Astros' Hinch, Luhnow Tight-Lipped About Sign-Stealing Scandal
Astros manager A.J. Hinch was asked about his involvement in the team's sign-stealing scandal, and said he was asked not to comment by "everyone I talked to during the investigation," according to Chandler Rome of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Hinch, speaking yesterday at the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego, said he had spent "a lot" of time in cooperation with MLB's investigation. Rome notes neither Hinch nor President of Baseball Operations & GM Jeff Luhnow "have any timetable for the investigation's conclusion." Both men were asked yesterday whether they worried about incurring a suspension, and "neither commented." Luhnow "declined comment to three questions regarding the investigation." He maintained that it has "not affected negotiations with potential free agents," adding that other teams are "not shying away from conversing about trades" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/11). Hinch yesterday was asked 14 questions about the scandal, and he "did not answer" any of them (DETROIT NEWS, 12/11).
PLEADING THE FIFTH: In DC, Dave Sheinin notes Hinch "vowed to give a full accounting of his thoughts at another time." During the session, he "looked awkward and sounded pained." MLB is "still interviewing players and other team personnel as part of its investigation." An MLB official said that the goal is to "have an announcement on its findings and any disciplinary action by the end of the year -- although it might stretch into January" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/11). Mets manager Carlos Beltran, who was with the Astros in '17, "wouldn't say whether or not he expected to be suspended to start the season." Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was an Astros assistant in '17, "acknowledged meeting with MLB, but declined further comment" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/11).