Major League Baseball seemed to catch the sports world off-guard on Monday, when they handed down a historic punishment to the Houston Astros as a result of a sign-stealing scheme the team ran during 2017.
Included in the long list of punishments was a $5 million fine, the maximum allowable fine under the MLB constitution. The Astros also had their first and second round picks taken away in both 2020 and 2021. In addition, General Manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were both suspended for a year, then subsequently fired by Astros Owner Jim Crane.
Many fans were taken aback by the severity of the punishment meted out by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, but the fans weren’t alone. Several current and former MLB players – and media types – took to Twitter to make their surprise known.
— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) January 13, 2020
Didn’t really expect the punishments to be this harsh. Good for MLB stepping up. Still don’t know what’s more frustrating tho, an ex teammate of the WS title team talking publicly about his team cheating or so many guys being down to use a damn trash can lol. Should take the ring
— David Freese (@david23freese) January 13, 2020
Worth noting, some rival execs still don't think Astros have been punished enough today.
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) January 13, 2020
To be clear … Astros can concoct a digital sign-stealing scheme, win WS, get caught; MLB can begin & end investigation, take draft picks & $5 mil, suspend GM & manager (who are later fired), faster than an arbitrator can rule on Kris Bryant's service time grievance. Got it.
— Wayne Drehs (@espnWD) January 13, 2020
The hammer fell on the Astros today. I applaud Rob Manfred for the suspensions and the loss of draft choices. I support Jim Crane for his swift and dramatic action to fire AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow arguably the top manager and GM combo in the game. This type of cheating must end
— Steve Stone (@stevestone) January 13, 2020
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) January 13, 2020
I’d like my career numbers against Altuve, Springer, and Correa erased from the record books. Seriously though, it’s bad. Can they do that?
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) January 13, 2020
— ❂ Mike ℕℍℕ Clevinger ❂ (@Mike_Anthony13) January 13, 2020
"I suggest they put their name by it if they are so passionate about it," Hinch said in the ALCS. Well, Mike Fiers put his name by it. Now Hinch and Luhnow are suspended for a year. Amazing. https://t.co/TSQYINo7IO
— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) January 13, 2020
AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow are effectively banned from baseball. The only shame is that they are not actually banned from baseball. https://t.co/OSebqmk8ZI
— Stephanie Apstein (@stephapstein) January 13, 2020
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn