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#pounditFriday, December 3, 2021

Rob Manfred hints he can hammer Astros with sign-stealing punishment

Major League Baseball continues to investigate the bombshell allegations that surfaced against the Houston Astros last week, and commissioner Rob Manfred hinted on Tuesday that the punishment could be severe if it is determined that they did, in fact, steal signs electronically.

While speaking at the start of the MLB owners’ meetings, Manfred alluded to the memos he issued to teams regarding sign stealing prior to the start of last season, which stated that future violations could be subject to sanctions like the loss of draft picks. He basically indicated he has the power to drop the hammer on teams depending on the extent of the violation.

Manfred also said he has no reason to believe the league needs to be looking at any teams other than the Astros at this time.

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees were fined two years ago for violations involving sign stealing, though the tactics they employed were not nearly as egregious as what is being uncovered about the Astros. Given the extent of the video evidence we have already seen that shows what was going on in Houston, it would be a surprise if the sanctions against the Astros aren’t far more severe than what we saw with the Red Sox.

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