Major League Baseball completed their investigation of the Houston Astros in January and determined that the organization electronically stole signs at Minute Maid Park for multiple years, including during their 2017 World Series season.
It led to unprecedented punishments being carried out by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. Houston was fined the maximum $5 million, stripped of its first-and-second round draft picks over the next two years, and lost former general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch for the 2020 season.
Luhnow and Hinch, of course, were subsequently dismissed by Astros owner Jim Crane. The firings had a ripple effect on other teams, as the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets eventually parted ways with Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran as well.
Hinch recently broke his silence about everything that has transpired over the past month. During an interview on MLB Network, he restated his confidence in the league’s investigation but did not explicitly deny the use of buzzers among Astros players during the 2017 season.
Hinch clarified that he had never seen such a device being used by any Astros player, via Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated:
“After my interview with Tom Verducci last week, there has been a significant reaction to my answer to the ‘buzzer’ question. To be clear, I have never seen any such device used in baseball. I am not aware of any such device existing or being utilized with the Astros, the players, or any other team. I was first asked about such devices during the investigation by MLB. In my interview with Tom, I acknowledged the commissioner’s report as evidence due to the in-depth nature of the investigation, not as an intended non-answer or a way to elude the question.”
MLB previously noted they did not find evidence that Astros players used buzzers or wearable devices. Speculation has nevertheless run rampant on social media among players, with Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer adding fuel to the possibility.
Multiple Los Angeles Dodgers players have also taken an interest in the rumors. Ross Stripling revealed that former teammate and current Astros outfielder Josh Reddick denied the accusation.
Cody Bellinger also commented on the speculation brought forth against the Astros, expressing his shock on social media while hoping that the rumors aren’t true. So too did Alex Wood, who questioned how players were not punished as part of the sign-stealing scandal.
After tensions continued to rise — in large part because of responses from the Astros — it has since subsided as teams play Spring Training games.
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