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#pounditThursday, August 5, 2021

AJ Hinch issues statement offering firm denial about electronic buzzers

AJ Hinch

AJ Hinch released a statement on Wednesday night after many took issue with the former Houston Astros manager’s response to a question about the team’s use of electronic buzzers while cheating.

Hinch spoke with Tom Verducci for an interview that aired on MLB Network on Friday. Hinch apologized in the interview for not doing more to stop the sign-stealing efforts by his team. When asked by Verducci to assure fans that Houston never used illegal electronic buzzers as part of their cheating, the manager pointed to MLB’s findings rather than outright saying the Astros were not using the devices.

Verducci reached out to Hinch about the matter and received this statement:

“After my interview with Tom Verducci last week, there has been a significant reaction to my answer to the ‘buzzer’ question. To be clear, I have never seen any such device used in baseball. I am not aware of any such device existing or being utilized with the Astros, the players, or any other team.

“I was first asked about such devices during the investigation by MLB. In my interview with Tom, I acknowledged the commissioner’s report as evidence due to the in-depth nature of the investigation, not as an intended non-answer or a way to elude the question.”

Now that is a much more firm denial.

Rumors have flown the last few months suggesting that some Astros players were using buzzers to be signaled what pitch was coming. Jose Altuve, who was featured in a video at the center of the rumors, issued a denial. MLB also said in a statement they investigated the rumor but could not find evidence to support the allegation.

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