LOS ANGELES -- It's official: The Houston Astros are cheaters. The commissioner of baseball himself said so, in a nine-page report issued Monday.
In his report, Rob Manfred cited the 2017 Astros for repeated violations of rules that banned the use of video equipment to steal signs during a game. In the last game of the 2017 season, the Astros won the World Series championship, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Q. So that makes the Dodgers the 2017 World Series champs, right?
A. No. Manfred did not award the 2017 title to the Dodgers, or vacate the Astros' title.
This is not the NCAA, where executives vacate titles and essentially tell fans they did not see what they actually did. Bud Selig, Manfred's predecessor, despised Barry Bonds for his alleged steroid use, but Selig did not put an asterisk by Bonds' all-time home-run record.
And you never know what might turn up in the future. When the Angels won the 2002 World Series, they were celebrated for vanquishing the evil Bonds, and the rest of the San Francisco Giants. In 2007, when Sen. George Mitchell's investigation into baseball's steroid era was released, three members of the 2002 Angels turned up among the alleged users, including World Series MVP Troy Glaus.
Q. How did Manfred punish the Astros?
A. He suspended general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for the 2020 season. Astros owner Jim Crane then fired Luhnow and Hinch.
Manfred also stripped the Astros of their first-round and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021, and he fined the team $5 million.
Q. Why $5 million?