How the Houston Astros went from champions to a shamed shambles

The 2017 World Series winners were engineered to win. But they also became convinced they could act with arrogance and impunity

It must have felt good to be one of the Houston Astros on 29 October last year, to be part of one of the most talented teams ever assembled and to be only one home win from a second World Series title in three years.

Less than three months later, baseball’s most calculating club is shamed and in a shambles. The Astros lost on that autumn night and were beaten again the following evening as the underdog Washington Nationals completed an astonishing triumph. Now Houston’s manager and general manager are gone, after Major League Baseball doled out severe punishments for their roles in a cheating scandal. An investigation concluded the team had stolen signs from opponents, and Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for the 2020 season. The team fired them shortly afterwards.

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