Tigers Hire A.J. Hinch as New Manager

Author:
Publish date:
aj-hinch-alex-cora-tigers-manager-candidates

The Tigers have hired A.J. Hinch as their new manager, the team announced on Friday.

Detroit said Hinch agreed to terms on a multi-year contract. The Athletic's Cody Stavenhagen was first to report the news.

"It's time to start playing winning baseball, and I am confident this organization is positioned to make that happen," Hinch said on Friday after he was introduced as the Tigers' new manager.

Hinch returns to managing after serving a one-year suspension for his role in the Astros' 2017-18 sign-stealing scandal. He managed Houston from 2015-19, leading the franchise to a World Series title in 2017. However, he was fired by the club in January and handed a one-year ban by Major League Baseball after the league released its report on the scheme.

ESPN's Buster Olney reported on Thursday night that Hinch was the favorite to become Detroit's next manager. On Oct. 2, Tigers general manager Al Avila said both Hinch and former Red Sox manager Alex Cora were on the team's list of managerial candidates. In January, Boston fired Cora, who served as the Astros' bench coach in 2017, for his involvement in the scandal.

Hinch did not devise the scheme, yet he was punished for his role in allowing it to happen. During an interview with Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci weeks after his firing, he expressed regret for his inaction.

"I regret so much about that and it's so complicated and so deep and there are parts that are hard to talk about but taking responsibility as the manager … it happened on my watch. I’m not proud of that," Hinch said. "I'll never be proud of it. I didn't like it. But I have to own it because I was in a leadership position. And the commissioner's office made it very, very clear that the GM and the manager were in position to make sure nothing like this happened—and we fell short."

Hinch led the Astros to the postseason in four of his five seasons as manager, winning two American League pennants. He was hired as the Diamondbacks manager in the middle of the 2009 season but was fired a little over a year later after just 212 games.

The Tigers were looking to fill their managerial position after former skipper Ron Gardenhire abruptly stepped down in September, citing health reasons. Detroit finished the shortened 2020 season with a 23–35 record and has not made the postseason since 2014.