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Larry Walker joins exclusive club upon Baseball Hall of Fame election

Westlake Legal Group Larry-Walker Larry Walker joins exclusive club upon Baseball Hall of Fame election Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/st-louis-cardinals fox-news/sports/mlb/colorado-rockies fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc article 727e84ca-594b-563f-8b53-154212711732

Larry Walker was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, narrowly crossing the 75 percent threshold needed to get into Cooperstown, and joined an even more exclusive club.

Walker appeared on 76.6 percent of the ballots. The one-time National League MVP played for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and the St. Louis Cardinals over the course of his career.

DEREK JETER, LARRY WALKER ELECTED TO THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

The former outfielder became the second Canadian-born major leaguer to be elected into the Hall of Fame. He joins Chicago Cubs great Fergie Jenkins as the only Canadians in the Hall. Jenkins was inducted in 1981.

“As a Canadian, it’s a proud moment for me to represent my country and join Ferguson Jenkins in the Hall of Fame,” Walker said during MLB Network’s broadcast of the Hall of Fame announcement.

AFTER ASTROS SIGN-STEALING SCANDAL, LA ASKS MLB TO GIVE WORLD SERIES TITLES TO DODGERS

Walker joined Derek Jeter as the only two players elected to the Hall of Fame this year.

While the outfielder didn’t win a World Series or have any transcendent baseball moments in his career, he still put up incredible stats.

Walker won the batting title three times and hit over .300 nine times in his career. While some say his numbers were inflated because he played at Coors Field during the prime of his career, he still managed to make an impact with whatever team he was playing for.

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The former outfielder didn’t expect to get into the Hall, tweeting earlier Tuesday, “Although I believe I’m going to come up a little short today I still wanna thank all you that have been pulling for me and showing your support. I’m grateful for all of you! It’s been fun leading up to today reading everyone’s thoughts.”

Westlake Legal Group Larry-Walker Larry Walker joins exclusive club upon Baseball Hall of Fame election Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/st-louis-cardinals fox-news/sports/mlb/colorado-rockies fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc article 727e84ca-594b-563f-8b53-154212711732   Westlake Legal Group Larry-Walker Larry Walker joins exclusive club upon Baseball Hall of Fame election Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/st-louis-cardinals fox-news/sports/mlb/colorado-rockies fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc article 727e84ca-594b-563f-8b53-154212711732

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Astros, Red Sox look ahead in wake of sign-stealing scandal

Players from two teams at the center of baseball’s sign-stealing scandal faced their fans on Saturday for the first time since the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox ousted their managers amid the fallout from the investigation into Houston’s elaborate scheme.

The Astros and Red Sox held their annual fan fests on Saturday, and instead of discussing preparations for the season, players from both teams were left to answer questions about the cheating that resulted in both teams’ managers being fired.

“It’s a tough situation and as a team we have to stay together and go through this as a team like we’ve been doing, always,” Houston star second baseman José Altuve said. “We have to talk about it at spring training and try not to let things in the past distract us for for next year.”

HOUSTON ASTROS PLAYERS SWALLOWED UP IN TWITTER FRENZY OVER SEPARATE CHEATING ALLEGATIONS

Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs during the Astros’ run to the 2017 World Series championship and again in the 2018 season. Team owner Jim Crane then fired both Hinch and Luhnow. Manager Alex Cora left the Red Sox on Tuesday after Manfred’s report identified him as the ringleader of the sign-stealing scheme when he was the bench coach for the Astros in 2017.

Westlake Legal Group AP20019023113044 Astros, Red Sox look ahead in wake of sign-stealing scandal Kristie Rieken JIMMY GOLEN fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc e8c9753e-97b0-54f4-9fc6-5964f917dd47 Associated Press article

Jose Altuve signs autographs for young fans during the baseball team’s FanFest at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (Associated Press)

Many Red Sox players talked Saturday about how much they liked and valued Cora and hated to see him go.

“I’m heartbroken about it,” Boston designated hitter J.D. Martinez said. “I understood his side of it. He definitely didn’t want to be a distraction. He was one of my favorite, if not my favorite, managers I’ve had.”

The Astros were fined $5 million, which is the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution, and must forfeit their next two first- and second-round amateur draft picks.

CARLOS BELTRAN OUT AS NEW YORK METS MANAGER IN WAKE OF MLB SIGN-STEALING PROBE: REPORT

The investigation found that the Astros used the video feed from a center field camera to see and decode the opposing catcher’s signs. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what was coming, believing it would improve the batter’s chances of getting a hit.

MLB is also looking into whether Cora installed a similar system in Boston after arriving the following year, when the Red Sox won the World Series. No conclusions have been reached and there is no timetable; the Astros investigation took two months.

Westlake Legal Group AP20019050573137 Astros, Red Sox look ahead in wake of sign-stealing scandal Kristie Rieken JIMMY GOLEN fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc e8c9753e-97b0-54f4-9fc6-5964f917dd47 Associated Press article

Boston Red Sox players gather during the baseball team’s fan fest Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Springfield, Mass. (Associated Press)

Martinez hopes MLB wraps up the investigation into the Red Sox soon so they can put this behind them.

“I’m excited for the investigation to get over with, so they can see there’s nothing going on here,” he said.

While the Astros were meeting with fans in Houston, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk called for MLB take away their World Series championship, now that it’s been proven that they cheated.

“I mean, I would like to see that obviously. I bet the Dodgers would like to see that,” Grichuk said. “I’ve got a few friends on the Dodgers that are very disappointed that possibly two years in a row they lost due to a team going against the rules.”

Many Boston players are trying not to focus on the investigation or what could be coming for the team, but instead simply trying to prepare like it’s any other season.

“MLB’s going to do what they have to do to look into it,” pitcher Nathan Eovaldi said. “I’m just trying to focus on baseball. I feel like it’s going to pass, and everything’s going to be fine.”

“MLB’s going to do what they have to do to look into it. I’m just trying to focus on baseball. I feel like it’s going to pass, and everything’s going to be fine.”

— Nathan Eovaldi, Red Sox pitcher

While Altuve didn’t have a problem answering numerous questions about the scandal, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman refused repeated attempts by reporters to get him to address what happened and kept repeating variations of the same phrase.

“The commissioner made his report, made his decision and the Astros made their decision and I have no further comment on it,” Bregman said in some variation again and again.

After being pressed on if he plans to discuss the sign-stealing in the future, Bregman finally gave an answer that didn’t seem as rehearsed.

“I think in the 2020 year our actions will speak louder than our words,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group f3108b71-AP20019022978585 Astros, Red Sox look ahead in wake of sign-stealing scandal Kristie Rieken JIMMY GOLEN fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc e8c9753e-97b0-54f4-9fc6-5964f917dd47 Associated Press article

Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman, center, is interviewed by the media during the baseball team’s FanFest, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. Astros’ Kyle Tucker, right, looks on. (Associated Press)

Altuve and Bregman were the only two stars at Saturday’s fan fest in Houston who were part of the 2017 championship team. Many of the other big names who helped the Astros win their first title, including World Series MVP George Springer, ace Justin Verlander and shortstop Carlos Correa, did not attend the daylong event where fans can interact with players.

Altuve was the AL MVP in 2017, and since the sign-stealing scandal broke, some have questioned whether he deserved the award. In recent days he’s also been accused of wearing an electronic device under his jersey to tip pitches, which he vehemently denies. He was asked how it feels for people to call him a cheater.

“You don’t want anybody to call you that,” he said. “But … I have two options. One is cry and one is go down and play the game and (perform) and help my team. And you know what one I am going to do.”

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MLB’s investigation of Houston began after former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers, who played for Oakland last season, told The Athletic about the team’s scheme to steal signs. Martinez said he has spoken to Fiers and gets why he came forward.

“I understand his side of it, being in that division, going against those guys. It’s an uncomfortable position for him, but I understand why he did what he did,” Martinez told reporters in Springfield, Massachusetts. “He obviously felt like he needed to and I understand it.”

In Houston, as the Astros try to put the scandal behind them and focus on the future, Altuve, who has often been described as the heart and soul of the team, is confident it won’t derail the Astros from another successful season.

“Everything will be fine,” he said. “We’re going to be in the World Series again. People don’t believe it. But we will.”

Westlake Legal Group AP20019022978585 Astros, Red Sox look ahead in wake of sign-stealing scandal Kristie Rieken JIMMY GOLEN fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc e8c9753e-97b0-54f4-9fc6-5964f917dd47 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group AP20019022978585 Astros, Red Sox look ahead in wake of sign-stealing scandal Kristie Rieken JIMMY GOLEN fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc e8c9753e-97b0-54f4-9fc6-5964f917dd47 Associated Press article

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LA City Council may ask MLB to declare Dodgers 2017, 2018 champs following Astros, Red Sox cheating probes

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost consecutive World Series titles to teams now linked to cheating scandals – so L.A. city officials may be going to bat for the hometown team.

City council members are reportedly drafting a resolution asking Major League Baseball to declare the Dodgers baseball’s top team of 2017 and 2018, and revoke the titles from the two teams that defeated the Dodgers – the Houston Astros in 2017 and the Boston Red Sox in 2018.

EX-ASTROS MANAGER AJ HINCH APOLOGIZES FOR FAILING TO STOP SIGN-STEALING SCHEME

“This is an equity and justice thing,” L.A. Councilman Gil Cedillo told the Los Angeles Times. “Who was the best team in 2017? Who was the best team in 2018? It was the Dodgers. They got beat by teams that were cheating.”

“This is an equity and justice thing. Who was the best team in 2017? Who was the best team in 2018? It was the Dodgers. They got beat by teams that were cheating.”

— L.A. Councilman Gil Cedillo

Westlake Legal Group CEDIL88 LA City Council may ask MLB to declare Dodgers 2017, 2018 champs following Astros, Red Sox cheating probes fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-dodgers fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb-postseason fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/sports fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 7c13510f-4a7a-55ec-9839-4ea5d9866e15

L.A. Councilman Gil Cedillo

This week the Astros fired manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, after MLB officials linked both men to a sign stealing operation.

“Neither one of them started this but neither one of them did anything about it,” Astros owner Jim Crane said Monday as he confirmed the terminations.

On Tuesday the Red Sox parted ways with Alex Cora, who was a bench coach for Houston during the 2017 World Series and then led Boston to the title in 2018.

MLB continues to investigate whether the Red Sox stole signs on their way to their championship.

Baseball executives have so far opted not to rescind the Houston and Boston championships or grant the titles to Los Angeles. But Cedillo said he believes a majority of the city’s council members will support the resolution that may be voted on as early as next week.

Westlake Legal Group MLB-Corey-Seager LA City Council may ask MLB to declare Dodgers 2017, 2018 champs following Astros, Red Sox cheating probes fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-dodgers fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb-postseason fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/sports fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 7c13510f-4a7a-55ec-9839-4ea5d9866e15

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager rounds the bases on his three-run home run during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, in Baltimore. (Associated Press)

“There has to be an acknowledgement the best team in baseball those two years was the Dodgers,” he said.

In 2017, Houston defeated the Dodgers, four games to three. The following year Boston defeated Los Angeles, four games to one.

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On Tuesday the Dodgers posted on Twitter that they would have no comment regarding the Astros situation.

“All clubs have been asked by Major League Baseball not to comment on today’s punishment of the Houston Astros as it’s inappropriate to comment on discipline imposed on another club,” the Dodgers wrote in a statement. “The Dodgers have also been asked not to comment on any wrongdoing during the 2017 World Series and will have no further comment at this time.”

Westlake Legal Group MLB-Corey-Seager LA City Council may ask MLB to declare Dodgers 2017, 2018 champs following Astros, Red Sox cheating probes fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-dodgers fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb-postseason fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/sports fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 7c13510f-4a7a-55ec-9839-4ea5d9866e15   Westlake Legal Group MLB-Corey-Seager LA City Council may ask MLB to declare Dodgers 2017, 2018 champs following Astros, Red Sox cheating probes fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-dodgers fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb-postseason fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/sports fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 7c13510f-4a7a-55ec-9839-4ea5d9866e15

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Astros trolled by Staten Island Yankees with trash can giveaway

Westlake Legal Group Staten-Island-Yankees-Trash-Can Astros trolled by Staten Island Yankees with trash can giveaway Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc e9f2b3fe-8512-5979-93c7-b41dde7be288 article

Following disciplinary action against the Houston Astros from Major League Baseball for their involvement in a cheating scandal, the Staten Island Yankees mocked the franchise on Tuesday by announcing a free mini trashcan giveaway, at one of their upcoming regular-season games.

The New York Yankees‘ minor league affiliate tweeted about the giveaway after news broke that Astros’ general manager Jeff Luhnow and team manager A.J. Hinch, were both dismissed for their role in stealing signs and signals from their opponents, during their 2017 World Series run.

Part of the system had Astros players watch the centerfield camera to decipher the opposing team’s communications, before loudly banging on a trash can in the dugout with a bat to transmit the upcoming pitch type to the batter.

“NEW GIVEAWAY ALERT,” the tweet read. “Mini Trash Can Giveaway on Thursday, September 3rd. Tickets for this game are on sale early for this week only! To purchase click the link or call us at 718-720-9265.”

ASTROS PUNISHMENT IN SIGN-STEALING SCANDAL SENDS SHOCKWAVES THROUGHOUT BASEBALL

The league had already suspended both Hinch and Luhnow from baseball for one year, prior to their termination. Luhnow denied any knowledge of the sign-stealing scheme and claimed that he was “not a cheater.”

Luhnow did, however, apologize for the “shame and embarrassment” the incident brought to the organization, according to a statement obtained by Fox News.

“I accept responsibility for rules violations that occurred on my watch as President of Baseball Operations and General Manager of the Astros. I apologize to the Astros organization, Astros fans, and the Houston community for the shame and embarrassment this has caused. I am deeply grateful to Jim Crane for the opportunity to lead baseball operations,” Luhnow’s statement read.

“I am not a cheater. Anybody who has worked closely with me during my 32-year career inside and outside baseball can attest to my integrity,” the statement continued. “I did not know rules were being broken. As the Commissioner set out in his statement, I did not personally direct, oversee or engage in any misconduct: The sign-stealing initiative was not planned or directed by baseball management; the trash-can banging was driven and executed by players, and the video decoding of signs originated and was executed by lower-level employees working with the bench coach. I am deeply upset that I wasn’t informed of any misconduct because I would have stopped it.”

In addition to the suspensions, Houston has lost its first- and second-round draft picks for the 2020 and 2021 drafts and will be fined $5 million, according to The Athletic.

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Former bench coach turned Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora could also face harsh disciplinary action, for allegedly helping set up the sign-stealing scheme, but the MLB has yet to announce any official punishment.

During their 2017 championship run, the Astros faced the Yankees in the ALCS and defeated them in seven games, winning each matchup at home. They went on to defeat the Dodgers in the World Series, in seven games.

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report 

Westlake Legal Group Staten-Island-Yankees-Trash-Can Astros trolled by Staten Island Yankees with trash can giveaway Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc e9f2b3fe-8512-5979-93c7-b41dde7be288 article   Westlake Legal Group Staten-Island-Yankees-Trash-Can Astros trolled by Staten Island Yankees with trash can giveaway Nick Givas fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc e9f2b3fe-8512-5979-93c7-b41dde7be288 article

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Astros sign-stealing ruling ripped as ‘FAKE news’ by MLB first baseman: ‘Just want you guys to know the truth’

Major League Baseball first baseman Logan Morrison ripped MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday after the league issued a one’-year ban for A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow for failing to stop Houston Astros players from concocting a sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 season.

Morrison took to Instagram and claimed that each major-league team is doing some kind of sign-stealing and that the Astros started their scheme before Alex Cora – who was implicated in the ruling – became the team’s bench coach. He also said he knows that the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox have also used film to “pick signs.”

EX-ASTROS MANAGER AJ HINCH APOLOGIZES FOR FAILING TO STOP SIGN-STEALING SCHEME

Westlake Legal Group Hinch-Luhnow Astros sign-stealing ruling ripped as 'FAKE news' by MLB first baseman: 'Just want you guys to know the truth' Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/milwaukee-brewers fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-dodgers fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/alex-cora fox-news/person/a-j-hinch fox news fnc/sports fnc article 9afcab7b-9f13-5bcb-90df-452a79fce106

Hinch and Luhnow were fired Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, after being suspended for their roles in the team’s extensive sign-stealing scheme from 2017. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

“Hello fans. Just wanted to take some time to educate everyone on this sign stealing ‘scandal’ we have going on. This is all something I have witnessed or heard. So many teams are doing this. Exactly how many… I’m not sure.

“The Manfred report that came out is straight FAKE news. This started in Houston well before [Alex] Cora got there. I was playing in Seattle in 2014 and every time we went into Houston you would hear this banging. No one put two and two together. Seattle fans may remember we came with in a game of going to the playoffs. Felix should have won a CY young that year. But couldn’t get pasted [sic] the 5th in Houston.

EX-ASTROS GM JEFF LUHNOW DENIES KNOWING OF SIGN-STEALING SCHEME: ‘I AM NOT A CHEATER’

“I know from first hand accounts that the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros and Red Sox have used film to pick signs. Just want you guys to know the truth. I personally think it’s a tool in a tool belt to pick signs, but if we are going to be punishing people for it. Don’t have a— it.”

Morrison subsequently deleted the Instagram post. But it was picked up on Twitter.

ASTROS PUNISHMENT IN SIGN-STEALING SCANDAL SENDS SHOCKWAVES THROUGHOUT BASEBALL

Morrison, 32, has played for the Miami Marlins, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies. He has been known to be one of the more outspoken major leaguers on social media. He signed with the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this month.

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Hinch and Luhnow were fired after the sign-stealing ruling came down. Cora awaits his punishment, which some believe could be harsher because he’s involved in a video-replay scandal of his own as manager of the Red Sox.

Westlake Legal Group Logan-Morrison Astros sign-stealing ruling ripped as 'FAKE news' by MLB first baseman: 'Just want you guys to know the truth' Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/milwaukee-brewers fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-dodgers fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/alex-cora fox-news/person/a-j-hinch fox news fnc/sports fnc article 9afcab7b-9f13-5bcb-90df-452a79fce106   Westlake Legal Group Logan-Morrison Astros sign-stealing ruling ripped as 'FAKE news' by MLB first baseman: 'Just want you guys to know the truth' Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/milwaukee-brewers fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-dodgers fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/alex-cora fox-news/person/a-j-hinch fox news fnc/sports fnc article 9afcab7b-9f13-5bcb-90df-452a79fce106

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Ex-Astros manager AJ Hinch apologizes for failing to stop sign-stealing scheme

Former Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch apologized in a statement Monday for failing to do more to stop the sign-stealing scheme that took place under his watch during the 2017 season.

Hinch was fired moments after MLB levied a one-year suspension against him over the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme that Commissioner Rob Manfred said players concocted with the help of then-bench coach Alex Cora. Hinch said that he should have done more to stop the scheme.

EX-ASTROS GM JEFF LUHNOW DENIES KNOWING OF SIGN-STEALING SCHEME: ‘I AM NOT A CHEATER’

“I appreciate Commissioner Manfred’s unwavering commitment to upholding the best interest of baseball. I regret being connected to these events, am disappointed in our club’s actions within this timeline, and I accept the Commissioner’s decision.

Westlake Legal Group AJ-Hinch Ex-Astros manager AJ Hinch apologizes for failing to stop sign-stealing scheme Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/a-j-hinch fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8e79a076-ab38-5c87-b3b5-1cd0357a3ab7

FILE – In this July 2, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch reacts during a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, in Denver. Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for the entire season Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, and the team was fined $5 million for sign-stealing by the team in 2017 and 2018 season. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

“As a leader and Major League Manager, it is my responsibility to lead players and staff with integrity that represents the game in the best possible way. While the evidence consistently showed I didn’t participate in the sign stealing practices, I failed to stop them and I am deeply sorry.

“I apologize to Mr. Crane for all negative reflections this may have had on him and the Astros organization. To the fans, thank you for your continued support through this challenging time – and for this team. I apologize to all of you for our mistakes but I’m confident we will learn from it – and I personally commit to work tireless to ensure I do.

ASTROS PUNISHMENT IN SIGN-STEALING SCANDAL SENDS SHOCKWAVES THROUGHOUT BASEBALL

“My time in Houston has provided some of the greatest moments in my career and those memories will always be near and dear to me and my family. I regret that my time with the Astros has ended, but will always be a supporter of the club, players, and staff I’ve had the privilege of working alongside. I wish them the best in the future of the game I love.”

General manager Jeff Luhnow was also fired in the wake of the controversy. He said in a separate statement that he did not have any knowledge of the scheme and vowed that he was “not a cheater.”

Team owner Jim Crane announced the men’s dismissals at a press conference.

ASTROS FIRE AJ HINCH, JEFF LUHNOW AFTER MLB LEVIES PUNISHMENT FOR ROLES IN SIGN-STEALING

Westlake Legal Group Jeff-Luhnow-Getty Ex-Astros manager AJ Hinch apologizes for failing to stop sign-stealing scheme Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/a-j-hinch fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8e79a076-ab38-5c87-b3b5-1cd0357a3ab7

Jeff Luhnow, general manager and president of baseball operations for the Houston Astros addresses the media as he introduces players acquired at the trade deadline at Minute Maid Park on August 2, 2019, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

As part of the punishment, Houston also loses its first- and second-round draft picks for the 2020 and 2021 drafts and will be fined $5 million, according to The Athletic. Former Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman will be placed on baseball’s ineligible list.

“I find that the conduct of the Astros, and its senior baseball operations executives, merits significant discipline,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said as part of the ruling. “I base this finding on the fact that the club’s senior baseball operations executives were given express notice in September 2017 that I would hold them accountable for violations of our policies covering sign stealing, and those individuals took no action to ensure that the club’s players and staff complied with those policies during the 2017 postseason and the 2018 regular season.

“The conduct described herein has caused fans, players, executives at other MLB clubs, and members of the media to raise questions about the integrity of games in which the Astros participated. And while it is impossible to determine whether the conduct actually impacted the results on the field, the perception of some that it did causes significant harm to the game.”

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Hinch and Luhnow are banned every major, minor or spring training facility as part of their suspension.

Westlake Legal Group AJ-Hinch Ex-Astros manager AJ Hinch apologizes for failing to stop sign-stealing scheme Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/a-j-hinch fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8e79a076-ab38-5c87-b3b5-1cd0357a3ab7   Westlake Legal Group AJ-Hinch Ex-Astros manager AJ Hinch apologizes for failing to stop sign-stealing scheme Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/a-j-hinch fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8e79a076-ab38-5c87-b3b5-1cd0357a3ab7

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Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora to face harsh discipline in multiple MLB scandals: report

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora is reportedly facing harsh punishment for his role in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal during the team’s 2017 World Series-winning season as well as a separate video scandal.

Cora served as a bench coach during the 2017 season and when Major League Baseball’s ruling on the cheating scandal dropped Monday, it appeared that he was going to get hammered with discipline, sources told ESPN.

ASTROS MANAGER, GM SUSPENDED, TEAM FINED FOR CHEATING DURING 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON: REPORTS

Cora allegedly was involved in setting up the Astros’ sophisticated sign-stealing system which involved a camera in center field and a team employee banging on a trash can to alert batters of potential breaking balls. According to a report from The Athletic in November, Cora played a “key role” in the system.

Cora has not been disciplined but will likely face penalties upon the conclusion of the investigation into Boston’s own video-replay scandal, which allegedly occurred in 2018 during their own World Series title run.

Westlake Legal Group alex-cora-thumb Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora to face harsh discipline in multiple MLB scandals: report Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/alex-cora fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6469904a-9031-5941-8551-4cffa606a753

Manager Alex Cora of the Boston Red Sox looks on during the game against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Aug. 15, 2018. (Getty Images)

Some players would use the video replay room to steal signs between opposing pitchers and catchers during games in 2018, The Athletic reported Wednesday, citing anonymous sources who said they were with the organization during the championship season. Boston defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers that year.

DODGERS’ CODY BELLINGER TAKES JAB AT ASTROS, RED SOX AS MLB REPORTEDLY NEARS END OF SIGN-STEALING PROBE

The sources told The Athletic that the team wasn’t able to do it in the postseason because of in-person monitors used by Major League Baseball (MLB) in those games.

It’s unclear when Cora’s punishment will come down.

Major League Baseball suspended Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one year as part of the discipline for stealing signs.

BOSTON RED SOX, 2018 WORLD SERIES CHAMPS, ACCUSED OF SIGN-STEALING DURING SEASON: REPORT

“I find that the conduct of the Astros, and its senior baseball operations executives, merits significant discipline,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said as part of the ruling. “I base this finding on the fact that the club’s senior baseball operations executives were given express notice in September 2017 that I would hold them accountable for violations of our policies covering sign stealing, and those individuals took no action to ensure that the club’s players and staff complied with those policies during the 2017 postseason and the 2018 regular season.

Westlake Legal Group cora-arguing-2 Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora to face harsh discipline in multiple MLB scandals: report Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/alex-cora fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6469904a-9031-5941-8551-4cffa606a753

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora argues a strike three call with umpire Joe West during the fifth inning in Game 1 of a baseball American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

“The conduct described herein has caused fans, players, executives at other MLB clubs, and members of the media to raise questions about the integrity of games in which the Astros participated. And while it is impossible to determine whether the conduct actually impacted the results on the field, the perception of some that it did causes significant harm to the game.”

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Hinch and Luhnow are banned from performing any business on behalf of the Astros and will not be allowed in any major, minor or spring training facility.

Westlake Legal Group alex-cora-thumb Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora to face harsh discipline in multiple MLB scandals: report Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/alex-cora fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6469904a-9031-5941-8551-4cffa606a753   Westlake Legal Group alex-cora-thumb Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora to face harsh discipline in multiple MLB scandals: report Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/alex-cora fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6469904a-9031-5941-8551-4cffa606a753

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Former MLB prospect suing Cincinnati Reds also claims Yankees derailed his career to protect Derek Jeter

A former MLB prospect has sued the Cincinnati Reds after unsuccessfully suing the New York Yankees for derailing his career in favor of Derek Jeter.

Garrison Lassiter’s federal lawsuit claims the Reds won’t try him out because he is too old at age 30, the Raleigh News Observer reports.

“Look at all the great players that played way past age 22,” he told the paper in an email. “The Iron Horse Cal Ripken Jr. was well into his 30s/40.”

DON LARSEN, FORMER YANKEES PITCHER WHO THREW ONLY WORLD SERIES PERFECT GAME, DEAD AT AGE 90

Lassiter filed the lawsuit in North Carolina last month as a pro se litigant representing himself. The lawsuit seeks $1.6 million in damages.

Westlake Legal Group Garrison-Lassiter-Derrick-Leter-AP-Reuters Former MLB prospect suing Cincinnati Reds also claims Yankees derailed his career to protect Derek Jeter Robert Gearty fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/cincinnati-reds fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc article 9d79b43f-8a78-51b4-b4e6-a8717031216e

Garrison Lassiter sued the New York Yankees in 2018, claiming the team derailed his career in favor of Hall of Fame shoo-in Derek Jeter. (AP/Reuters)

In a previous lawsuit against the Yankees, filed in 2018, Lassiter accused the team of thwarting his big league chances after drafting him solely because of Jeter.

He claimed he wasn’t promoted from the minor leagues “to protect the career of Derek Jeter,” the Charleston Post and Courier reported Friday.

Lassiter also brought that lawsuit, which sought $36 million in damages, in federal court in North Carolina and without an attorney.

However, five months after it was filed, a judge ruled against him, writing that the Yankees weren’t responsible for his failed baseball career, according to the Observer.

DEREK JETER LEADS NEWCOMERS ON BASEBALL HALL OF FAME BALLOT

Lassiter had a lowly .244 batting average with just four home runs across parts of five minor-league seasons as a third-baseman from 2008 to 2012, the New York Post reported.

He said in the lawsuit and in capital letters that he was kept down, “ALL IN EFFORT TO PROTECT CAREER OF DEREK JETER SHORTSTOP OF NEW YORK YANKEES,” according to the Post, which described the lawsuit as disjointed.

Jeter is a virtual cinch to become a Hall of Famer later this month. He retired following the 2014 season, two years after Lassiter was cut loose by the Yankees, the Post reported.

Lassiter said in the suit that he attended law school after falling out of baseball and onto hard times, the Post reported.

“Many nights I’ve slept in my Car and I’m put in a situation that I do not like,” he writes. “Without a Home and no Money to pay my bills, up to this point I have Educated myself by attending Law School, Earning a Masters Degree and an undergraduate specialization in Sports Administration.”

He was drafted in the 25th round after playing on the USA Junior National Team and with draftniks predicting he would be taken higher, either in the fourth or fifth round, according to reports.

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Yankees did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Post and previously declined comment to other media, which reported on Lassiter’s lawsuits this week, as did the Reds.

Westlake Legal Group Garrison-Lassiter-Derrick-Leter-AP-Reuters Former MLB prospect suing Cincinnati Reds also claims Yankees derailed his career to protect Derek Jeter Robert Gearty fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/cincinnati-reds fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc article 9d79b43f-8a78-51b4-b4e6-a8717031216e   Westlake Legal Group Garrison-Lassiter-Derrick-Leter-AP-Reuters Former MLB prospect suing Cincinnati Reds also claims Yankees derailed his career to protect Derek Jeter Robert Gearty fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/cincinnati-reds fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc article 9d79b43f-8a78-51b4-b4e6-a8717031216e

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Former MLB prospect suing Cincinnati Reds also claims Yankees derailed his career to protect Derek Jeter

A former MLB prospect has sued the Cincinnati Reds after unsuccessfully suing the New York Yankees for derailing his career in favor of Derek Jeter.

Garrison Lassiter’s federal lawsuit claims the Reds won’t try him out because he is too old at age 30, the Raleigh News Observer reports.

“Look at all the great players that played way past age 22,” he told the paper in an email. “The Iron Horse Cal Ripken Jr. was well into his 30s/40.”

DON LARSEN, FORMER YANKEES PITCHER WHO THREW ONLY WORLD SERIES PERFECT GAME, DEAD AT AGE 90

Lassiter filed the lawsuit in North Carolina last month as a pro se litigant representing himself. The lawsuit seeks $1.6 million in damages.

Westlake Legal Group Garrison-Lassiter-Derrick-Leter-AP-Reuters Former MLB prospect suing Cincinnati Reds also claims Yankees derailed his career to protect Derek Jeter Robert Gearty fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/cincinnati-reds fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc article 9d79b43f-8a78-51b4-b4e6-a8717031216e

Garrison Lassiter sued the New York Yankees in 2018, claiming the team derailed his career in favor of Hall of Fame shoo-in Derek Jeter. (AP/Reuters)

In a previous lawsuit against the Yankees, filed in 2018, Lassiter accused the team of thwarting his big league chances after drafting him solely because of Jeter.

He claimed he wasn’t promoted from the minor leagues “to protect the career of Derek Jeter,” the Charleston Post and Courier reported Friday.

Lassiter also brought that lawsuit, which sought $36 million in damages, in federal court in North Carolina and without an attorney.

However, five months after it was filed, a judge ruled against him, writing that the Yankees weren’t responsible for his failed baseball career, according to the Observer.

DEREK JETER LEADS NEWCOMERS ON BASEBALL HALL OF FAME BALLOT

Lassiter had a lowly .244 batting average with just four home runs across parts of five minor-league seasons as a third-baseman from 2008 to 2012, the New York Post reported.

He said in the lawsuit and in capital letters that he was kept down, “ALL IN EFFORT TO PROTECT CAREER OF DEREK JETER SHORTSTOP OF NEW YORK YANKEES,” according to the Post, which described the lawsuit as disjointed.

Jeter is a virtual cinch to become a Hall of Famer later this month. He retired following the 2014 season, two years after Lassiter was cut loose by the Yankees, the Post reported.

Lassiter said in the suit that he attended law school after falling out of baseball and onto hard times, the Post reported.

“Many nights I’ve slept in my Car and I’m put in a situation that I do not like,” he writes. “Without a Home and no Money to pay my bills, up to this point I have Educated myself by attending Law School, Earning a Masters Degree and an undergraduate specialization in Sports Administration.”

He was drafted in the 25th round after playing on the USA Junior National Team and with draftniks predicting he would be taken higher, either in the fourth or fifth round, according to reports.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

Yankees did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Post and previously declined comment to other media, which reported on Lassiter’s lawsuits this week, as did the Reds.

Westlake Legal Group Garrison-Lassiter-Derrick-Leter-AP-Reuters Former MLB prospect suing Cincinnati Reds also claims Yankees derailed his career to protect Derek Jeter Robert Gearty fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/cincinnati-reds fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc article 9d79b43f-8a78-51b4-b4e6-a8717031216e   Westlake Legal Group Garrison-Lassiter-Derrick-Leter-AP-Reuters Former MLB prospect suing Cincinnati Reds also claims Yankees derailed his career to protect Derek Jeter Robert Gearty fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/cincinnati-reds fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc article 9d79b43f-8a78-51b4-b4e6-a8717031216e

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Reds agree to $21 million, 3-year deal with OF Shogo Akiyama

Westlake Legal Group Shogo-Akiyama Reds agree to $21 million, 3-year deal with OF Shogo Akiyama fox-news/sports/mlb/cincinnati-reds fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc f5fda336-341d-5162-8620-8d8d8b79081e Associated Press article

Outfielder Shogo Akiyama agreed to a $21 million, three-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds, the only major league team that hasn’t had a player born in Japan.

Akiyama, 31, became a free agent after his ninth season with the Seibu Lions in Japan’s Pacific League, where he was a five-time All-Star. The center fielder could move to one of the corner spots in Cincinnati’s unsettled outfield.

Akiyama gets $6 million this year, $7 million in 2021 and $8 million in 2022.

Center fielder Nick Senzel is returning from surgery on his right shoulder, and the addition of Akiyama gives the Reds another option at that spot. They also have outfielders Aristides Aquino, Jesse Winker and Phillip Ervin.

“We scouted Shogo for several years in anticipation of his free agency,” said Dick Williams, Cincinnati’s president of baseball operations. “We like his approach at the plate as well as his outfield defense, and we think he will complement our team very well.”

It’s the second significant offseason move by the Reds to try to upgrade an offense that ranked near the bottom of the NL in runs last season. They also signed second baseman Mike Moustakas to a $64 million, four-year deal — the largest for a free agent in club history.

Cincinnati also signed Wade Miley to a $15 million, two-year contract that added a left-hander to its deep rotation that already included All-Stars Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray, along with Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani.

The Reds are trying to emerge from a rut of six straight losing seasons.

During nine seasons in the Japanese major leagues, Akiyama batted .301 and was honored four times as one of the league’s top defensive outfielders. He set a Nippon Professional Baseball season record with 216 hits in 2015.

With Seibu last season, he batted .303 with 31 doubles, four triples, 20 homers and 62 RBIs, winning his fifth All-Star spot.

Westlake Legal Group Shogo-Akiyama Reds agree to $21 million, 3-year deal with OF Shogo Akiyama fox-news/sports/mlb/cincinnati-reds fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc f5fda336-341d-5162-8620-8d8d8b79081e Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group Shogo-Akiyama Reds agree to $21 million, 3-year deal with OF Shogo Akiyama fox-news/sports/mlb/cincinnati-reds fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc f5fda336-341d-5162-8620-8d8d8b79081e Associated Press article

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