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Sport Opinion: Former Houston Astros execs sold out baseball, should never be near game again

17:10  14 january  2020
17:10  14 january  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

Justin Verlander Surprises BBWAA Dinner With Ill-Timed Comment on Astros Technological Advancements

  Justin Verlander Surprises BBWAA Dinner With Ill-Timed Comment on Astros Technological Advancements Either Justin Verlander takes this whole sign-stealing scandal far too lightly, or he needs someone to read over his speeches with a fine-tooth comb. JV accepted the AL Cy Young Award at the BBWAA dinner Saturday night, and in his speech dared to make some comments on the Astros' "technological and analytical advancements." This was greeted by some laughter in the room, but we're not sure if Verlander meant it as a joke. For his sake, we hope not.

Jeff Luhnow should never work in baseball again . Any sports league, for that matter. Harsh as the punishments were for Luhnow and his former sidekick A single season in time out doesn’t reflect the damage they did to the game with the renegade, frat boy culture that permeated the Houston Astros .

Former Astros manager A.J. Hinch issued a statement in which he accepted responsibility for his role in the Astros ' cheating scheme that began in 2017. Major League Baseball suspended Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after the league says their team stole

Jeff Luhnow should never work in baseball again. Any sports league, for that matter.

Jeff Luhnow, A. J. Hinch are posing for a picture: GM Jeff Luhnow (left) and manager A.J. Hinch have been fired by the Astros.© Erik Williams, USA TODAY Sports GM Jeff Luhnow (left) and manager A.J. Hinch have been fired by the Astros.

Harsh as the punishments were for Luhnow and his former sidekick Brandon Taubman, they didn’t go far enough. A single season in time out doesn’t reflect the damage they did to the game with the renegade, frat boy culture that permeated the Houston Astros.

This isn’t about stealing signs, any more than Deflategate was about Tom Brady liking footballs with less air pressure. Those are, in the grand scheme of things, minor hijinks that probably weren’t even worth the considerable effort they took.

Bruce Bochy not interested in Astros, Red Sox jobs

  Bruce Bochy not interested in Astros, Red Sox jobs The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox are scrambling to find new managers in the wake of the sign stealing scandal that erupted across Major League Baseball recently, and both teams need to look further than three-time World Series champion Bruce Bochy. © Stan Szeto-USA TODAY SportsBochy does not plan to pursue any managerial openings this offseason, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.Bruce Bochy does not plan to pursue any of the current managerial openings, according to a source. His name surfaced on the #Astros’ list of managerial candidates reported yesterday by @MarkBermanFox26.

Opinion : Former Houston Astros execs sold out baseball , should never be near game again . Former Astros manager A.J. Hinch issued a statement in which he accepted responsibility for his role in the Astros ' cheating scheme that began in 2017.

Opinion : Former Houston Astros execs sold out baseball , should never be near game again . Major League Baseball suspended Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after the league says their team stole pitching signs during the 2017 season, which ended in

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This is about the integrity of the game, and what happens when an organization sees it as something to be manipulated rather than something to be respected. Every result, by that team and every other, becomes suspect, undercutting confidence in the entire game.

Think that’s an overreaction? The Astros were quickly dubbed the Asterisks after Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released his damning report on their sign-stealing scheme Monday. And since it occurred during the 2017 season, when Houston won the World Series, that title will forever be viewed with suspicion.

“The conduct described herein has caused fans, players, executives at other MLB Clubs, and members of the media to raise questions about the integrity of games in which the Astros participated,” Manfred wrote. “And while it is impossible to determine whether the conduct actually impacted the results on the field, the perception of some that it did causes significant harm to the game.”

Here is the list of candidates Astros are considering to replace A.J. Hinch

  Here is the list of candidates Astros are considering to replace A.J. Hinch The Houston Astros are in need of a new manager after firing A.J. Hinch and already have a list of candidates they are considering. According to FOX 26 in Houston’s Mark Berman, the Astros have numerous candidates on their list, which includes veteran managers like Jeff Banister, Dusty Baker, Buck Showalter and Bruce Bochy. Current Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Cubs third base coach Will Venable, and Dodgers special assistant Raul Ibanez are others they are considering.

Now Houston ’s manager and general manager are gone, after Major League Baseball doled out Staff and players, the report said, watched the screen during games , tried to decode hand signals and then Brandon Taubman, the Astros ’ former assistant general manager, has been suspended from

Opinion : Former Houston Astros execs sold out baseball , should never be near game again . Former Astros manager A.J. Hinch issued a statement in which he accepted responsibility for his role in the Astros ' cheating scheme that began in 2017.

There is a reason every sport has rules. Fans need to trust that the product they’re watching is legit, especially when that interest translates into billions in revenue. Players need to trust that they’re on a level playing field with their opponents or they might as well be back in kindergarten, where there’s always a kid who changes the rules mid-stream to suit himself.

If you cannot trust what you’re seeing, it’s not worth watching. If you cannot trust that you’re getting a fair shot, there’s no point playing.

Luhnow and Taubman, both of whom are now former Astros employees, might not have imagined the sign-stealing scheme. They might not even have known about it – though I have my doubts about that claim.

It doesn’t matter. Their at-any-cost brashness, as well as their contempt for anyone who didn’t share it, created the culture in which cheating was seen as simply part of the game. It created the culture that cowed anyone who might have wanted to raise objections. It created a culture that emboldened Taubman to harass female reporters, and the club to then lie about it and slander a reporter to try and cover it up.

Hinch 'deeply sorry' for role in Astros' sign-stealing scandal

  Hinch 'deeply sorry' for role in Astros' sign-stealing scandal Former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch acknowledged his role in the sign-stealing scandal that ultimately cost him his job on Monday. Hours after he was fired by Astros owner Jim Crane - on the heels of being issued a one-year suspension by commissioner Rob Manfred - Hinch said he accepted the punishments handed to him. "As a leader and major-league manager, it is my responsibility to lead players and staff with integrity that represents the game in the best possible way," Hinch said in a statement obtained by Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.

Opinion : Former Houston Astros execs sold out baseball , should never be near game again . Former Astros GM and manager each Former Astros manager A.J. Hinch issued a statement in which he accepted responsibility for his role in the Astros ' cheating scheme that began in 2017.

Opinion : Former Houston Astros execs sold out baseball , should never be near game again . Major League Baseball suspended Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after the league says their team stole pitching signs during the 2017 season, which ended in

“It is very clear to me that the culture of the baseball operations department … has been very problematic,” Manfred wrote. “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 (this).”

Those aren’t people you want around your game, and certainly not in positions to shape the mindset and values of an organization. Not now, not ever again.

As for now-former manager A.J. Hinch, he at least has shown a glimmer of a conscience.

He reportedly destroyed the monitor used in the sign stealing scheme – on more than one occasion, no less – and was the lone member of the Astros organization to acknowledge that Taubman’s brutish behavior was unacceptable. Yet he was culpable in his complicity, and is deserving of his season-long suspension – and loss of his job.

Whether there will be room for Hinch in baseball when his banishment ends will be up to him, and whether he recognizes that mild objections aren’t enough when someone is compromising the integrity of the game right in front of him.

Luhnow, Taubman and Hinch lost their jobs and, for at least the foreseeable future, their place in baseball. But baseball was robbed of its integrity, and that is the greatest loss of all.

Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: Former Houston Astros execs sold out baseball, should never be near game again

Report: Dusty Baker will interview for Astros' manager job .
The Houston Astros don't seem content with interim manager Joe Espada as AJ Hinch's long-term replacement.Right on cue, Dusty Baker, who last managed the Washington Nationals in 2017, is next on the list of candidates that Houston will interview for the top job in the wake of their sign-stealing scandal reaching a fever pitch.

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