Jeff Luhnow Needs to Give It Up Already

Former Astros GM Jeff Luhnow sued his old bosses this week, alleging they did not have cause to fire him.
Former Astros GM Jeff Luhnow sued his old bosses this week, alleging they did not have cause to fire him. Photo by Jack Gorman
As we have born witness to a barrage of threatened and real lawsuits from the highest office in the country after a different candidate was elected to replace the current sitting president, there was another suit filed here in Houston that hit a bit closer to home. Jeff Luhnow, the former GM of the Astros, is suing his former team for $1 million, claiming they fired him without cause after the sign-stealing scandal that embroiled the team in controversy before the start of the 2020 season.

While A.J. Hinch was taking over the reins of the Detroit Tigers after admitting he was (somewhat) culpable in the scandal and the Red Sox were re-hiring former Astros assistant Alex Cora after his yearlong suspension, Lunhow was continuing to grumble about how unfair it has all been for him, appearing on local news to claim he knew nothing about what was happening in the Astros clubhouse in 2017. We assume he thought those bangs coming from the tunnel were just people throwing away really heavy garbage.

But, he goes even further in his assertions, claiming without evidence (where have we heard that phrase recently?) that the Astros and Major League Baseball conspired to use the former GM as a scapegoat as a means of tamping down the growing scandal. And he wants to publicly air these grievances in front of a Harris County jury.

Good luck with that.

Luhnow, for all his brilliance as the architect of the Astros roster and an innovator in the game, is just not dealing with reality. We wrote about how he is doing nothing but hurting himself through the interview, but this is a whole other level of ignorance if he thinks the people of Houston are going to side with him, never mind a court of law.

His "legacy," whatever remains of it, is being tarnished every second he refuses to move on. He thinks he is clearing his name, but he is only muddying the waters further and dragging his former team, and baseball, through it with him.

And, according to the lawsuit, this is all because he believes the Astros didn't have cause to fire him since he wasn't involved in the sign stealing. Setting aside for the moment how unbelievably ridiculous that sounds, his firing was entirely justified regardless. If he did know (narrator: he did), that is obviously grounds for dismissal. But, if he didn't know, he should be fired anyway.

This is the general manager for the ball club. His job is to literally oversee the entire operation. If he didn't know they were cheating, that either makes him willfully ignorant or completely derelict in his duties. Either way, to quote the current White House occupant: You're fired.

There's a reason guys like Cora and Hinch have gotten jobs and Lunhow hasn't. It isn't because he is not good at his job. He clearly is. It isn't because he is being blackballed. He isn't. It's because he cannot be trusted. What franchise is going to hire a guy who claims to have no knowledge of one of the biggest scandals in the last 30 years of baseball and, when fired, sues his former employer for restitution. If he wants another gig, he sure isn't acting like it.

Everyone seems to be litigation happy these days and, apparently, Luhnow is no different. And, much like the lawsuits dealing with the election, Luhnow's frivolous attempt at reclaiming his reputation (if that is even possible) while grabbing a little cash in the process seems doomed to failure. In the end, he is going to wind up where he started and the only damage he will have done is to himself.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke