Former general manager Jeff Luhnow again denied his involvement in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal in an interview with Houston's NBC affiliate released Monday.
"It's pretty clear who was involved in the video-decoding scheme, when it started, how often it happened and basically when it ended. And it's also pretty clear who was not involved," Luhnow said.
"And I don't know why that information, that evidence, wasn't discussed in the ruling, wasn't used. The people who were involved that didn't leave naturally to go to other teams are all still employed by the Astros."
Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were fired by owner Jim Crane in January after the team was found by an MLB investigation to have stolen signs using technology during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in in seven games to win the first World Series in franchise history in 2017.
Though the team was also fined $5 million and stripped of four future draft picks, no players were suspended or formally punished. Alex Cora, who served as a bench coach for the Astros in 2017 and was hired as Boston manager the year after, agreed to part ways with the Red Sox.
Luhnow said he gave commissioner Rob Manfred a 150-page binder with information pertinent to the scandal but did not see any of it included in MLB final's report. Luhnow thinks that was because Manfred had already decided he was going to be punished.
"I don't know how much of the 150-page binder he read, but none of it made its way into the final report, so frankly, he had his mind made up," Luhnow said. "He was going to punish me. There was nowhere else to go. He was going to punish A.J. [Hinch], as well, and A.J. admitted that he knew."
The former GM also said he was given access to 22,000 text messages from employees in the Astros video room that he feels exonerate him.
Manfred disputed Luhnow's account on Tuesday in an interview with ESPN Radio, saying the texts were only a fraction of the evidence.
"There was a lot of other evidence – electronic, testimonial – which indicated Jeff's culpability in this matter," Manfred said.
"Secondly, whether he exactly knew what was going on or not is really beside the point. After the Apple Watch incident, I wrote to all the GMs. I put them on notice that it was their obligation to make sure that their organizations were not violating any of the sign-stealing rules."
Luhnow first denied involvement or knowledge of the scandal in a statement released in January.
The Astros finished the 2020 season at 29-31. They were bounced in American League Championship Series by the Tampa Bay Rays in seven games.