The Astros’ sign-stealing scandal is perhaps the biggest story to hit baseball in years. Stories of their use of replay cameras and buzzers to track what pitches were about to be thrown have forced fans to reevaluate their burgeoning dynasty in ways that will forever color the last few seasons in the sport.
Questions remain about who was the ultimate architect of their schemes, but manager A.J. Hinch, who has since been fired by the Astros, was one of the people responsible.
He thinks it's fair to question the legitimacy of the team's 2017 World Series title.
In his first public comments since severing ties with the team, Hinch spoke with Tom Verducci for an exclusive interview with MLB Network.
Verducci asked the question on the forefront of everybody’s minds: Does this scandal taint the World Series title, a run once thought to be the culmination of a year’s long rebuild?
“It’s a fair question, and I think everyone’s going to have to draw their own conclusion,” Hinch began, clearly having anticipated the question. “I hope, over time, and the demonstration of the talents with this team, and players and careers that are being had...they’re some of the best players in the entire sport, all together on the same team.”
Hinch didn’t directly say the title should be viewed differently in fans’ eyes, but it’s clear he recognizes how inevitable it is.
“I hope over time it’s proven that it wasn’t. But I understand the question. It’s a fair question, and people are going to have to draw their own conclusions” he continued. “Unfortunately we opened that door as a group. And that question may never be answered, and we may never know. And we’re going to have to live and move forward and be better in the sport. But unfortunately, no one can really answer that question, I can’t pinpoint what advantages or what happened or what exactly would have happened otherwise. But we did it to ourselves.”
These types of questions are going to continue to plague Hinch, his former players and everyone else involved with the scandal for the rest of their careers. The baseball world will be interested to hear what they all have to say, and this will be one of their first opportunities.
The interview is scheduled to air in full at 6 p.m. on Friday night on MLB Network.
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