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Monday, October 19, 2020

Q&A: Full, 37-minute interview with former Astros GM Jeff Luhnow

“Some people will say there is no way you couldn’t have known. Do you have any evidence of that?”

“So, I understand that if I were a fan and I heard about this scandal, I would assume that the GM might have known, so I get that. And let’s start by me saying I wish I knew. Because, if I knew, this never would have gotten to where it got to.

“I do have a lot of evidence. It’s hard to prove that you didn’t know something, it’s proving a negative. But the investigation interviewed dozens and dozens of people; players, video staff members, coaches, etc. None of them said that I knew. The investigation looked at emails, text messages, slack messages, tens of thousands of messages from different people. I handed over my phone to the MLB investigators. They went through all of my messages, and everything on my phone. I provided to the investigators several pieces of evidence that they used in the investigation. Unfortunately, they turned some of those back around and tried to implicate me and say that I might have known. But I was proactive in assisting them in the investigation.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 19, 2020 at 09:58 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, jeff luhnow

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   1. asinwreck Posted: October 19, 2020 at 10:24 PM (#5983989)
His emotional reaction to being fired by the Astros could easily be that of a veteran corporate employee terminated after the company brought McKinsey in for a consultation. Real circle of life stuff for Luhnow.
   2. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 19, 2020 at 10:51 PM (#5983990)
#1 I don’t get it. I thought Luhnow started out as an IT consultant or something like that, he didn’t work for a management consulting firm.
   3. asinwreck Posted: October 19, 2020 at 11:10 PM (#5983992)
Luhnow worked as a consultant out of McKinsey's Chicago office for several years in the 90s. From an Athletic story last year about the Astros bringing McKinsey in to look at baseball operations around the time they let several scouts go:
Before the draft every year, baseball teams often fly in their amateur scouts. In this way, at least, the Astros were operating routinely in the summer of 2017. Drafts are a rare time when the whole department is together.

This go-around, when the scouts met as a group and in breakouts, some onlookers were on hand. These people are from McKinsey, the scouts were told.

The management consulting firm was conducting a study, in what was likely a first in professional baseball.

Some Astros scouts may have at least heard of McKinsey, which had revenues reportedly north of $10 billion in 2018 — roughly the same as all of Major League Baseball. The scouts’ top boss, Astros president of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow, worked for McKinsey for most of the 1990s.

Through a connection made at the firm, Luhnow wound up in touch with the owner of the Cardinals, Bill DeWitt Jr., an introduction that created Luhnow’s entree into professional baseball. He had success in St. Louis’ front office before the Astros made him their general manager.
   4. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 20, 2020 at 08:17 AM (#5983995)
Thanks, I wonder who I was thinking of...
   5. The Duke Posted: October 20, 2020 at 08:23 AM (#5983996)
Cry me a River.

If he didn’t know, he should have known. The only thing he successfully did here was make AJ Hinch a much worse actor than we believed
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 20, 2020 at 10:51 AM (#5984022)

If he didn’t know, he should have known.


Yup, he's either crooked or incompetent. He can pick; either way you get fired.
   7. jmurph Posted: October 20, 2020 at 11:03 AM (#5984025)
I'm as skeptical as the rest of you, but Manfred has seemingly been so bad at the publicly knowable aspects of his job that I'm at least willing to consider the fact that he completely bungled all of this.
   8. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 20, 2020 at 11:34 AM (#5984034)
He hired Brandon Taubman and allowed the organization to defend him. And judging from some of the other testimony that has come out about the culture he created, I don't even need the cheating scandal to want no part of him.

To be honest, he's exactly what the Angels need in a GM - someone who can come in and completely overhaul baseball operations, including building a player development program similar to what the Astros had. But I want nothing to do with Luhnow.
   9. The Duke Posted: October 20, 2020 at 02:57 PM (#5984065)
There’s the cardinals hacking scandal, the taubmann incident, various organizational complaining about people treatment, the sign-stealing. You’d have to try hard not to see his fingerprints all over these various issues.

As a going away present, he dumps on Hinch and alleges that cheaters are still in the employ of the Astros

I went back and looked at the deals that got released on deadspin. Stanton for Correa/Springer and the Marlins said no.
   10. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 20, 2020 at 03:06 PM (#5984067)
There’s the cardinals hacking scandal


The rest of it fine but how is this on him? His team was the victim on this one.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 20, 2020 at 03:08 PM (#5984068)
The Marlins wanted Correa and Springer for Stanton, Luhnow said no, countering with Jared Cosart and Delino DeShields. The book Astroball revealed the Astros were trying to deal Dallas Keuchel to the Marlins for Jake Marisnick, but the Marlins insisted on Cosart instead.
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 20, 2020 at 03:40 PM (#5984076)
The rest of it fine but how is this on him? His team was the victim on this one.
Some St. Louis partisans claim that the Cardinals were just checking to see how much Luhnow had stolen from them, and they would have proved that beyond the shadow of a doubt, with geometric logic, if Manfred hadn’t pulled the Caine out of action thwarted their investigation.
   13. jmurph Posted: October 20, 2020 at 04:20 PM (#5984085)
Some St. Louis partisans claim that the Cardinals were just checking to see how much Luhnow had stolen from them, and they would have proved that beyond the shadow of a doubt, with geometric logic, if Manfred hadn’t pulled the Caine out of action thwarted their investigation.

It's really something. I think multiple Cardinals fans here are on board with this line.
   14. The Duke Posted: October 20, 2020 at 04:47 PM (#5984087)
Correa thought he stole their entire system when he left - seemed preposterous at the time, not so much now. In no way justifies releasing their emails to the internet or poking around in their database.

Ever wonder how he had both the ID and password to get into their system? Wouldn’t be too hard if it was the same system.
   15. salvomania Posted: October 20, 2020 at 06:15 PM (#5984097)
It's really something. I think multiple Cardinals fans here are on board with this line.

The Cardinals fans on this board (and I'm one of them) don't doubt that Correa went fishing, hoping to find something (with zero probable cause), which is a crime, and then downloaded a bunch of Astros' stuff he saw, which is also a crime.

I wouldn't be surprised if Luhnow had misappropriated proprietary stuff, but nobody here that I'm aware of is defending Correa or suggesting that his was an understandable but misguided effort. If he had suspicions he should have gone to the commissioner.
   16. JJ1986 Posted: October 20, 2020 at 10:10 PM (#5984150)
Ever wonder how he had both the ID and password to get into their system? Wouldn’t be too hard if it was the same system.
Wasn't the password 'Eckstein1' or something like that? And the same password Luhnow had used in St. Louis.
   17. base ball chick Posted: October 21, 2020 at 11:23 PM (#5984471)
The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 20, 2020 at 11:34 AM (#5984034)

He hired Brandon Taubman and allowed the organization to defend him. And judging from some of the other testimony that has come out about the culture he created, I don't even need the cheating scandal to want no part of him


- he got mckinseyed. like the song sez, he had it coming. i heard all kinds of stuff about him from confidential sources back when i was still blogging, and none of it was good

he created the environment of the front office and loved taubman - win at any cost, and he was the captain of the ship and he deserved to go down with it

   18. Rally Posted: October 22, 2020 at 08:36 AM (#5984491)
He didn't know anything while it was going on. But still takes the time to throw one of his underlings under the bus here:

“In fact, one of the people who was intimately involved, I had demoted from a position in the clubhouse to a position somewhere else, and after I was fired he was promoted back into the clubhouse. So none of those people faced any repercussions. They weren’t discussed in the report, but the evidence is all there that they were involved.”

I have no idea who this is but for people closer to the Astros probably does not take much time to figure out who he's talking about here.

   19. base ball chick Posted: October 22, 2020 at 11:33 AM (#5984546)
very interesting that 2 employees who aided and abetted the cheating are still there
   20. asinwreck Posted: October 22, 2020 at 05:19 PM (#5984613)
The Athletic: "People with knowledge" of Major League Baseball’s findings dis Luhnow's interview.

But people with knowledge of the investigation said that “there was direct testimony that Luhnow was aware of the sign-stealing scheme.” The league’s department of investigations, headed by former federal prosecutors, gathered a combination of direct evidence, circumstantial evidence and testimony that a source said would hold up in a legal forum, despite Luhnow’s suggestion to the contrary.

“Luhnow received emails that put him on notice of the activity, but claims he only read parts of the emails even though he responded to the emails,” the person said. “One witness clearly stated and provided evidence that Luhnow knew, and others identified facts indicating that Luhnow knew. The best interpretation of the evidence is that Luhnow either knew exactly what the video room was doing, or knew generally what they were doing and willfully chose to keep himself in the dark.”
   21. The Duke Posted: October 22, 2020 at 05:37 PM (#5984621)
Luhnow had to know there were would be an unofficial, official response. He’s burning bridges. He must have another non-baseball gig lined up.

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