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Sports Rob Manfred attacks ‘very problematic’ Astros culture with discipline

16:55  14 january  2020
16:55  14 january  2020 Source:   sportsnet.ca

Report: MLB in ‘final stages’ of Astros sign-stealing investigation

  Report: MLB in ‘final stages’ of Astros sign-stealing investigation Major League Baseball is in the “very final stages” of its investigation on the Houston Astros and reports of electronic sign-stealing against the team, and “could announce discipline at any time,” according to SNY Network’s Andy Martino. The post Senators place defenceman Andreas Englund on waivers appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.MLB is in very final stages of Astros investigation, and could announce discipline at any time, sources tell SNY.

As Shi Davidi writes, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred established a baseline punishment to fit the crime and isn't afraid to draw the line. Still, more remarkable, in some ways, is the fashion in which Manfred publicly vilified a baseball operations culture he described as “ very problematic ” in a

HOUSTON (AP) Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday after the In U.S. sports' largest scandal since the New England Patriots' "Spygate," Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros .

a screen shot of Rob Manfred: Rob-Manfred-MLB© LM Otero/AP Rob-Manfred-MLB

TORONTO – There is so much in Major League Baseball’s justifiably harsh discipline of the Houston Astros that is unprecedented. The suite of personal, financial and draft penalties handed down by commissioner Rob Manfred, prompting team owner Jim Crane to fire both GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch, is among the most severe in the game’s long and at times sordid history. This is 1919 Chicago Black Sox and Pete Rose gambling territory, wholly appropriate whenever the sport’s integrity is placed in such grave danger.

Given that we were here back in 2017, when the Boston Red Sox were caught cheating with smart watches and were only fined for the hustle, some worried the Astros would escape with another slap on the wrist. Instead, Manfred delivered a punch to the face that should resonate with those who want to push the fine line between legit gamesmanship and illicit cheating.

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Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has guts. Manfred made the right decision. Essentially, he gave the death penalty to Astros general manager Jeff “I will withhold determining the appropriate level of discipline for Cora until after the Department of Investigation completes its

HOUSTON (AP) Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday after the In U.S. sports' largest scandal since the New England Patriots' "Spygate," Commissioner Rob Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros . The Red Sox are under

Everyone now knows the consequences, and boy are they real.

Still, more remarkable, in some ways, is the fashion in which Manfred publicly vilified a baseball operations culture he described as “very problematic” in a thorough and well-reasoned nine-page decision released to media. Given that it was the brazen and shameful harassment of three female reporters by fired assistant GM Brandon Taubman during a post-season celebration that triggered the initial probe into the Astros’ front office, that’s significant, and surely forced Crane’s hand in firing one of the smartest executives in the sport.

Can’t exactly bring a guy back from a season-long ban and move forward as if nothing happened when Manfred writes that, “at least in my view, the baseball operations department’s insular culture – one that valued and rewarded results over other considerations, combined with a staff of individuals who often lacked direction or sufficient oversight, led, at least in part, to the Brandon Taubman incident, the club’s admittedly inappropriate and inaccurate response to that incident, and finally, to an environment that allowed the conduct described in this report to have occurred.”

MLB investigating allegations that Red Sox illegally stole signs in 2018

  MLB investigating allegations that Red Sox illegally stole signs in 2018 Major League Baseball is looking into accusations the Boston Red Sox used video replay rooms to illegally steal signs during the 2018 regular season, according to Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated. Commissioner Rob Manfred said the probe will be just as comprehensive as the one the league is currently conducting over the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal. "We’re going to investigate the Red Sox allegations with the same thoroughness and vigor that we did Houston," Manfred said Tuesday.

Manfred was clearly outraged by the Astros ’ brazenness in continuing to steal signs even after he had issued a warning to all teams in September 2017 about using technology to do that. His report cited a “ very problematic ” culture in the Astros ’ baseball operations

The Houston Astros fired Manager A.J. Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow on Monday, about an hour after Major League Baseball had suspended them Of the manager, Manfred wrote, “Hinch told my investigators that he did not support his players decoding signs using the monitor installed near

Take a second to wrap your mind around that. When is the last time a commissioner of any sport issued such a comprehensive rebuke of a club’s core being?

He just crushed them.

Then, as if anticipating the Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” defence, Luhnow offered in a statement that he both accepted responsibility and blamed underlings, including, without directly naming him, Alex Cora, the former bench coach and current Red Sox manager.

Manfred made clear that ignorance doesn’t absolve one of responsibility.

“Regardless of the level of Luhnow’s actual knowledge, the Astros’ violation of rules in 2017 and 2018 is attributable, in my view, to a failure by the leaders of the baseball operations department and the field manager to adequately manage the employees under their supervision,” wrote Manfred, “to establish a culture in which adherence to the rules is ingrained in the fabric of the organization, and to stop bad behaviour as soon as it occurred.”

Pete Rose: Astros' cheating was worse than my bets

  Pete Rose: Astros' cheating was worse than my bets Pete Rose believes that the Houston Astros' involvement in illegal sign-stealing was worse for baseball than what he did more than 30 years ago when he gambled on the sport. "I bet on my own team to win," Rose told Randy Miller of NJ.com. "That’s what I did in a nutshell. I was wrong, but I didn't taint the game. I didn't try to steal any games. I never voted against my team. I bet on my team every night because that's the confidence that I had"I bet on my own team to win," Rose told Randy Miller of NJ.com. "That’s what I did in a nutshell. I was wrong, but I didn't taint the game. I didn't try to steal any games. I never voted against my team.

Manfred said owner Jim Crane was not aware of the sign stealing. An hour after MLB announced its Manfred painted a picture of a team management solely focused on winning. “It is very clear to me that the Manfred said no Astros players will be disciplined because he decided in September 2017 to

Astros players relayed that information to the batter by banging on a trash can, among other methods. “I will withhold determining the appropriate level of discipline for Cora until after the D.O.I Manfred said that the team owner Jim Crane “was unaware of any of the violations of M.L.B

In other words, if it happens on your watch, you own it, which is the way it should be, and for their troubles, aside from having to cough up $5 million and two first-round picks and two second-round picks, the Astros must find a new GM and manager. Considering that they’re carrying a beyond-the-luxury-tax payroll projected at $216 million, losing two top leaders a month away from spring training is rather detrimental to leveraging an expensive roster.

(A tangent here, but John Gibbons makes sense as manager for a win-now team in desperate need of stability, offering a steadying hand the way Jim Fregosi did when the Toronto Blue Jays fired Tim Johnson in the spring of ’99.)

So, examples have been made – something Major League Baseball should have done in 2017 with the Red Sox, perhaps establishing a deterrent then that would have prevented all this – and the real question now is whether it’s enough for the game to move forward.

Discipline still looms for Cora, depicted in the report as the Astros mastermind, for his role in a similar sign-stealing plan with the 2018 Red Sox, and the burden may be higher there given that he’s violated the rules with two clubs now.

Discipline for Astros leadership sure to have ripple effect around MLB

  Discipline for Astros leadership sure to have ripple effect around MLB The transformation of the Houston franchise into a player development leader, perennial contender and eventual World Series champion was something to behold. And, as it turns out, the downfall of that front office has been just as riveting (though far more swift). The post Alex Ovechkin scores 685th career goal to pass Teemu Selanne appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.The transformation of the Houston franchise into a player development leader, perennial contender and eventual World Series champion was something to behold. And, as it turns out, the downfall of that front office has been just as riveting (though far more swift).

But Manfred is sending clear messages: generally, about the illicit use of technology that, more powerful by the year, presents challenges to Brandon Taubman, the Astros ’ former assistant general manager, has been suspended from baseball for at least a year. Houston fired him during the World

Manfred left the discipline of "lower-level Astros employees" with knowledge of the sign-stealing scheme to the The culture of the Astros has been a hot topic since Taubman was fired in October after At least in my view, the baseball operations department's insular culture - one that valued and

Whether Cora can survive in a way Luhnow and Hinch did not will be closely watched, but how things sit among players is even more interesting.

Privately, players have long whispered that the Astros aren’t the only ones doing it, that other clubs engage in dark arts, too. The relative silence of the Los Angeles Dodgers – who lost the World Series in 2017 to the Astros and in ’18 to the Red Sox – makes you wonder if they’re reluctant to cast stones because they too have sinned.

And hey, maybe there really was a Man in White employed by the Toronto Blue Jays to relay signs from the centre-field seats. Wait, that was last decade? Doesn’t matter, better hide him guys, stat.

Seriously, though, how deep a dive to take into the sign-stealing cesspool makes for an interesting debate. How will players that feel cheated out of numbers and service time react? Does baseball need a Mitchell Report on steroids examination into who did what when with electronic sign-stealing? Is this Astros pound of flesh enough to deter the bold and immoral?

Murky, ground, all of it.

Regardless, the rules of engagement for would-be-cheaters is now clear. Manfred has established a baseline punishment to fit the crime, and he’ll run reputations into the ground as he shows perpetrators out the door, too.

Answering the biggest questions from the Astros' sign-stealing fallout .
Major League Baseball threw the entire freaking library at the Houston Astros on Monday, saddling them with a historic host of penalties after an exhaustive investigation determined the club electronically stole signs during its 2017 World Series championship run. The specifics of Houston's sign-stealing chicanery were outlined in a nine-page report penned by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, but here are the primary points: Early in the 2017The specifics of Houston's sign-stealing chicanery were outlined in a nine-page report penned by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, but here are the primary points:

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