If those who orchestrated a scandalous system aren’t going to be punished, then their greatest big-league accomplishment should be permanently condemned: Major League Baseball should revoke the Houston Astros’ 2017 World Series championship.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has stood by his initial punishment to the Astros for illegal sign-stealing practices. This includes a $5 million fine, former manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow being suspended for a year without pay, and the team surrendering its 2020 and 2021 first-round draft selections.
Manfred and MLB continue to come under fire. Why? They granted Astros players “blanket immunity” to serve as witnesses in the sport’s investigation.
In a Tuesday press conference in Arizona (quotes are provided by The Athletic’s Evan Drellich), Manfred said that providing the players with this leeway was pivotal in getting cooperation.
“We went back and suggested to them we would give them an initial list of people — players — that we would grant immunity to, preserving our ability to discipline other players,” Manfred said. “And the union came back and said that players would cooperate only if there was…