April 17, 2021

Astros’ harsh cheating punishment is a worthy deterrent (New York Post)

Rob Manfred can’t fix the past. The commissioner of baseball has far-reaching powers, but he can’t redo the 2017 playoffs or retroactively name another champion or restore Joe Girardi as Yankee manager.

So Manfred did what is actually within his powers. He punished the leadership of the Astros severely to try to fix the present and future. Following the completion of an investigation into the Astros — mainly their illegal sign stealing, particularly in 2017 — Manfred suspended GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for one year, took away the organization’s first- and second-round draft picks for 2020 and 2021 and fined them $5 million.

An argument for worse could be made. Lifelong bans. Player punishments. Greater draft penalties. Larger fines. And — most vitally — a punishment for owner Astros owner Jim Crane, whom MLB went a long way to exonerate. But Crane hired both Luhnow and Hinch — and fired both on Monday after the announcement of the punishment. And he oversaw what was generally viewed as an organization that, at minimum, tap danced near the third rail of legality. Crane should have been asking tougher questions of his employees long ago if he…

Read “Astros’ harsh cheating punishment is a worthy deterrent” at New York Post