AJ Hinch, Jeff Luhnow and Alex Cora Must Be Banned From MLB for Life After 'Codebreaker' Revelations

News of the Houston Astros' "Codebreaker" scheme for decoding and relaying signs broke Friday.
News of the Houston Astros' "Codebreaker" scheme for decoding and relaying signs broke Friday. / Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal is one of the worst acts we've seen a baseball organization perpetrate in search of a competitive edge. Appropriate outrage seems to coming from everywhere -- except from those in charge of Major League Baseball.

News continues to trickle out relating to this scandal, and the latest revelations courtesy of The Wall Street Journal's Jared Diamond relate to the fact that Astros front office originated the cheating operation through spreadsheet formulas and a system they called "Codebreaker." The players then embraced it, and Hinch did nothing to stop it all from happening.

Jeff Luhnow originally said he knew nothing about this, and even went on to throw Alex Cora under the bus. Of course, he knew all along. Intimately. He even joked about it, with members of the front office reportedly known to chuckle about harnessing "the dark arts."

Both Hinch and Luhnow lost their jobs and are serving one-year bans. Cora lost his managerial gig with the Red Sox, but none of these men are banned from baseball.

They should be.

These three individuals had positions of authority with their team while overseeing a cheating operation helped them win the 2017 World Series. Based on precedent, if this isn't the kind of behavior that deserves a lifetime ban by staining the game, it's hard to know what is.

For some strange reason, the players themselves have escaped punishment. If anything, then, the news about the front office administering the "Codebreaker" system further proves why its creators deserve the ultimate punishment.

Luhnow's underlings created the system, Cora helped the players use it, and Hinch sat by and did nothing when he was the manager of the team. Apologies aren't enough in a situation where the integrity of the entire sport was affected. It's clear that the 2017 World Series title is less than legitimate (to say nothing of the 2018 championship Cora oversaw with the Red Sox).

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred needs to take this seriously and issue lifetime bans to Luhnow, Hinch, and Cora to both dish out fair punishment and dissuade others from following their cheating ways in the future. It's the only way to put an end to this shamelessness for good.