Houston Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane has fired manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow following Major League Baseball’s sign-stealing investigation, he announced in a press conference on Monday.
He says the decision was made after MLB released the findings and levied a severe punishment on the organization.
“Today is a very difficult day for the Houston Astros,” Crane said. “MLB did a very thorough investigation and the Astros fully cooperated and we accept their decisions and findings and penalties.”
“I felt with what came out in the report they both had responsibilities,” Crane added. “Neither one of them started this but neither one of them did anything about it.”
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred suspended Luhnow and Hinch for a year for their role in using electronic equipment to steal signs, but Crane said he wanted to go a step further. The Astros organization was also fined $5 million and they were stripped of first- and second-round draft picks in 2020-2021.
“I just spoke with both of them,” Crane said. “A.J. was upset. I think he understands the consequences.”
Crane did not announce who would replace either Hinch or Luhnow, but said he was actively searching and hoped to have replacements before spring training.
Luhnow had been the Astros’ GM since 2011, Hinch had managed the team since 2015 and led them to the World Series championship in 2017.