Rob Manfred second guesses granting immunity to sign-stealing Astros

“Maybe not my best decision ever,” the MLB commissioner said in an interview.

SHARE Rob Manfred second guesses granting immunity to sign-stealing Astros
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said granting immunity to players involved in the Astros cheating scandal was “maybe not my best decision ever.”

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said granting immunity to players involved in the Astros cheating scandal was “maybe not my best decision ever.”

John Minchillo/AP

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says if he could do it over again, he may not have granted immunity to Houston Astros players while investigating the team’s sign-stealing scandal.

Manfred oversaw Major League Baseball’s investigation that confirmed the Astros stole signs with banned electronics en route to a 2017 World Series title. Manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired in the fallout, as was ex-Astros bench coach Alex Cora from his managerial job with the Boston Red Sox.

Astros players, though, were granted immunity during the probe — a decision that peeved players and fans alike when MLB’s report and discipline were issued in January 2020.

During an interview with Time magazine published Wednesday, Manfred said it was “maybe not my best decision ever.”

“I’m not sure that I would have approached it with giving players immunity,” he said. “Once we gave players immunity, it puts you in a box as to what exactly you were going to do in terms of punishment.

“I might have gone about the investigative process without that grant of immunity and see where it takes us. Starting with, I’m not going to punish anybody, maybe not my best decision ever.”

MLB completed the investigation in less than two months. Without immunity, the probe likely would have taken far longer.

Players from that 2017 Astros team, including Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa, have been heckled by fans since the commissioner’s report was released in 2020, and frustration remains among at least some players, too.

In May, White Sox reliever Keynan Middleton struck out Correa to close out a victory, then called Correa “a cheater” to reporters after the game.

Manfred also said he’d like to take back a “rather flip comment” he made in the aftermath of the Astros’ scandal, when he referred to the World Series trophy as a “piece of metal.”

The Latest
Sensory walks, a campfire feast and learning sessions with scientists are just some of the ways Illinoisans and out-of-towners alike can celebrate the historic double emergence of the 13-year and 17-year cicadas.
The video, from a nearby liquor store in the 300 block of South Cicero Avenue, appears to show the victim of an attack trying to flag down a police SUV around 11 p.m. As he tries to evade at least three people, he is apparently stabbed in the middle of the road.
It’s late May and aptly enough just about everything is going, even the cicadas, to lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
About 11:35 a.m., two men were standing in the 1700 block of West 51st Street when a black pickup truck pulled up and four shooters opened fire, Chicago police said.