by Alex Poletti
Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
After Major League Baseball concluded their investigation of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing during the 2017 season by suspending general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for a full season, the Houston franchise decided to take it a step further. In order to drive home the seriousness of this claim, owner Jim Crane took matters into his own hands by firing the two conspirators, as well as murdering former bench coach and current Red Sox skipper Alex Cora.
“Neither of them started this, but neither one of them did anything about it,” Crane says of the two former employees. “We had to make it clear that we do not condone this sort of behavior. That’s also why I took my shotgun on the shelf, hunted down Alex Cora and killed him in cold blood. A precedent needs to be set.”
The penalty was the harshest given out by the league since the Black Sox scandal of 1919. Not only were Hinch and Luhnow suspended, but the team lost its first and second round draft picks for 2020 and 2021 and was fined $5 million, the maximum under the league’s constitution.
“I will say, I don’t think our World Series win was tainted,” Crane continues. “And to prove just how untainted it was, I decided to kill one of our coaches from that season and stand over him as the life drained from his body. If that doesn’t tell you how clean our championship was that season, I don’t know what does.”
Cora was the bench coach of the Astors during the season in question and was heavily implicated in the investigation. He was lured away by the Red Sox that offseason, so he did not face any punishment; however, another investigation of Boston’s questionable use of replay footage in 2018 will likely incur a similar punishment.
“Major League Baseball was probably going to do something similar, I don’t know why I’m the bad guy now,” Crane says while getting cuffed by police for premeditated murder. “A lot of people are saying the punishment wasn’t strong enough anyway, so if anything I should be getting rewarded for this.”
Crane’s motives aren’t as pure as he would have the public believe, though. While Cora certainly played a large part in the scandal, he also coaches the Red Sox, one of the biggest threats to the Astros in the American League. Without Hinch and Luhnow, one the best GM-manager duos in the league, they already stand at a severe disadvantage.
“I’m not trying to level any playing field here,” Crane’s confession reads. “This has nothing to do with the Red Sox being the only other team since 2017 to win the AL pennant. I didn’t kill Hinch and Luhnow because they’d already gone through a lot. This was a purely moral murder.”
There is a happy ending for Hinch and Luhnow, however, as their tendencies to spy have earned them job offers from the NSA.