Justice? Ex-Astros Luhnow, Hinch Will Be Reinstated in 2021 No Matter What

Chris Halicke

Former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and former manager A.J. Hinch will have served their yearlong suspensions whether or not baseball is played in 2020.

According to the report from ESPN's Buster Olney, since the terms of the suspension are tied to the "completion of the 2020 World Series." Major League Baseball will consider their suspensions fulfilled this year, regardless of whether or not there is a 2020 regular season.

After MLB commissioner Rob Manfred concluded a lengthy investigation in January, both Luhnow and Hinch were suspended for one year by MLB for the Astros' sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 regular season and postseason, including the World Series. Astros owner Jim Crane subsequently fired both Luhnow and Hinch only an hour after MLB announced its decision.

The Astros also formally apologized after the team arrived at its West Palm Beach facility for spring training. Crane was joined by newly-hired manager Dusty Baker and star players Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve as they announced their formal apology. However, it was met with harsh criticism, as their admission seemed to lack authenticity and true contrition. 

The criticism didn't end there. Fans showed their displeasure of the Astros during Grapefruit League games, bringing nasty signs into stadiums and jeering players, sometimes with obscene and profane language, when they stepped into the batter's box. 

Now, the whole situation is put into a different light. The suspension of baseball operations amid the novel coronavirus pandemic has a lot of people re-thinking the way they view the role sports in their lives. Anything baseball- or sports-related is secondary to the real life situation we are all facing as a nation, where the public health and safety of every citizen is at the forefront. 

Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci dug deeper into the mindset toward the Houston Astros with this story on SI.com. 

One can begin to wonder if fans would still boo the Astros players again once baseball finally does return (whenever that is). Will fans still remind Houston players of their cheating scandal with boos and jeers, or will fans just be glad baseball is finally back in their lives again?

How will you treat the Texas Rangers I-45 rivals once baseball returns? Do they still deserve to be booed or has the baseball shutdown changed things for you? Is MLB handling the situation with Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch correctly? Leave your opinion in the comments section below.

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