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January 2020
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Astros owner Jim Crane swiftly dismisses Hinch and Luchnow after MLB investigation concludes

Jim Crane (file photo)

Eventhough GM Jeff Luchnow and field manager AJ Hinch won AL Western Division title, AL Championships and World Series titles, Astros owner Jim Crane made it known that he was not going to swallow what went down as far as the sign-stealing investigation which put a black cloud on the team and organization.

“Neither one of them started this, but neither one of them did anything about it,” Crane said. “We will not have this happen again on my watch.”

And that was his rationale for dismissing Hinch and Luhnow basing it  on the MLB report, that both shared responsibility for allowing sign-stealing.

MLB had suspended both Hinch and Luchnow for the 2020 season but Crane obviously had heard and seen enough from the report. Both had contract security. Hinch through 2022 and Luchnow through 2023. And they had made the Astros into a yearly dominating team in the American League.

Said Crane  in a news conference at Minute Maid Park. ”There are two very important points I want to make today: I have higher standards for the city and the franchise, and I am going above and beyond MLB’s penalty. Today, I have made the decision to dismiss AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow. We need to move forward with a clean slate, and the Astros will become a stronger organization because of this today.”

The Astros will not suspend any players in the incident. MLB did not impose any suspensions either, said Crane.

The Astros will now have to find a manager for 2020. It is expected that the team will look within the coaching staff, organization and externally to fill that void.

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