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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

MLB sign-stealing investigation turns to Cora, Red Sox

Round two…..

BOSTON (AP) — Alex Cora could be the next World Series-winning manager sent home for stealing signs.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said the Red Sox skipper was “an active participant” in the sign-stealing scandal that cost Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow their jobs Monday. Cora was Houston’s bench coach when the team used electronics to illegally steal signs en route to a World Series championship in 2017.

The commissioner said Cora was among those who “originated and executed” aspects of the cheating scheme, in which the team used a center field camera to decode catchers’ signals to pitchers and banged on a trash can with a bat or massage gun near the dugout to let hitters know which pitch was coming.

Manfred is withholding discipline for Cora until concluding a separate investigation into allegations that Boston used electronics to steal signs in 2018, when the Red Sox won a franchise-record 108 regular season games and a World Series in Cora’s first season as manager.

 

QLE Posted: January 14, 2020 at 01:16 AM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex cora, red sox, sign-stealing

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   1. The Duke Posted: January 14, 2020 at 08:52 AM (#5915512)
Cora is gone. He will get at least one year, probably two. Crane has already set the standard on what to do which is to fire the employees so the Red Sox will now be looking for a new manager. Nice gig if you can get it.
   2. villageidiom Posted: January 14, 2020 at 08:54 AM (#5915514)
It doesn't scare me that Alex Cora might be gone. What scares me is that Bobby Valentine is available.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: January 14, 2020 at 09:08 AM (#5915516)
An underperforming star-laden team less than two years off its last pennant that unexpectedly needs a new manager? Walpole Joe Morgan is the obvious answer!
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 14, 2020 at 09:18 AM (#5915520)
I'd go with Dusty Baker for a year or two while they figure out where they are vis a vis all the injured pitching and Betts.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: January 14, 2020 at 09:29 AM (#5915525)
I'm sure I also made a lame Joe Morgan reference for the prior 4 managerial openings.
   6. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 14, 2020 at 09:36 AM (#5915528)
The Joe Morgan references are never lame!
   7. asinwreck Posted: January 14, 2020 at 09:44 AM (#5915530)
Amused by the idea that Chaim Bloom would hire Bobby Valentine. Sad that Bloom can no longer turn to his mentor, none other than the late, great Don Zimmer. What would Bill Lee say?
   8. John DiFool2 Posted: January 14, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5915583)
I don't understand why they aren't Grady Little references instead...
   9. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 14, 2020 at 11:46 AM (#5915599)
There was a "massage gun" involved in this scandal?
   10. John Northey Posted: January 14, 2020 at 12:11 PM (#5915627)
MLB should let the rest of the division decide who manages the Red Sox for 2020 :) Now that would be fun to see.
   11. villageidiom Posted: January 14, 2020 at 03:28 PM (#5915715)
The 2020 Red Sox should be managed by the Tobias character from the final season of Mr. Robot. Including wearing the Santa costume all season.

Shaughnessy: Tobias, the team has had a horrible start to spring training. Earlier you said, "What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?" Are you saying that the team needs to have a bad preseason to prepare for the regular season?

Tobias: (in slurred speech) That's Steinbeck. He's a national treasure. Read a book!
   12. Karl from NY Posted: January 14, 2020 at 04:24 PM (#5915735)
Is Alfonso Soriano available?
   13. villageidiom Posted: January 14, 2020 at 09:12 PM (#5915820)
2004: hired Francona. Won the World Series.
2012: hired Valentine. Disaster.
2013: hired Farrell. Won the World Series.
2018: hired Cora. Won the World Series.
2020:
   14. The Duke Posted: January 14, 2020 at 09:23 PM (#5915824)
This is a logic question and the answer is —-

They don’t have the talent to win World Series so it must be Bobby valentine
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: January 14, 2020 at 09:44 PM (#5915827)
NYC talk radio caller tonight called him "Alex Nomora"
   16. Srul Itza Posted: January 14, 2020 at 09:48 PM (#5915828)
   17. Lassus Posted: January 15, 2020 at 07:09 AM (#5915875)
I feel like we're back in full DeMille/Wagner rending of garments mode over this.
   18. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 09:08 AM (#5915886)
I feel like we're back in full DeMille/Wagner rending of garments mode over this.


When I heard about the Hinch/Luhnow suspensions, I naturally assumed that they had been the ringleaders or architects of the scheme, but it turns out they were nothing of the sort and Luhnow didn't really even know about it. So yes. I can't stand Luhnow, can't stand the Astros, can't stand his silly "baseball analytics" department and all his babble ... but there wasn't really any basis to even sanction him, much less take a year of salary and his job away. There is no general obligation on him to create a "culture" wherein players don't cheat and I have no idea where that concept even comes from, other than the nether regions.(**) It is nothing recognizable to proper conceptions of morals or ethics or justice.

So this is now another example of the now plainly-established fact that America has a very dysfunctional relationship with outrage. Once the outrage gets turned on, the ability, or even desire, to think things through rationally completely dissipates and the only thing left is satiating the outrage. And then everything bad about the target gets thrown in, when it has nothing to do with the act causing the outrage.(*) That tendency is self-evidently a product of twitter and social media.

I dissent.

(*) Brandon Taubman has literally nothing to do with the sign-stealing issue. Nothing. Nor is Jeff Luhnow responsible for Brandon Taubman's statements. That's not how it works.

(**) Nor is there any indication that the sign-stealing scheme was a product of anything "cultural," as opposed to the same motive and opportunity that applies to every major league team. That's a silly idea.
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 11:59 AM (#5915981)

#18 we're not privy to everything that the investigation uncovered, so I think it's hard to comment on the overall culture.

If Luhnow truly didn't know then I agree that the punishment seems disproportionate. But it's not unusual in other sectors for supervisors to have ultimate responsibility for what goes on in their departments. Usually the individuals directly responsible also face punishment.

Manfred's findings state

I will not assess discipline against individual Astros players. I made the decision
in September 2017 that I would hold a Club’s General Manager and Field Manager
accountable for misconduct of this kind, and I will not depart from that decision.


It's not clear how or whether that decision was communicated to the teams. If it wasn't, and if Luhnow truly didn't know what was going on, then again his punishment seems unfair.

However, it does appear that Luhnow knew, or should be expected to have known, what was going on. From MLB's findings:

The efforts involving the replay review room staff were mentioned in at least two emails sent to Luhnow, and there is conflicting evidence about conversations with Luhnow on the topic.

...

Although Luhnow denies having any awareness that his replay review room staff was decoding and transmitting signs, there is both documentary and testimonial evidence that indicates Luhnow had some knowledge of those efforts, but he did not give it much attention.


Again, without knowing the details of those emails and conversations it's hard to say how much Luhnow knew or should have known.
   20. Howie Menckel Posted: January 15, 2020 at 12:05 PM (#5915984)
   21. Lassus Posted: January 15, 2020 at 12:10 PM (#5915989)
I already know Mets fans who are talking about hiring Cora or Hinch.
   22. JJ1986 Posted: January 15, 2020 at 12:20 PM (#5915996)
I just want Eduardo Perez.
   23. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 15, 2020 at 12:32 PM (#5916004)
This is a logic question and the answer is —-

They don’t have the talent to win World Series so it must be Bobby valentine

Don't see how that is at all a given. This is still essentially the same core that won 108 games a year ago, and crushed the 3 other best teams in the postseason. Despite being hurt, and a bunch of guys under-performing, they still had a 107 OPS+ and a 103 ERA+, which is far from terrible. They need some positive regression obviously, but not really all that much. If they had gone 18-9 in Chris Sale starts like they did in '18, instead of 10-15, they would have won 98 games.
   24. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 12:55 PM (#5916023)
If Luhnow truly didn't know then I agree that the punishment seems disproportionate. But it's not unusual in other sectors for supervisors to have ultimate responsibility for what goes on in their departments. Usually the individuals directly responsible also face punishment.


I have close professional acquaintance with one such area, but there the obligation to supervise reasonably and establish reasonable systems of supervision is a creature of affirmative, explicit law and regulation. Baseball doesn't have that. Teams aren't obligated to do annual "branch audits" to make sure players aren't roiding or gambling, etc. When a player tests positive for roids, MLB doesn't investigate whether he was reasonably "supervised." No one really even contemplates such a thing. No one thought that Pete Rose's "supervisors" should be looked at when he was found to have been a rampant gambler.

If the Astros were a brokerage firm, Hinch would be akin to the branch manager. He became aware of the misconduct, but I'm hard-pressed to see how his response was unreasonable. He expressed disapproval of the misconduct and took affirmative steps to stop it. Supervisors aren't guarantors; the expectation is merely that they act reasonably.

Luhnow wouldn't be a supervisor at all, but if he had actual notice of misconduct, you could stretch it and say he should have reacted reasonably to that red flag. I'm not entirely sure what the expectation is there.

Crane is the president who reasonably delegated all supervisory functions to others, including Hinch and Luhnow. There's nothing there whatever that would lead to him being properly sanctioned.

If a supervisor actively participates in the misconduct, then they're automatically guilty. We have nothing like that here, and as I noted earlier, when I first heard the punishment, I naturally assumed the scheme was outright designed by management and that's why management is getting whacked so hard. But nothing of the sort happened.

Typically in the business I'm alluding to, both the rep and the supervisor get whacked if the rep engages in misconduct and wasn't reasonably supervised. The "reps" here aren't getting touched, even though it was they and only they who designed and implemented the illicit scheme. That makes zero sense.
   25. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:20 PM (#5916040)
... but there wasn't really any basis to even sanction him, much less take a year of salary and his job away. There is no general obligation on him to create a "culture" wherein players don't cheat and I have no idea where that concept even comes from, other than the nether regions.
Thats completely wrong. Read the September 15, 2017 MLB Memo & the Joe Torre Memo that came out before the start of the 2018 season. Both make clear that using in-game video to steal signs is prohibited and that the General Manager & Field Manager are responsible for ensuring compliance. Neither Luhnow nor Hinch have any grounds to complain about their discipline.
   26. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:31 PM (#5916052)
Thats completely wrong. Read the September 15, 2017 MLB Memo & the Joe Torre Memo that came out before the start of the 2018 season. Both make clear that using in-game video to steal signs is prohibited and that the General Manager & Field Manager are responsible for ensuring compliance. Neither Luhnow nor Hinch have any grounds to complain about their discipline.


Do you have a link to the memo?

I'll note a couple preliminary things before I take a look at the memo, which I'm guessing doesn't say what Manfred says it says. As with the Pete Rose gambling, "OH, BUT IT'S POSTED IN BIG LETTERS IN THE CLUBHOUSE!!!," there's no such thing as an established rule becoming extra super special based on the number of places it's published or the times it's repeated. Secondly, Manfred's decision says that the memo "specifically stated ... the General Manager and Field Manager of Clubs would be held accountable for any violations of the rules in the future." That sounds like a strict-liability standard, which is unjust,(*) but in any event, his "analysis" of Luhnow and Hinch doesn't say they're liable because of the memo, but because of the actual facts involved.


Similarly, Alex Cora was neither a General Manager nor a Field Manager, and was still held responsible. So, virtually by definition, Manfred can't have been applying the so-called Memo Standard to his conduct.

(*) A law holding that a person's hands should be cut off for theft doesn't become just merely because the promulgator puts the law in writing.
   27. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5916063)

I have close professional acquaintance with one such area, but there the obligation to supervise reasonably and establish reasonable systems of supervision is a creature of affirmative, explicit law and regulation. Baseball doesn't have that.

Like I said, we don't know that. Manfred said he decided to hold the supervisors accountable for the actions of their subordinates. But not clear if that decision was communicated to the teams. The report also implies that Luhnow may never have notified his subordinates of the change in rules. Not clear if the memo made its way to Hinch/Cora/players via other channels but there is some indication that it did.

If the Astros were a brokerage firm, Hinch would be akin to the branch manager. He became aware of the misconduct, but I'm hard-pressed to see how his response was unreasonable. He expressed disapproval of the misconduct and took affirmative steps to stop it. Supervisors aren't guarantors; the expectation is merely that they act reasonably.

This is not really accurate with respect to Hinch's actions. The relevant passage from Manfred's report:

Hinch attempted to signal his disapproval of the scheme by physically damaging the monitor on two occasions, necessitating its replacement. However, Hinch admits he did not stop it and he did not notify players or Cora that he disapproved of it, even after the Red Sox were disciplined in September 2017. Similarly, he knew of and did not stop the communication of sign information from the replay review room, although he disagreed with this practice as well and specifically voiced his concerns on at least one occasion about the use of the replay phone for this purpose.


Hinch is the manager; he could have directly told people to stop and benched anyone who didn't comply. He could have escalated it to Luhnow if he did not feel he had the authority to enforce such discipline. Instead, he "attempted to signal his disapproval" of the trash can banging and later "voiced his concerns".

Simply continuing to do your job while your subordinates break the rules right in front of your face would not be considered satisfactory supervisory behavior in a broker-dealer context.

Typically in the business I'm alluding to, both the rep and the supervisor get whacked if the rep engages in misconduct and wasn't reasonably supervised. The "reps" here aren't getting touched, even though it was they and only they who designed and implemented the illicit scheme. That makes zero sense.

Yes, I agree with this part. Manfred explicitly took a different approach, which does not seem particularly fair, especially if he didn't communicate that to the teams.
   28. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5916062)
Manfred:

Irrespective of Luhnow’s knowledge of his Club’s violations of the rules, I will hold him personally accountable for the conduct of his Club. It is the job of the General Manager to be aware of the activities of his staff and players, and to ensure that those activities comport with both standards of conduct set by Club ownership and MLB rules.


No, there is no baseball rule or standard that the General Manager is to ensure that the activities of players and staff comport with MLB rules. If there was, we would see GMs sanctioned for things like players corking the bat, or testing positive for PEDs, or managers gambling, or pitchers' throwing spitballs or scuffed balls -- or even things like domestic violence. This is a completely invented principle. It does not exist.
   29. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:39 PM (#5916066)
Hinch is the manager; he could have directly told people to stop and benched anyone who didn't comply. He could have escalated it to Luhnow if he did not feel he had the authority to enforce such discipline. Instead, he "attempted to signal his disapproval" of the trash can banging and later "voiced his concerns".


Yes, he could have done these things -- but the question is whether it was unreasonable to have done what he did instead. And he didn't just "attempt" to signal his disapproval; he signaled it loud and clear and tried to cut off the functioning of the system. Manfred did not play that one straight, in the least.

Hinch did not have the authority to fire or discipline the perpetrators and, in reality, didn't even have the authority to bench them for any extended time.

Simply continuing to do your job while your subordinates break the rules right in front of your face would not be considered satisfactory supervisory behavior in a broker-dealer context.


Sure, but that's not what he did. He smashed the mechanisms of the system.
   30. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:46 PM (#5916071)
Both make clear that using in-game video to steal signs is prohibited and that the General Manager & Field Manager are responsible for ensuring compliance.

Neither memo is public as far as I know. The part of the 2017 memo that were made public this week did not state that the GM and FM were responsible. That was something that Manfred said separately.

This article on the 2019 memo says

To make sure teams comply with the rule, MLB is holding general managers and managers personally responsible for compliance. Before and after each season, every GM (or president of baseball operations) and manager must sign a document professing that his club is in compliance with the anti-sign stealing rules and that he knew of no “pre-meditated plan to steal signs,” a source said.


[EDIT: This actually sounds more like a securities regulation regime than I had expected.]

However, the behavior for which the Astros were punished was limited to 2017 and 2018, so unless this type of language was in the parts of the 2017 memo that we haven't seen, it appears that a retroactive standard is being applied.
   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:50 PM (#5916075)

And he didn't just "attempt" to signal his disapproval; he signaled it loud and clear and tried to cut off the functioning of the system.

You don't know that. Did he break the monitor after hours when nobody was around? Or did he smash it in front of the whole team and announce the reason he was doing so?

Either way, after the monitor was simply replaced and the behavior continued, he had further obligations.

If I hear my subordinate giving a client false information about a security over the phone, and I break his phone, and the next day he has a new phone and keeps doing it, I have not fulfilled my supervisory responsibilities.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:51 PM (#5916076)
If they had gone 18-9 in Chris Sale starts like they did in '18, instead of 10-15, they would have won 98 games.


How?
   33. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5916077)
The part of the 2017 memo that were made public this week did not state that the GM and FM were responsible. That was something that Manfred said separately.


I don't believe the memo says that thing that Manfred says it says. It's possible he's playing it straight, but if I had to Vegas yay-or-nay, I'm going nay.

To make sure teams comply with the rule, MLB is holding general managers and managers personally responsible for compliance.


We should be clear that this is different than Manfred's statement in his "opinion." Being responsible for compliance is entirely different than being "held accountable" for violations of the rules. Manfred makes it sounds like the memo says that if the players break the rules the FM and GM are going to be whacked for that and that alone. Maybe he just inartfully stated what the memo says, but as I noted, the "opinion" does not apply that standard.
   34. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:57 PM (#5916081)
You don't know that. Did he break the monitor after hours when nobody was around? Or did he smash it in front of the whole team and announce the reason he was doing so?


Does it matter? When the players come in and see the illicit equipment disabled, it's a pretty clear signal. And in fact, it stops it unless the equipment is quickly put back together. There's no sense in which "attempted to signal" is a fair account of Hinch's actions.

And he did more. Manfred:

Similarly, he knew of and did not stop the communication of sign information from the replay review room, although he disagreed with this practice as well and specifically voiced his concerns on at least one occasion about the use of the replay phone for this purpose. As the person with responsibility for managing his players and coaches, there simply is no justification for Hinch’s failure to act.


"Failure to act" is also not playing it remotely straight. So that's two instances of clearly not playing it straight. My rule of thumb is that when people have to resort to completely mischaracterizing the factual conduct they've laid out, their credibility starts reducing, maybe even to nothing. Hinch did not "attempt to signal," he signaled and he clearly did not "fail[]to act," he acted.
   35. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 01:58 PM (#5916082)

I don't believe the memo says that thing that Manfred says it says.

To be clear, he didn't say it said that (and he didn't say it didn't). He said:

I made the decision in September 2017 that I would hold a Club’s General Manager and Field Manager accountable for misconduct of this kind, and I will not depart from that decision.
   36. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:00 PM (#5916085)
To be clear, he didn't say it said that (and he didn't say it didn't).


He did say that:

I specifically stated in the memorandum that the General Manager and Field Manager of Clubs would be held accountable for any violations of the rules in the future.


I don't believe the memo says that in the way that Manfred says it does. He did not apply that standard to Luhnow or Hinch. He didn't hold them accountable merely because rules had been violated, but instead because of (supposed) deficiencies in their conduct.
   37. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:02 PM (#5916089)

Does it matter?

Yes.

When the players come in and see the illicit equipment disabled, it's a pretty clear signal.

Except it evidently wasn't.

And in fact, it stops it unless the equipment is quickly put back together.

Which it apparently was.
   38. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:03 PM (#5916091)
He did say that:

Thanks. I missed that. In that case I don't see any problem with the punishments for Luhnow and Hinch unless Manfred is outright lying.
   39. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:04 PM (#5916092)
He didn't "attempt to signal" and he didn't "fail[] to act." There's no serious sense in which those are true. Bottom line.

If the reps get drunk and hit the petty cash jar and come back to the office with a bunch of booze and I find it and smash it all up, I've signaled my discontent -- whether or not they see the signal. Is that an adequate supervisory response? No, but it is a signal of discontent, not an attempted one.
   40. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:09 PM (#5916099)
Manfred, cont'd:

Although I appreciate Hinch’s remorsefulness, I must hold him accountable for the conduct of his team, particularly since he had full knowledge of the conduct and chose to allow it to continue throughout the 2017 Postseason.


No, he didn't "choose to allow the conduct to continue." That's another example of not playing it straight. Strike three, you're out.
   41. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:12 PM (#5916101)
No, there is no baseball rule or standard that the General Manager is to ensure that the activities of players and staff comport with MLB rules. If there was, we would see GMs sanctioned for things like players corking the bat, or testing positive for PEDs, or managers gambling, or pitchers' throwing spitballs or scuffed balls -- or even things like domestic violence. This is a completely invented principle. It does not exist.
Being emphatic while being wrong doesn’t make you less wrong. From the Commissioner’s Statement:
In August 2017, the Boston Red Sox were caught transmitting sign information from their replay review room to individuals in the dugout wearing smart watches. The incident received significant media attention, and I issued a press release on September 15, 2017 announcing the fine of the Red Sox (and a fine of the New York Yankees for improperly using the replay review room phone) that stated in relevant part:
At the outset, it is important to understand that the attempt to decode signs being used by an opposing catcher is not a violation of any Major League Baseball Rule or Regulation. Major League Baseball Regulations do, however, prohibit the use of electronic equipment during games and state that no such equipment “may be used for the purpose of stealing signs or conveying information designed to give a Club an advantage.” Despite this clear Regulation, the prevalence of technology, especially the technology used in the replay process, has made it increasingly difficult to monitor appropriate and inappropriate uses of electronic equipment. Based on the investigation by my office, I have nonetheless concluded that during the 2017 season the Boston Red Sox violated the Regulation quoted above by sending electronic communications from their video replay room to an athletic trainer in the dugout.

Following the issuance of the press release announcing the results of the Red Sox investigation, I issued a memorandum that same day to all Clubs reiterating the rules regarding the use of electronic equipment to steal signs, and putting all Clubs on notice that future violations would be taken extremely seriously by my office. I specifically stated in the memorandum that the General Manager and Field Manager of Clubs would be held accountable for any violations of the rules in the future. Thus, all Clubs were put on notice as of September 15, 2017 that any use of electronic equipment to steal signs would be dealt with more severely by my office.

Notwithstanding the publicity surrounding the Red Sox incident, and the September 15th memorandum that I sent to all Clubs, the Astros continued to both utilize the replay review room and the monitor located next to the dugout to decode signs for the remainder of the regular season and throughout the Postseason.
Luhnow & Hinch we’re both warned, yet they persisted. They got what they deserved.
   42. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:13 PM (#5916102)

No, he didn't "choose to allow the conduct to continue."

He was the manager. He was aware of the behavior, he had the authority to stop the behavior, and yet the behavior continued. I don't see any way in which this description is inaccurate.
   43. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:13 PM (#5916103)
Thanks. I missed that. In that case I don't see any problem with the punishments for Luhnow and Hinch unless Manfred is outright lying.


There's still a big problem, it's then just one of an unjust standard rather than a non-existent standard. There would be nothing just about suspending Theo Epstein for a year because Addison Russell beat his girlfriend. Manfred could issue a memo stating that he's going to hold GMs accountable for player violations of MLB's domestic violence rules and that wouldn't change a thing.
   44. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:18 PM (#5916109)
I don't see any way in which this description is inaccurate.


It's inaccurate because Hinch didn't choose to allow the conduct to continue. He wasn't a but-for cause of the conduct continuing and subjectively, his choice would have been that it ended -- easily inferable from his smashing of the video system. There was really no "choice" made of any kind. It's false terminology.

Being emphatic while being wrong doesn’t make you less wrong. From the Commissioner’s Statement:


The Commissioner's statement is worthless without the source document, partcularly given the credibility gap he's clearly demonstrated in his mischaracterization-laden "opinion." Nor did you quote the principle I was addressing in the language of mine you quoted, which as I said, is a non-existent principle. This is a manifestly false statement by Manfred:

It is the job of the General Manager to be aware of the activities of his staff and players, and to ensure that those activities comport with both standards of conduct set by Club ownership and MLB rules.


Manfred stated that as the standard to be applied to Luhnow and it's a non-existent standard. I've explained why. There's no sense in which it's a GMs "job" to "ensure" that players don't violate MLB rules (or the "standards of conduct set by Club ownership," whatever the hell that means.) If it was, Theo Epstein would be sanctionable for Addison Russell's DV, or Farhan Zaidi could be sanctionable if Johnny Cueto throws scuff balls or Buster Posey tests positive for roids. It's made up out of whole cloth. Very weak sauce. Kind of pathetic, really.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:24 PM (#5916117)
There's still a big problem, it's then just one of an unjust standard rather than a non-existent standard. There would be nothing just about suspending Theo Epstein for a year because Addison Russell beat his girlfriend. Manfred could issue a memo stating that he's going to hold GMs accountable for player violations of MLB's domestic violence rules and that wouldn't change a thing.

Fail.

Non-work behavior is completely different for work behavior.
   46. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:25 PM (#5916119)

Fail.

Non-work behavior is completely different for work behavior.


Uh, no. MLB makes no such distinction, at least when it comes to DV.
   47. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5916123)
The Commissioner's statement is worthless without the source document, partcularly given the credibility gap he's clearly demonstrated in his mischaracterization-laden "opinion."
Do you see anyone disputing Manfred on the contents of the memo, even those being disciplined? You’re just making stuff up here, pretending that Luhnow & Hinch weren’t on notice when it is obvious that they were.
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:32 PM (#5916130)

Uh, no. MLB makes no such distinction, at least when it comes to DV.


For supervisors they do, just like every other industry. No supervisor in any industry gets fired because their employee robs a bank on his day off.
   49. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:32 PM (#5916131)
Do you see anyone disputing Manfred on the contents of the memo, even those being disciplined?


Irrelevant. The Commissioner's statement lacks credibility in a number of places, as I've described and therefore its credibility in describing what the memo says can't be properly assumed. If you want to just lapdog up what he says, it's your prerogative. I'm not going to.
   50. Blastin Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:33 PM (#5916135)
How on earth could SBB literally have the wrong opinion on everything? It's not even a consistently left/right opinion. It's just that he wants to argue, so we need to stop bothering.
   51. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:34 PM (#5916137)
For supervisors they do, just like every other industry.


Not under Manfred's stated "standard" as applied to Luhnow. I've quoted the relevant portions. Read it more closely. If you want, of course. If you don't, you aren't really that informed on what he did and the conduct standards he delineated. That's your prerogative.

No supervisor in any industry gets fired because their employee robs a bank on his day off.


The DV rules are part of explicit MLB/union policy. You know this already.

   52. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:37 PM (#5916140)
There would be nothing just about suspending Theo Epstein for a year because Addison Russell beat his girlfriend.

If Theo was aware that it was happening for a year and did not take actions within his power to stop it, then certainly there would be. That's more analogous to this situation.

If Hinch had effectively stopped the behavior when he became aware of it, he likely wouldn't have been suspended. That's more analogous to the Addison Russell example.

Even if he had merely escalated it to Luhnow when it didn't stop, he probably would have gotten a more lenient punishment.
   53. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:45 PM (#5916150)
If Theo was aware that it was happening for a year and did not take actions within his power to stop it, then certainly there would be. That's more analogous to this situation.


Fair enough, but that's not the standard Manfred outlined as the one applicable to Luhnow -- or the one he says the memo says. If Manfred sent a memo out tomorrow saying that he was "putting all Clubs on notice that future violations of the DV rules would be taken extremely seriously by my office and that specifically stated that "the General Manager and Field Manager of Clubs would be held accountable for any violations of the DV rules in the future,"(*) you'd be ok with that?

I have my doubts, but maybe they're misplaced.

(*) The language he uses in his "opinion" to describe the September 17 memo.

   54. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 02:58 PM (#5916158)
If Hinch had effectively stopped the behavior when he became aware of it, he likely wouldn't have been suspended. That's more analogous to the Addison Russell example.


Hinch isn't Theo, Luhnow is.
   55. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 15, 2020 at 03:01 PM (#5916160)
How on earth could SBB literally have the wrong opinion on everything? It's not even a consistently left/right opinion. It's just that he wants to argue, so we need to stop bothering.


But people keep getting sucked in.
   56. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 15, 2020 at 03:25 PM (#5916178)
Irrelevant. The Commissioner's statement lacks credibility in a number of places . . .
Manfred isn’t the one with the credibility problem here. The MLB Memo isn’t irrelevant - it provides the basis for holding Luhnow & Hinch responsible. You’re just trying unsuccessfully to undermine it because it destroys your unsupported assertions.
   57. . Posted: January 15, 2020 at 03:47 PM (#5916196)
Manfred isn’t the one with the credibility problem here.


He absolutely is not credible, for the reasons I've stated. Whether my entirely accurate account and interpretation is the mainstream one in the Twitter/social media/various blabfest cacophony, I can't say. My guess is probably not. I have no control over the hysteria, ignore function, name-calling, virtue signaling, attention-seeking, etc., that goes on in modern communication. All I can do is read closely, analyze, and comment.

Manfred did not write credible things, as I've outlined. Whether that means he has a "credibility problem" is subject to forces far outside my control. Having a "credibility problem" often has little to do with whether or not one wrote credible things. Manfred did not. I did write credible things. The things I wrote were far more credible than the things he wrote. All I can control is the credibility of what I wrote, and controlled it very much was. If people want to point to Manfred's "authority" or the contrary opinions of the numerically-advantaged, hopped-up masses as repositories of credibility that exceed mine, again, there's nothing I can do to control that.

   58. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5916212)

If Manfred sent a memo out tomorrow saying that he was "putting all Clubs on notice that future violations of the DV rules would be taken extremely seriously by my office and that specifically stated that "the General Manager and Field Manager of Clubs would be held accountable for any violations of the DV rules in the future,"(*) you'd be ok with that?

I think it's difficult to compare on-field and off-field violations. Sticking to the case at hand, I think if Luhnow was told that he would be held accountable for violations, then he had some responsibility to supervise team behavior. And he had the ability to do so*.

That being said, if he was truly unaware of what was going on, then as I said earlier, Luhnow's punishment seems harsh to me. Manfred's report indicates there are reasons to believe that Luhnow knew what was going on. It's possible that the severity of the punishment reflects Manfred's belief that Luhnow did, in fact, know.

* contrast this with off-field behavior like DV, which the GM and Manager have very limited ability to monitor on a proactive basis. They're really only going to be able to react after a violation has happened, not in real time as it's being planned or enacted.
   59. Sunday silence Posted: January 15, 2020 at 09:43 PM (#5916314)
SBB does make some interesting points but in typical fashion goes to insane extremes by assumptions. From what I see he's assuming: the memo that Manfred sent didnt put people on notice, and also what exactly Hinch did to indicate his displeasure, I mean there's a lot of circumstances that could impact that one way or the other, such as who was in the room when he did that, what did he say when he did that, and did it just go back to same status as before soon after. All those questions need to be answered before assuming what Hinch did and what his intentions were.

But I think the biggest assumption though is complaining about a strict liability standard when this isnt a court of law. Its an association of professionals who have their own by laws, if that's what they want to do presumably that's what they do.

And even in criminal law it's not so cut and dried. There are strict liability issues for such things as sexual abuse, particularly with minors. This is very much on point with what happened to Joe Paterno at the end of his reign. Strict liability to report stuff to the policy is not the usual US (i.e. English Common Law) but has been modified in such cases.

To take one of SBB arguing tactics and turn it around: Would you have a problem if Manfred held Luhnow strictly liable for failing to report sexual abuse?

I do think SBB raises some interesting questions:


Does Luhnow have a legal case assuming he didnt know about much of what was going on? I find that hard to believe, but lets say he alleges that.

2. Dont you think Manfred would have been better served by having an independent investigation? It seems Manfred's findings are intertwined with his Memos and his policy toward electronic sign stealing. As pointed out he doesnt seem to separate the various conflicts here of: intent, strict liability, etc. He's talking about Hinch's attempts to stop the sign stealing and then it turns into he's still liable, he didnt do enough, but then what did he do? I think an independent investigator would have sewn up this stuff better, e.g. what was Hinch attempting to do? What was he thinking?

ANd he's talking about Luhnow's regime and how messed up it is and then its a strict liability standard and then well what did Luhnow know, he knew something...

It's not very airtight to say the least. ANd it raises lots of questions. Who to punish? What's the standard? What did people know?
   60. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 15, 2020 at 10:24 PM (#5916324)
#59 I don’t think he was attempting to lay out all of the facts or present an airtight case. There was certainly a lot of evidence gathered that wasn’t presented in detail, whether or not that helped his case who knows?

I think Manfred probably wanted to present enough information to justify his decisions but not so much that he further tarnished the reputation of the game, betrayed sources, or revealed areas where maybe the evidence was weak. As you said, this wasn’t a criminal trial, and we aren’t a jury.
   61. baxter Posted: January 16, 2020 at 12:06 AM (#5916353)
Report states how Hinch could have stopped it; all he had to do was ask (p. 5, 1st full par, last sentence): "Players stated that if Manager A.J. Hinch told them to stop engaging in the conduct, they would have immediately stopped."

You may not believe that, but it's printed in the report the same as Hinch's story about breaking the monitor. Now, that may have happened (or not) and as another posted pointed out, he may have broken the monitor (if it happened) because he was angry b/c the scheme did not work.

A person's minimizing responsibility after being accused of wrongdoing isn't something that adds to his credibility. As has been noted, Hinch was in a tough position, if he put his foot down, he might have lost his job, been unable to get another (which may turn out to be the case in any event).

Hinch's response regarding the monitor is self serving, as are the responses by the unnamed players indicating they would have stopped. Neither set of responses deserves belief.

He apologized and I hope he gets another MLB job.

But, I wouldn't buy Hinch's efforts to intervene.

   62. Sunday silence Posted: January 16, 2020 at 03:29 AM (#5916358)
I don’t think he was attempting to lay out all of the facts or present an airtight case. There was certainly a lot of evidence gathered that wasn’t presented in detail, whether or not that helped his case who knows?


Right but that also calls into question why he did this investigation himself. He's writing a report that is supposed to be objective but appears to be pushing whatever agenda he wants. Maybe that's good for baseball, but in the long run there's going to be more questions asked.
   63. Adam Starblind Posted: January 16, 2020 at 08:44 AM (#5916371)
The Commissioner's statement is worthless without the source document, partcularly given the credibility gap he's clearly demonstrated in his mischaracterization-laden "opinion."


If Manfred were mischaracterizing the 2017 memo, that would have leaked by now.
   64. Cris E Posted: January 16, 2020 at 08:50 AM (#5916372)
I think the looseness in the sentencing is a feature. If it were perfectly squared away it makes it easier for teams to do the calculus on the cost of winning, and the temptation might be clearer to run the risks of being caught. (Think of the number of perfect games thrown with multiple walks: part of a pitcher's effectiveness lies in being unpredictable.) It might be part of why this was announced before the Cora work was complete, to let the Red Sox imagination do some heavy lifting where the evidence might not have the full power to indict to that standard.

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