Astros fire Hinch and Luhnow following MLB suspension

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HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- The Houston Astros have fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after the pair were suspended by Major League Baseball for sign-stealing during the Astros' run to the 2017 World Series title.

Commissioner Rob Manfred strongly hinted that current Boston manager Alex Cora - the Astros bench coach in 2017 - will face equal or more severe punishment. Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros. The Red Sox are under investigation for sign stealing in Cora's first season as manager in 2018, when Boston won the title.

Houston was fined $5 million for sign-stealing by the team during its run to the 2017 World Series title and during the 2018 season - the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution. The Astros will forfeit their next two first- and second-round draft picks.

Manfred said owner Jim Crane was not aware of the sign stealing. An hour after MLB announced its decision, Crane opened a news conference by saying Hinch and Luhnow were fired.