Penalties for Houston Astros Cheating Scheme Handed Down


It is something that will forever be the bane of the Dodgers’ 2017 World Series run. The Houston Astros cheated in their endeavor to win the World Series, which of course proved successful for them. Today, Commissioner Rob Manfred handed down punishment to the organization.

Both Manager AJ Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for one year each. The Astros also will be made to forfeit their 2020 and 2021 first and second round draft picks, of which they have two each, and the team will also be fined $5 million, the maximum fine allowed by baseball’s bylaws.

No players were punished, as Manfred said he decided after the Apple Watch incident on September 15 that he was going to hold the management and clubs accountable, and that he was going to stick with that precedent.

The nitty gritty of the cheating was brought about by then current player Carlos Beltran, who brought the idea to Alex Cora and others how they could use the technology to their advantage. They would use the live feed footage of the game, and Cora would call the replay room to get the sign sequence. That was then relayed to the dugout by Apple Watch or cell phone. A signal was then relayed to the batter in real time, like with the banging of the trash can when an off-speed pitch was coming.

From Manfred’s report:


A total of 68 interviews were conducted, including 23 with current or former Astros players.

For his part, Hinch testified that he did not feel it was appropriate use of the technology and said he even went as far as to smash one or two video monitors used in the scheme. But, ultimately, he still allowed it to happen under his watch and did not do enough to stop it from happening.

In a press conference with the Astros’ owner and chairman Jim Crane, it was also announced that both Hinch and Luhnow were both dismissed by the team. As of this writing, the punishment for current Boston Red Sox manager has yet to be announced.

There’s just so much that the 2017 World Series impacted, that this punishment seems too light to me. Each player received a $438,901.57 bonus for winning. Why should cheaters still receive that money? That was the only World Series win that Houston has, and it’s now forever tainted. The Astros took both the Yankees and the Dodgers to seven games, and Yankees fans can feel just as cheated as the Dodgers. The Astros performances in those games also bought them better contracts and could’ve lessened some for players of the other teams.

But closest to us fans, that was the best Dodger team we had seen in years. It felt like it was their year from the very beginning. I know a lot of people will say that they should have performed better in Game 2, Game 3, whatever game they feel promotes that case. And no doubt the 2017 Astros team was incredibly talented. But you need to look no further than Game 5 to know that’s when the cheating really manifested itself. Kershaw, after having been lights out in Game 1, suddenly can’t pitch? Does Gurriel get that three run homer if he doesn’t know what pitch is coming? Do they get to the point where they can have the winning run come to the plate? The Dodgers scored 12 runs that game. 12! They win that game, and they aren’t losing two more games at home, and win the Championship.

Dodger fans will never feel that these punishments are enough to assuage the heartbreak of what might have been. We can go round and round until our faces turn blue with what might’ve been and did it matter and whatever else applies. But the fact of the matter is that the integrity of the game, and that whole postseason, will forever be marred for everyone involved. As baseball is trying not to lose fans, that is the saddest fact of all.


25 thoughts on “Penalties for Houston Astros Cheating Scheme Handed Down

  1. Nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Pitiful, and Stros fired the GM and Hinch today. So they lose 4 draft choices and 5 million bucks. Pitiful. Should have been forced to vacate the title.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe we saw this coming. I know I did. It’s a blip in history and changes nothing of significance. The message is clear – don’t get caught, it could be embarrassing.


  3. Another proud moment for the MLB. Screw it, let everyone do roids, let everyone use cameras to steal signs, let everyone put corks in the bats, let everyone go Gaylord Perry, It obviously doesn’t matter to the MLB, just as long as the dollars keep rolling in.
    Don’t forget about all those gamblers that got cheated from this whole mess.

    Remember, It Just Doesn’t Matter

    Liked by 1 person

    1. About 70 percent of the fans think this penalty is bullshit. At least that is what the first polls are saying. Astros got off cheap. Only ones who really paid were Luthnow and Hinch who are both now unemployed. Think I will watch some TV since the big game is coming on.


  4. Apparently Hinch wasn’t happy with what his players were doing but didn’t go nearly far enough in stopping it. He deserved his suspension and Crane was right to fire him. I wonder if Beltran hadn’t been one of the ringleaders if Hinch would have actually made them stop. For whatever reason, Beltran is considered God-like in baseball circles. It bothers the hell out of me that he gets away here with no penalty whatsoever. If the Mets had any cojones they would fire him for behavior detrimental to baseball. The commissioner’s statement makes strong mention of the type of organization Luhnow put together in Houston. I hope baseball owners decide that none of them need to hire him again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I doubt it Jefe.

      I think it’s pretty obvious management doesn’t take this all that seriously. They won a Championship, they keep the money, the records remain in tact, time will pass and people will forget. They all knew that PED’s were being used and did nothing. Some players were nationally ostracized but the records still stand. The bottom line is the bottom line, always, and if fans allow it, and they will, it will be business as usual starting next year. These guys will serve their suspension and be rehired because they are knowledgeable baseball people and know how to win.

      I wonder what fans in Houston think? Are they laughing about this? You think any will boycott Astro’s games because of this? No.


  5. I can’t believe the organization wasn’t held more responsible, Jim crane denies knowing about any of this, I don’t believe him. This doesn’t hurt the team as bad as it should. Hinch, and Luhnow will probably never work in this industry again, they deserve their suspension, while the organization walks away with a mild inconvenience. That being said, it’s more penalty than I thought MLB had guts to give out.
    Remember crane is one of Manfred’s bosses, why should we expect anything else.

    When the bosox report comes in, I wonder if their penalty will be any stiffer, since they are a two time offender( the 2017 Apple Watch cheating) and Cora cheated with two different teams.

    The only good that came out of this is, now the GMs, and the managers know, that they will be the ones to pay for any cheating going on, and basically lose their careers, if any of their players or employees are caught doing this. I seriously doubt any other managers GMs are going to let this happen again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that must have hurt! Mark my words, Hinch will get another job in baseball within the next 3 years. Either as a coach, a minor league manager or a baseball analyst. He is after all a pretty smart baseball manager. Although out thinking Roberts is not that difficult.


  6. “Jon Heyman
    MLB didn’t vacate Astros 2017 World Series victory. But I am hereby declaring my 2017 preseason pick of Dodgers as champions as correct. Congratulations will be accepted.”

    It would take millions screaming this, a real public outcry, for any real punishment to be administered. Not going to happen. What WILL happen? Record income all across the league. Shlemmings. And not just in baseball. It’s a national epidemic. Apathy. We are a “so what” society. Hell, it’s global. Off the cliff we go.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel the worst for Kersh. A well pitched game 5 win and possible MVP would have ended all the years of frustration and negativity about his post seasons. He was dominant in game 1 without the cheating! Horrible thing to happen to such a great player and even better person!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Twitter nerds calling Dodger fans cry baby’s because just a few felt that the title should be awarded to LA. Most knew that this would not happen. Myself, I do not want the titles unless they are earned. But I do think that neither the BoSox or Astros should profit in any way from those titles. Another thing. Astros lose 1&2 draft picks the next 2 years. Okay, some monetary loss there, BUT, those picks, considering how well Houston plays, are all going to be late in both rounds. Not a whole lot of gems found there.


      1. They weren’t really “punished”. A few draft picks and 2 replaceable parts. The shame, what little there actually is, will pass. The Astros will no doubt compete, likely make the playoffs, and then…. who knows? I’m thinking Boston will compete too. They both outsmarted the Dodgers. They cheated? No sh*t. And they won. There’s no honor in professional sports. There’s those who win, and those who don’t, and even those that don’t are millionaires. There will be no death penalty for this outrage. Too much money involved. Sweep it under the rug, wait it out, and start promoting the new year right away. Eminence front. It’s a put on. People forget. Rich’s point is a good one. Kershaw didn’t deserve this. But, deserve’s got nothing to do with it.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sage? Like an old bush? Light me up. Chase off evil spirits.

        I’m sure I’ll get over it too, but this really pisses me off. We all watched as McGwire Sosa and Bonds cheated right in our face. Bonds cheated his way to a World Series and into the record books while stand up individuals like Aaron and Maris took a back seat. And what was done? Nothing. Now this. What’s next?

        Hell with it, lite up the balls, give them metal bats and lift all drug policies. Do whatever you f’n want. We will have two wings of the Hall of Fame – Pre Bonds and Post Asstro’s.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. More like Aristotle. I am more than a little bit pissed. But the Hall means less now than when I was younger. I think Hodges has been screwed for years. He belongs, and with Clemens and Bonds gaining votes these last couple of years it seems the baseball press has forgotten that what they did was cheating. 100 years after the Black Sox baseball takes it on the chin again. I love the game. The people who own and run it, not so much. I think fans have become anesthetized to cheating and cheaters. Landis would have banned them for life. Different mind set of course than back in those days. Myself, I still consider Aaron the HR king. And Hank did it without any help. He also in his long career never hit more than 47 homers in any season, and he did that when he was 37 years old. Bonds actually improving rather than regressing after he turned 35 is very suspicious.


  8. I still love the surprise when I open a pack of new baseball cards. The other day I got a pack of 2019 Topps updated cards. Got a few rookie cards, Guerrero, Riley, a Paddack card and the Mets phenom, Pete Alonso. I did get 2 Dodgers. Pederson and Ryu’s all star game cards. But to me the creme de la creme, was a Babe Ruth perennial all star card. Great looking card and I am forever a fan of the Bambino!


  9. Never heard of him. Austin Dean Marlins. I see an old crooner with a drink in his hand eating Texas sausage. A lot to unpack there. I look forward to further therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Phillies DFA’d Herrera. He is under a domestic violence cloud. Wood is still not listed on the active 40 man but that is just days away I would think and one of those on the roster will be removed. My candidate is Tyler White. To me this guys has zero chance of making any impact at the major league level.


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