Hank Aaron thinks players involved in Astros sign-stealing scandal should be banned for life

a j hinch, r m

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. Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the discipline and strongly hinted that current Boston manager Alex Cora — the Astros bench coach in 2017 — will face punishment later. Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

HOUSTON, Tx. (CBS) – One of the curiosities arising from the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal and MLB’s resulting disciplinary actions is that no players were punished. Only one player at the time — Carlos Beltran — was mentioned by name in the league’s report, and the 2017 season was his final one as a player. This is despite the fact that Astros players were central to the devising and execution of the “banging scheme.”

Said curiosity isn’t lost on all, though. In particular, no less a figure than Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, baseball legend and owner of 755 career home runs, thinks the players involved got off way too easy. How easy? Here’s what Aaron had to say on the Today Show:

Yep, one of the greatest to ever play the game thinks the Astros players involved should be banned for life. That seems a bit harsh, but again it’s indeed strange that a manager and exec were banned from the game for a season while no players suffered any consequences. These, by the way, were the five major sanctions handed down by commissioner Rob Manfred:

  • Manager A.J. Hinch suspended for the 2020 season. Hinch was then fired by the Astros.
  • GM Jeff Luhnow suspended for the 2020 season. Luhnow was then fired by the Astros.
  • Former assistant GM Brandon Taubman suspended one year.
  • Astros forfeit their first- and second-round draft picks the next two years.
  • Astros fined $5 million, the maximum allowed under MLB’s constitution.

Lucky for the unnamed players, Hammerin’ Hank isn’t tasked with administering those punishments.

One baseball figure who is still subject to a permanent ban is all-time hits leader and semi-contemporary of Aaron’s, Pete Rose. Rose, it so happens, is leveraging the Astros scandal in his latest attempt to be reinstated by MLB.

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