HOUSTON — An MLB Network interview with A.J. Hinch is piquing interest among Astros fans.
Hinch was fired by the Houston Astros last month after Major League Baseball suspended him for a year. Hinch reportedly failed to stop the team from stealing signs during the 2017 season.
In the interview that aired Friday afternoon, Hinch confirmed that he heard the bangs on a trash can in the Astros dugout and he regrets not doing anything about it. The banging is apparently how the team communicated anticipated pitches to the batter at the plate.
Some fans are now questioning if the 2017 World Series Championship is tainted by the cheating scandal.
Others are loyal to the team no matter what is revealed in Hinch's interview.
"On my ankle is my pride and joy," said Leslie Gipson.
The Sugar Land woman spent more than a month designing an Astros-inspired tattoo that was inked on her right ankle.
"And it’s got my Astros. My baseball. My star and World Series 2017. So, it’s perfect," she said.
And permanent. After the 2017 win, fans flocked to tattoo shops across Houston. In 2018, we reported on Adrian Wagner, a superfan from Manvel who was tattooing the signatures of Astros players on the 2017 World Series roster. During the 2019 playoffs, Ink HOU offered Astros tattoos at $20 a pop.
"We love them," said Brandy Wagner before she opened a display cabinet in her Fresno home. Inside the cabinet is Astros memorable celebrating the team's World Series win.
"My husband has this World Series tattoo, and any time we meet a player who was on the World Series roster, we ask that they autograph his arm," she said.
From Evan Gattis to Lance McCullers, Carlos Correa and most recently: Hinch.
Will Adrian Wagner have it removed?
"No way! We are still headed to the tattoo shop every single time we meet a roster player. One thing we’re really glad, though, Mike Fiers wasn’t on the roster," Brandy Wagner said.
"Any player out there on another team that says, 'Oh, my God! They’re such cheaters.' They all do it. They just didn’t get caught, yet," Gipson said.
So while Hinch may offer new perspective in his first interview since the scandal was confirmed, "I just want to hear what he has to say," nothing will change the fact that the true mark of a die-hard, is unfading dedication to their team.
"I’m proud of my tattoo. Proud of my Astros. I love A.J.," Gipson said. "It sucks, but it’s baseball."
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