Home News Rob Manfred has one regret regarding Astros’ sign-stealing probe

Rob Manfred has one regret regarding Astros’ sign-stealing probe

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If MLB commissioner Rob Manfred could do something over, he would like to have handled the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal a little bit differently. 

Specifically, Manfred said he regretted giving players immunity as Major League Baseball investigated the situation. 

The revelation was part of a wide-ranging interview with TIME that was published on Wednesday. 

“I’m not sure that I would have approached it with giving players immunity,” Manfred said.

“Once we gave players immunity, it puts you in a box as to what exactly you were going to do in terms of punishment. I might have gone about the investigative process without that grant of immunity and see where it takes us. Starting with, I’m not going to punish anybody, maybe not my best decision ever.”

The decision not to punish any players involved with the scandal certainly had its impact and allowed players such as José Altuve and Carlos Correa to evade any disciplinary action. 

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred

Major League Baseball ended up fining the Astros $5 million, taking away the club’s first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 and suspending general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch. 

“Some of the decisions surrounding the Houston situation, would like to have those back,” Manfred said. “I mean, if I could take back the rather flip comment I made about the World Series trophy at one time, I’d take that one back. There have been times, particularly in times of pressure, when I look back, taking a little more time might have led to a different outcome.”

Baseball’s head honcho was given the chance to reflect on what his smartest move that he has made was since he took over as baseball’s commissioner in 2015. 

He named two things. 

“I think for the long haul, the best decision we made was investing in youth programming, because I think it serves two really important objectives for the industry,” Manfred explained. 

“Number one, it grows our young fanbase. If people play they’re way more likely to become fans as adults. And because we’re focusing on underserved communities, communities that are disproportionately black, it serves our diversity goals as well.

The Astros’ Jose Altuve
Getty Images

Manfred said he is also happy with the new rules change, especially the addition of the pitch clock.

“Short-term, it’s hard not to say the rules change,” he said. “Because they have been really good.”

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