A.J. Hinch on Astros Cheating Scandal: I Should Have Ended It

A.J. Hinch
Getty Images/Patrick Smith

Former Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch has admitted that the team’s sign-stealing scandal was “wrong,” but his admissions only went up to a point.

During an interview with the MLB Network on Friday, Hinch admitted that the sign-stealing scheme was wrong. However, when responding to a question about the electronic devices, Hinch referred to the MLB investigation that did not find evidence that such devices were used.

“We got investigated for three months,” he told the network. “The Commissioner’s Office did as thorough of an investigation as anyone could imagine was possible. I know you mentioned about the emails and the texts and the messages, and I believe it.”

Hinch added that the league “explored wearable devices during the investigation but found no evidence to substantiate it.”

Last year, the former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers accused the team of operating a sign-stealing system using cameras mounted inside the stadium during the MLB 2017 season. But others wondered if the monitoring began before that. Some noted that after Jose Altuve’s game-winning homer off the Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman in Game 6 of last year’s ALCS, the Astros second baseman shied from allowing teammates rip his jersey off on the field in celebration.

Many jumped to the conclusion that Altuve was wearing one of those buzzing devices under his jersey even as late as 2019, and he did not want it exposed.

After the league’s investigation, the league suspended both Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow for a year, but then the team fired them in January.

Hinch admitted to failing as a leader during the scandal.

“I should have had a meeting and addressed it face forward and really ended it,” Hinch insisted. “Leadership, to me, is often about what you preach. Leadership’s also about what you tolerate. I tolerated too much. … Right is right and wrong is wrong, and we were wrong.”

Hinch also had a message for the “Astros fans, baseball fans, the supporters, the detractors.” He concluded that he hoped they could see he has learned from his mistakes.

“I wish I could do it over again … and I will work tirelessly to restore the integrity that’s needed in this game and the integrity that’s already in this game,” he said.

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