Hours after A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow received one-year suspensions and were subsequently fired for their involvement in stealing signs via live video in 2017, a former Mariner has shared his thoughts and brought forth a potentially devastating development in this ongoing soap opera.
On his personal Instagram early Monday afternoon, former Seattle Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison sent out a controversial message that is starting to gain traction in the baseball world.
In his two posts, Morrison claims that the Houston Astros’ history of sign-stealing dates back to before A.J. Hinch and Alex Cora’s (whom Morrison mistakes for Cora’s brother, Joey) time in Houston, and goes on to cite that, in addition to the Astros, he has “firsthand” knowledge that the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees are all guilty of using similar avenues to their advantage.
This news is particularly interesting (and potentially frustrating) for Mariners fans as Morrison goes on to say that while he was with Seattle in 2014, they would hear banging before pitches in their three trips to Houston that season. It should be noted that Bo Porter was the manager of the Astros at the time and not Hinch, while Cora was an analyst for ESPN. Twitter user @KyleNYY looked further into those games and pulled a pair of clips in which he claims to hear banging as Hisashi Iwakuma sets to deliver, though it’s rather faint, so take it with a grain of salt.
Admittedly, Morrison’s post is a little incoherent and hard to follow at times. At one point, he mentions the fact that the Mariners missed the playoffs by one game that season and claims that Félix Hernández should have won the American League Cy Young Award, but added that either Hernández or the Mariners themselves “couldn’t get [past] the [fifth-place] Astros.” It’s hard to decipher whom he’s specifically referring to, as Hernández only pitched in Houston once that year (in May, allowing three runs in five innings pitched) and the Mariners finished the year 6-3 when visiting the Astros.
Perhaps Morrison is referring to the Mariners’ final trip to Houston in late September that year, following the firing of Porter earlier in the month. Seattle had been neck-and-neck with the Oakland Athletics for the final wild card spot, but dropped two-of-three games to the lowly Astros as Houston went on to score a combined 22 runs in the two games they won. However, this may be pure coincidence as Seattle continued to skid upon their departure, getting swept in embarrassing fashion by a good-not-great Blue Jays team in Toronto the following series.
Still, Morrison’s entire post is incredibly concerning for the integrity of the game, given that he names four of the league’s elite organizations as guilty parties of a seemingly growing sign-stealing system. If that is to be believed and Rob Manfred’s report is indeed false or at least doesn’t show the entire story, Major League Baseball has an epidemic on their hands at an incredibly inconvenient time for their brand.