Hot stove season has very quickly turned into “hot seat” season in the MLB. As the league continued its investigation regarding the Houston Astros cheating scandal, a number of figures have run themselves out of a job.
Astros manager AJ Hinch, as well as general manager Jeff Luhnow, were suspended for the 2020 season. Houston was also stripped of its first and second round picks for the 2020 and 2021 draft, and were fined for $5 million.
Shortly after the MLB dropped the hammer on the Astros, Houston dropped their own hammer and fired both Hinch and Luhnow.
According to ESPN Insider Jeff Passan, Astros owner Jim Crane wanted a fresh start in the clubhouse following the release of their two key managerial pieces.
“Neither one of them started this, but neither one of them did anything about it,” Crane said. “We need to move forward with a clean slate.”
This isn’t the only clean slate we’ll be seeing this upcoming season.
The Boston Red Sox have fired manager Alex Cora for his involvement with the 2017 Astros scandal. This also comes after new investigations MLB opened up about the Red Sox stealing signs in 2018, their championship season.
According to Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic, Boston used their video replay room to decode signs given by the opposing catcher. These signs were relayed to the dugout, where the batters were then prepared for what pitches to expect. The Red Sox have yet to receive a punishment from the MLB, but it seems to be only a matter of time until that happens.
Along with Houston and Boston, the New York Mets have also parted ways with their manager. Carlos Beltrán, a former Met, was hired this offseason to be the next manager for what looked to be a promising Mets club.
However, Beltrán was a member of the Astros in 2017 and was reportedly one of the masterminds behind the sign stealing tactics.
The Mets agreed to mutually part ways with Beltrán before he could even manage one game. Shortly after, the Mets promoted quality control coach Luis Rojas to be the next manager for the Mets.
This has been one of the craziest offseasons in recent memory and it might not be over just yet.
Investigations are still taking place, so there is always the possibility of new findings potentially surfacing. Luckily, pitchers and catchers will begin reporting to spring training in just a few short weeks, which will be a welcome distraction from the drama.
This upcoming season has many storylines to follow and we as fans may be in for a treat.
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