morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!
Last winter feels like a lifetime ago, after the interminable grind of 2020, but it’s only been one year since the biggest story in baseball was the Houston Astros cheating scandal. The Astros had used technology to steal signs from opposing pitchers and catchers, beyond the scope allowed by the general culture of the game and by the rulebook itself, and the scheme came to light thanks in part to the commendable whistleblowing of Mike Fiers.
In response to the cheating, Major League Baseball made an example out of the Astros by levying harsh penalties on — LOL just kidding, the league did almost nothing to punish Houston.
MLB took away a couple decent draft picks in a weak class, and they suspended general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for a season (which ended up meaning two months after the coronavirus canceled most of the summer; both men were also fired by the Astros). Hinch already has a new managing job in Detroit. Their bench coach from 2017, Alex Cora, who was considered to be more actively involved in the cheating than Hinch, also got one year and has already been re-hired by the team (Boston) he was managing at the time of the sentencing. No players were penalized at all.
Fans around the country were not happy with the lack of accountability, nearly as much as they were with the transgression itself. It turns out Luhnow isn’t pleased with how it all played out either, as he is now suing the Astros for breach of contract, reports Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.
Luhnow says the Astros “scapegoated” him and “[called] into question the legitimacy of Major League Baseball’s three-month investigation last year,” reports Rome.
What a twist! Many fans would likely agree with Luhnow’s assessment from what little public info we know of the situation, so it will be interesting to see how the facts play out in real life.
- Lockard: Greg Deichmann, Buddy Reed and others the A’s might protect in the Rule 5 draft ($$$)
- Coffey: Grading Chris Bassitt and the A’s starting pitchers ($$$)
- AN: Sean Murphy finishes 4th place in AL Rookie of the Year voting
- AN: Tommy La Stella is the free agent the A’s should bring back
MLB News & Interest
- Passan, et al: Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa charged with DUI stemming from February arrest, court docs show
- Sarris: ‘Almost everyone is using something’: Getting a grip on how MLB pitchers are cheating ($$$)
- Rome: Ex-Astros GM Jeff Luhnow sues team, claims he was made scapegoat for sign-stealing scandal
- Jenkins: Baseball’s coronavirus-altered new rules: Should they stay or go? ($)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
Love the sentiment, but I’ll believe his words the moment I see him make good on them with actions
Steve Cohen on owning the Mets: "I’m not trying to make money here. … It’s about building something great, building something for the fans, winning."— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) November 10, 2020
Baker played seven seasons in MLB, though never actually for the A’s (as a prospect, he was lost on waivers to the Marlins, then re-claimed a couple weeks later, then traded back to the Marlins again a year later, and debuted in the bigs the year after that)
Lockard’s thoughts on the matter continue for a couple more tweets, if you click thru
In general I tend to think geographical alignment makes sense. Gives teams a chance to grow their fanbases, makes it easier to move players level to level. One downside: teams will see a narrower scope of prospects.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) November 9, 2020
Pudge Junior finds a new team for 2021
Congrats to our client Dereck Rodriguez (@DereckrodRF3) on his new contract with the Colorado @Rockies, which includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training. #DRod #ColoradoRockies #Rockies #MLB #TeamESM @wilsonballglove @NB_Baseball pic.twitter.com/7GIPv5CHPJ— Gavin Kahn (@Gavin_Kahn) November 9, 2020