Jeff Luhnow still maintains his innocence, and he now claims there are 22,000 text messages that prove it.
In his first public comments since being suspended in January, the former Astros general manager claims he had no knowledge of the team’s electronic sign-stealing scandal in 2017 and 2018, and has evidence in the messages he received from team personnel.
“It’s pretty clear who was involved in the video-decoding scheme, when it started, how often it happened and basically when it ended. And it’s also pretty clear who was not involved,” Luhnow told KPRC in Houston. “And I don’t know why that information, that evidence, wasn’t discussed in the ruling, wasn’t used. The people who were involved that didn’t leave naturally to go to other teams are all still employed by the Astros.
“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.”
Luhnow told the television station MLB had access to the text messages and so did the Astros. He was fired, along with manager A.J. Hinch, following his one-year suspension without pay. The Astros used cameras to steal signs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. No players were disciplined, though Carlos Beltran, who played for the Astros in 2017, lost his job as the Mets manager after being implicated in the scandal. So did Alex Cora, a bench coach with the Astros in 2017 who was fired as the Red Sox manager. The Astros were also stripped of four draft picks and assessed a $5 million fine.
Luhnow told KPRC that after receiving the allegations against him, offered to take a lie-detector test and presented information to commissioner Rob Manfred on his behalf that would clear him of any wrongdoing.
“He turned down my offer to do a polygraph test. I don’t know how much of the 150-page binder he read, but none of it made its way into the final report, so frankly, he had his mind made up,” Luhnow said. “He was going to punish me. There was nowhere else to go. He was going to punish A.J. [Hinch], as well, and A.J. admitted that he knew.
“They found something that they believe is evidence. It’s not. I refuted it very quickly and thoroughly, but it was enough for them to feel good about suspending me.”
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