Former Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch has been hired by the Detroit Tigers.

Hinch, who was fired earlier this year alongside Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow following the MLB’s investigation into the team’s sign-stealing scandal, was named as the Tigers’ new manager on Friday.

“I’d like to thank Chris Ilitch and Al Avila for giving me a chance and the opportunity to get back in the dugout to lead this historic ballclub,” Hinch said in a press release, referencing his return to baseball following the completion of his suspension for the 2020 season.

“The last year was the most difficult of my life. It gave me time to reflect, which was such a big part of this process,” he continued. “Everything that has transpired over the past year, personally and professionally, has put so much in perspective for me, and re-enforced how important it is to do things with integrity and honesty.”

Executive Vice President of baseball operations and General Manager of the Tigers Al Avila went on to share in a statement that before choosing to hire Hinch, they “knew there were some important conversations to have about AJ’s time in Houston.”

"Throughout that dialogue, he was clearly remorseful and used that time to reflect on the situation, and we believe he will emerge as a better leader because of it,” he added. “This ballclub is entering an extremely exciting period, with young players primed and ready to make an impact at the Major League level. I’m confident AJ is the best man for this job as we strive to bring a World Series championship back to the city of Detroit.”

Hinch, who started out his career with the Tigers — acting as their backup catcher in a number of games in 2003 — spent five seasons managing the Astros.

In January, he was fired by the Astros owner Jim Crane after Major League Baseball confirmed the team used cameras to steal pitching signs during the 2017 season, which ended in a championship win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Neither one of them started this, but neither one of them did anything about it,” Crane said at the time, according to ESPN. “We need to move forward with a clean slate.”

Speaking with reporters at a press conference on Friday, Hinch said he hoped that moving forward, he would be able to put the past behind him. “That’s part of my story,” he said of the scandal. “It’s not the Tigers’ story.”

Hinch replaces former Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire, who announced his retirement in September.

Source: Read Full Article