AJ Hinch issues non-denial about Astros using electronic buzzers
Former Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch gave his first on-camera interview since being fired for his role in the team’s sign-stealing scandal, and he tried to strike an apologetic tone.
Hinch sat down with Tom Verducci for MLB Network to answer questions about the scandal and its fallout. He voiced his regret, confirming that he destroyed two monitors with a bat in response to the scheme. He admitted, however, that he should have sat his players down and told them to stop it at that point.
Beyond destroying two monitors with a bat, Hinch said he should have done more: " I should have had a meeting and addressed it face forward and really ended it. Leadership to me is often about what you preach. Leadership's also about what you tolerate. I tolerated too much."
— Alyson Footer (@alysonfooter) February 7, 2020
Another key moment in the interview was Hinch’s refusal to explicitly deny that players wore buzzers, instead deferring to the Commissioner’s findings that stated there was no evidence of it.
A.J. Hinch didn't answer the question about whether the 2019 Astros used buzzers. He only deferred to the Commissioner's findings.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 7, 2020
The Astros have been criticized by some for their lack of apology, though ownership has said it will happen. Hinch will be judged on his sincerity, but it’s the apology many have wanted. Since the interview was taped, however, Hinch was not asked about his role in a reported codebreaking program the front office allegedly devised and used for a year and a half.