There is a lot of sadness involved in watching A.J. Hinch’s interview with Tom Verducci on the MLB network. There is obviously sadness for the Astro fans in reliving what has been a huge stain on our team’s one and only MLB title. There is sadness in watching a man dealing with his own failings and taking full responsibility for something that was not all of his doing. It was obvious that Hinch was nervous, honest, contrite and fully human throughout this interview.
It was also uplifting to see someone stand up fully as a man and unblinkingly take on the yoke of responsibility for the cheating scandal. Did he call Mike Fiers a rat? No. Did he blame the players? No. Did he blame the front office? No. Did he say that every other team was doing this? No. Did he say any other team was doing this? No. He said he should have done more and frankly that his inaction led to his guilt.
The most touching thing to me was that his biggest concern when he was fired was that this would pop up on his daughter’s phone at school. He straight out said he knew this was wrong, whether Jeff Luhnow shared the league memo on the subject in a timely manner or not. He came across calmly as someone who wanted to get in front of this, who wanted to get the public interview behind him and who wanted to lead the players on how to handle this when they get to Spring Training.
The ultimate irony was that even though he is no longer leading the team, that he wanted to lead in this moment, perhaps in atonement for not leading them back when this scandal occurred.
A.J. Hinch is human, but he is also a Man with a capital M.