The Houston Astros cheating scandal punishment has been handed down, and MLB has dropped the hammer on the Astros. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch have each reportedly been suspended for one year, the organization has been stripped of its first and second round draft picks in 2020 and 2021, and the team has been fined $5 million, according to Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of the Athletic.
Reports indicate that players were exempted from discipline, so Carlos Beltran, the current New York Mets manager who was one of the ringleaders of the scheme to illegal use live video to pick up catcher’s signs so that they could be relayed to the Astros’ hitters, is not being punished. However, Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was part of the Astros coaching staff and reportedly part of the scheme, will be subject to discipline and is expected to receive a hefty suspension.
In addition, Brandon Taubman, who was in the center of the Roberto Osuna/harassing reports drama after the ALCS, has been placed on the league’s ineligible list, meaning he’s effectively banned from baseball.
This is a severe punishment, and one that I think is fair. Folks will complain that the Astros weren’t stripped of their title, but that isn’t realistic. This is the sort of sanction that is a pretty significant deterrent to those in authority who are contemplating implementing such a brazenly illegal scheme.