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Suspended is the new Fired. Why Luhnow and Hinch are gone

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The Houston Astros are out a manager and a general manager for a year and possibly beyond. What comes next for these two positions?

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The suspensions announced today are stunning. As are the penalties, essentially crippling the Astros’ ability to rebuild the franchise by taking away perhaps the best four possibilities to add quality talent (yes, we still have international money, but that’s less predictable). As an Astro fan of 40 years, this is one of the all-time dark days in the history of the franchise.

The most important repercussion from these announcements is the effective end of the Luhnow regime. Given how many quality front office people have left in the past few years (David Stearns, Mike Elias, Sig Megdal), there’s no obvious number 2. And from the report, it sounds like Crane wants to wash his hands of this, or another metaphor, since his hands weren’t dirty. Lady Macbeth aside, Luhnow is gone since he needs a 2020 replacement anyway. I suspect Luhnow is out of baseball for good.

What of Hinch? The 2020 Astros aren’t the 2012 Astros. They’re one of the best five teams in baseball and they need a real manager. Nobody who’s proven and good is interim-managing this team. They need somebody fast, like yesterday. Spring training starts in a little over a month.

With any luck, Crane is one step ahead, and already has finalists for these two positions lined up. The Astros need to shed the Reddick contract, perhaps pick up a starter, and maybe a bullpen piece. Time’s a wasting.

Today feels like the Feds came and took all my family’s money, and suddenly I look around and I’m poor, and my PlayStation is gone. And a parent and an uncle are now in federal custody.

Am I reading this wrong? Please discuss.


Update (2:04 p.m. 1/13/2020):