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Houston Astros’ manager, GM banned for season for sign-stealing

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 05: Manager AJ Hinch #14 talks with Jeff Luhnow, General Manager of the Houston Astros, prior to game two of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park on October 05, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Houston Astros’ manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for the entire season Monday and the team was fined $5 million for sign-stealing by the team in 2017 and 2018 season.

Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the discipline and strongly hinted that current Boston manager Alex Cora — the Astros bench coach in 2017 — will face punishment later. Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros.

Houston also will forfeit its next two first- and second-round draft picks.

Manfred said Hinch was aware of the system but did not bring it to the attention of Luhnow. The GM told Major League Baseball he was unaware of the system but Manfred held him accountable for the team’s actions. Manfred also said owner Jim Crane was not aware.

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