Rob Manfred Explains Why He Didn't Strip Astros of World Series Title

Justin Verlander and Houston Astros won't be stripped of World Series
Justin Verlander and Houston Astros won't be stripped of World Series / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

MLB Commisioner Rob Manfred decided not to strip the Houston Astros of the 2017 World Series title in the wake of their cheating scandal. It's a move that has been criticized for its devaluing of all other World Series titles in history.

On Sunday, Manfred provided his justification for not vacating the 2017 championship in an interview with ESPN. He claims that it would be a futile gesture.

"The idea of an asterisk or asking for a piece of metal back seems like a futile act," Manfred said. "(Vacating the World Series) has never happened in baseball. I am a believer in the idea that precedent happens and when you deviate from that, you have to have a very good reason. The report gave people a transparent account of what went on. We put people in position to make their own judgments about the behavior that went on. That certainly has happened over the last month."

Manfred also defended his decision to impose punishment on formers Astros manager AJ Hinch and former general manager Jeff Lunhow. Both Hinch and Lunhow received one-year suspensions and have since been dismissed from their positions in Houston.

"Well, I think the owner has the ultimate responsibility for what goes on in his franchise," Manfred said. "I think when you discipline, you have to always rely on the evidence."

Manfred also indicated that MLB would impose new restrictions in the 2020 season. These restrictions will be aimed to limit teams' access to video during games.

"No question we'll have a new policy before the 2020 season," Manfred said. "I don't deny video can help you perform if you have access to it during the game, but a golfer can't come off the sixth and take a look at his swing. ... We're going to have to live with less access to live video in and around the dugout and clubhouse."

While it's not the punishment some baseball fans wanted, it's a start.