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AJ Hinch, the number of days removed after completing the one-year MLB suspension because of his role in Houston Astros’s fraud scandal, is back to baseball to manage Detroit Many tigers.

Hinch, 46, interviewed with general manager Al Avila on Thursday and spent the day in Detroit with him and other members of the office. He was hired on Friday.

“I want to thank Chris Ilitch and Al Avila for giving me a chance and the chance to return to the job of hosting this historic football club,” said Hinch in a statement. “The past year was the most difficult year of my life. It gives me time to reflect, which is an important part of this process. Everything that happened during the past year, personally and professionally, has made a lot of views for me, and re-enforces the importance of doing things with integrity and honesty. “

[ Explaining A.J. Hinch’s role in Astros cheating scandal in 2017 ]

Financial terms in Hinch’s agreement were not immediately available. His introductory press conference is set at 2pm

Hinch took over Ron Gardenhire, who retired on September 19 before his contract expired at the end of the season. Hinch played for the Tigers in 2003 under the manager and Hall of Famer Alan Trammell, currently the special assistant to the general manager in the organization.

Hinch will be tasked with leading the Tigers out of their three-year reconstruction and return to the post-season and World Series competition. The organization believes a bright future for the Tigers, with prospects such as Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene emerging. However, the tigers are expected to be unable to play next season.

For subscribers: Why should Detroit Tigers fans take this prospect seriously

Detroit has not gone through post-season since 2014, finishing last in the US League Center for four of the past six years. The Tigers lost 114 games in 2019 and lost 23-35 in the short 60-match season in 2020.

“I’m very proud to play a role in developing that tradition here with the tigers,” said Hinch. And we obviously have that in Detroit. It’s time to start playing winning baseball, and I believe this organization has the power to make that happen. “

[ Tigers fans have mixed feelings on A.J. Hinch: Is he a cheater or a winner? ]

How long it takes Tigers to get back into dispute will depend on Hinch’s leadership and player development. Plans to steal the sign tarnished Astros’ championship season after players were heard beating trash cans to give signs to bats. .

[ Next Detroit Tigers manager must build off what Ron Gardenhire started ]

In the end, the MLB investigators decided that Hinch hadn’t done enough to stop it. Before Boston Red Sox coach Alex Cora, Astros’s bench coach at the time, was also suspended for the 2020 season. Avila had Cora, who helped Red Sox win the championship in 2019. as manager, on his initial roster of candidates, though it’s not clear if he will be interviewed.

“By this managerial quest, we learned that AJ’s diverse acumen in baseball, his analytical knowledge and a passion for games were second to none,” said Avila. . “However, we also knew there were some important conversations about AJ’s time in Houston. During that dialogue, he was clearly very regretful and used that time to reflect on the situation and we believe he will emerge as a better leader because of that. This football club is entering a very exciting phase, with young players poised and ready to make an impact at Major League level. I’m confident AJ is the best man for the job as we strive to bring the World Series championship back to Detroit. “

Tigers chose Hinch because of his knowledge in the player development department, the analysis department, and the front office. He served as executive director of minor leagues and player development director for Arizona Diamondbacks in the mid-2000s, and later as vice president of professional scouting from 2010-14 with San Diego Padres.

For subscribers: Take the case for the Detroit Tigers to hire AJ Hinch as their next manager

Hinch moved into a managerial role with Diamondbacks at the age of 34 in May 2009. He finished the season with a record 58-75 in 133 games but was fired in July 2010 after starting a second campaign with the score 31-48. Kirk Gibson has replaced him as a temporary manga artist.

Hinch has a record of 570-452 as manager for seven seasons, with 481 wins among them with Astros in the 2015-19 season. He brought Houston to his first playoff since 2005 in his first season, losing in ALDS. While his team missed out on post-season in 2016 despite a win-win record, Hinch reached the pinnacle of his career in 2017 with the controversial World Series title.

Under Hinch, Astros lost in ALCS 2018 and World Series 2019. They finished first at AL West for three consecutive seasons before Hinch was suspended and sacked in January 2020 for his role in story in 2017. He is second after Bill Virdon in winning the Astros managers and has the highest win rate (.594) in franchise history.

Now, Hinch will wear the Tigers’ team uniform for the first time since 2003. That season, he hit .203 with 3 home and 11 RBI in 27 games.

It is not clear whether Hinch will retain any member of Gardenhire’s coaching staff in 2020.

Tigers interviewed a series of candidates while waiting for Hinch to end the suspension. The list includes: Tigers Interim Manager, Lloyd McClendon, New York The Yankees hit coach Marcus Thames, the Yankees’ third junior coach, Phil Nevin, the Yankees bench coach, Carlos Mendoza, Chicago Cubs Will Venable’s third junior coach, Pittsburgh Pirates’ bench coach Don Kelly, Angles The Dodgers’ third junior coach, George Lombard, Kansas City Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol, Oakland Athletics Quality Control Coach Mark Kotsay and Atlanta Brave coach Sal Fasano.

Among them, Hinch and McClendon are the only candidates with experience managing major tournaments.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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