April 19, 2021

Rob Manfred Hammers the Astros (FanGraphs)

Consider the book thrown at the Astros. On Monday, commissioner Rob Manfred announced the results of MLB’s investigation into allegations pertaining to the Astros’ electronic sign-stealing efforts in 2017, the year they won the World Series, and handed down a set of sanctions that together form the most severe punishment administered to a single team since Judge Landis banned eight White Sox players for life in 1921. In this instance, no players were banned or even suspended; instead, Manfred took aim at the Astros’ braintrust, suspending both president of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch for the 2020 season but deferring punishment for bench coach Alex Cora, the most directly involved non-player, pending the results of a similar investigation into the 2018 Red Sox’s actions. Additionally, the team was stripped of four high draft picks and fined $5 million, the maximum amount allowed under MLB’s constitution. Finally, former Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman was placed on baseball’s ineligible list.

In announcing his decision via a 10-page report (PDF here), Manfred confirmed and elaborated upon a November report by The…

Read “Rob Manfred Hammers the Astros” at FanGraphs