Astros fire A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow

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Astros owner Jim Crane has announced that the team has fired Manager A.J. Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow. He said the team will begin a search for a new manager. In the short term Crane said he will be overseeing the baseball operations department.

This is the first immediate fallout of this afternoon’s handing down of one-year suspensions for both Hinch and Luhnow arising out of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal from 2017.

In the wake of the allegations, and in light of the likelihood that this was a league-wide problem, Major League Baseball initially said that it did not plan to limit its investigation to the Astros. Then MLB reversed course and said that he would only be investigating Houston. Once the allegations regarding the Red Sox came out, that position became untenable for Major League Baseball, suggesting that this punishment is just the end of the beginning of the story as opposed to the true end.

In the meantime, the Astros need a new manager. And a new general manager. And we will now begin a major, major reckoning about cheating in Major League Baseball.

Tyson Ross opts out of 2020 season

Tyson Ross opts out
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On Monday, Nationals pitcher Joe Ross became one of four players to opt out of the 2020 season due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, Joe’s brother Tyson Ross opted out of the 2020 season as well, per Jon Heyman.

Ross, 33, is currently a free agent. He racked up 35 1/3 disappointing innings for the Tigers last year, posting a 6.11 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 18 walks.

Mike Leake, Ryan Zimmerman, and Ian Desmond are the three other players to have opted out of the 2020 season thus far. None of these players are considered “high risk,” so they are forgoing their salaries and service time.