Former Houston manager AJ Hinch paid arguably the biggest price for his role in the Astros stealing signs during their World Series season in 2017, but he maintains that he neither endorsed nor had any direct involvement with the practice.
Hinch, who was suspended for the entire 2020 season by Major League Baseball on Monday and fired by the Astros shortly thereafter, released a statement taking responsibility for his connection to the cheating scandal. However, he noted that the “evidence consistently showed I didn’t endorse or participate in the sign stealing practices.”
MLB’s findings from its investigation into the Astros stated that the practice of using a video monitor to steal signals from opponents was “player-driven,” with the exception of former Houston bench coach and current Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora. While Hinch admitted that he did not stop players from stealing signs, he is said to have damaged two video monitors to show he was unhappy about it.
Even if Hinch was not directly involved, it was his job as manager to put a stop to what was going on. He failed to do that, which is why MLB dropped the hammer on him and he lost his job.
With the league now investigating similar practices that the Red Sox engaged in during their World Series-winning season in 2018, Cora may be joining Hinch on the unemployment line before long.
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