealing signs during their 2017 World Series championship season.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has suspended general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for one year, according to The Athletic. Houston also forfeits its first and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.

The Astros have also been fined $5 million, which is the most a team is allowed to be fined. Former Houston assistant general manager Brandon Taubman has been placed on baseball’s ineligible list.

Houston is coming off a World Series loss to the Washington Nationals in seven games. The Astros are currently listed at 8/1 to win the 2020 World Series, according to 5Dimes. They are +295 to win the American League Pennant, which puts them behind the Yankees (+175).

New York, which signed Gerrit Cole to a record-breaking nine-year, $324 million contract, is also a +300 ‘chalk’ to win the World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorites in the National League and are +650 to win it all.

On Nov. 12, The Athletic reported the news that Houston stole signs during regular season home games in 2017. The Astros used the center-field camera to relay signs to their batters.

Hench’s year-long suspension is the longest suspension for a manager since Pete Rose accepted a lifetime ban in 1989. It is the second-longest suspension in MLB history, matching former Atlanta general manager John Coppolella and former St. Louis scouting director Chris Correa.

MLB launched its investigation after The Athletic published its report. The Jomboy Media YouTube channel also assisted in providing evidence, as Jomboy posted videos that clearly showed Houston stealing signs.

Players are allowed to steal signs on their own, but the use of technology is illegal. Houston is about to find out how much coaching is necessary in baseball.

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