Houston Astros manager A.J

Tanya Simon
January 13, 2020

Major League Baseball has meted out discipline in the case of the Houston Astros' illegal sign-stealing in 2017.

Houston also will forfeit its next two first- and second-round draft picks.

An MLB investigation found the 2017 World Series winners used technology to cheat during that season. MLB's investigation found that was unaware of the sign-stealing activities by his team.

Now there could be extreme pressure on the Red Sox to fire manager Alex Cora, who is likely awaiting suspension for his role in developing the Astros' sign-stealing operation when he was the bench coach in 2017. Sign stealing allows teams to give batters a huge advantage by telling them which pitches to expect from the opposition.

The Astros won their only world title in 2017 beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game seven, at Dodgers Stadium, to win a thrilling 2017 World Series. They also appeared in last season's World Series, going into the series as heavy favourites, before losing to the Washington Nationals.

Fiers, 34, was not offered a new contract in Houston after the end of the 2017 season, having been left off their roster for the post-season.

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"We need to move forward with a clean slate", he said.

Fired assistant GM Brandon Taubman was suspended for the full upcoming season, too, but for yelling at a female reporter about how glad he was that the team acquired closer Roberto Osuna, who had been accused to domestic violence.

"I find that the conduct of the Astros, and its senior baseball operations executives, merits significant discipline", Commissioner Rob Manfred said as part of the nine-page ruling. "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". Major League Baseball said that if Hinch or Luhnow "engage in any future material violations" they face a permanent ban.

Manfred also said owner Jim Crane was not aware.

While the banging scheme was discontinued before the 2018 season, Manfred wrote, "the Astros' replay review room staff continued, at least for part of the 2018 season, to decode signs using the live center field camera feed, and to transmit the signs to the dugout through in-person communication".

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