Updated Jan 13, 2020

Houston Astros fire manager, GM after suspension for sign-stealing

Photo: Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Houston Astros have fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch after an MLB investigation revealed that the team used technology to illegally steal signs during its 2017 World Series run, AP reports.

Why it matters: The MLB had issued one-year suspensions for Luhnow and Hinch, one of the harshest punishments the league has ever handed down. In addition to the suspensions, the team will also lose its first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts and be hit with a $5 million fine, per The Athletic.

The big picture: The Athletic reported in November that the Astros stole opposing teams' signs during 2017 home games by using a camera in center field, a scheme led by bench coach Alex Cora.

  • An anonymous source told The Athletic that the Boston Red Sox, who have since hired Cora as their manager, also stole signs during their 2018 World Series championship season.

Go deeper: MLB sign-stealing scandal broadens with 2018 Red Sox accusations

Go deeper

Inside the Astros' front office's sign stealing operation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Over the weekend, a bombshell Wall Street Journal report revealed that the Astros' front office was not only aware of the sign-stealing that was going on but, in fact, created the system in the first place. It even had a name: "Codebreaker."

How it worked: Using an in-game live feed, someone would log the catchers' signs and the type of pitch that was thrown into an Excel spreadsheet. An algorithm would then decipher what each sign meant and that information was communicated to a baserunner, who would relay it to the hitter.

Go deeperArrowFeb 11, 2020 - Sports

Astros scandal claims third manager

Carlos Beltrán, the only player named in MLB's investigation of the Astros' sign-stealing scandal, is out as Mets manager, departing less than three months into his tenure and becoming the third manager in four days to lose his job.

Why it matters: Pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training in 27 days, and the Astros, Red Sox and Mets don't have managers. What we've witnessed this week is unprecedented — and the fallout has only just begun.Houston Astros fire manager, GM after suspension for sign-stealing

Go deeperArrowJan 17, 2020

How an inconsistent baseball threatens trust in MLB

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Astros' sign-stealing scandal is a huge black eye for Major League Baseball and threatens public trust in the sport, but there is something that poses an even bigger threat to that trust — the baseball itself.

Catch up quick: The "juiced baseball" emerged as a storyline last season, but the inconsistency of MLB's baseballs has been a theme for years.

Go deeperArrowFeb 4, 2020 - Sports