Jim Gray slams MLB's 'ridiculous' response to Astros sign-stealing scandal, calls for player suspensions

Veteran sportscaster and Fox News contributor Jim Gray slammed the MLB's "ridiculous" response to the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal on Wednesday and called for players' suspensions.

In an interview on "America's Newsroom" with host Ed Henry, Gray said that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who is entering his sixth season, is making the situation much worse.

"It doesn't matter who you're a fan of. If you're a fan of baseball, you've got to be upset with this," said Gray. "The job of the commissioner is to uphold the integrity. He has had a massive failure of judgment on all ends. He's antagonized the fans, the players, the very owners that he works for, and the media."

"He is out. I mean, it is just crazy what he has done," he exclaimed.

AARON JUDGE: ASTROS SHOULD BE STRIPPED OF 2017 TITLE, PLAYERS PUNISHED BY COMMISSIONER

Houston beat the New York Yankees in a seven-game American League (AL) Championship Series in 2017, winning all four home games, and defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in a seven-game World Series.

According to Manfred's scathing report on the scandal, the Astros set up a video camera in centerfield in Minute Maid Park during the 2017 season, which broadcast the opposing teams' signs to a TV in the clubhouse. Team personnel would then relay which pitch was coming to batters. The Astros have also been accused of cheating through the 2019 season, but the players have denied those allegations.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. speaks during the 2015 Sports Diversity & Inclusion Symposium at Citi Field on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. speaks during the 2015 Sports Diversity & Inclusion Symposium at Citi Field on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

As part of the punishment for cheating, then-Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were each suspended for a year. Houston fired both of them. Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran were also implicated in the investigation. Cora lost his job as Boston Red Sox manager and Beltran departed from the New York Mets without officially managing a game.

The team was also fined $5 million, but Astros players were not disciplined by MLB.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said he wasn’t 100 percent sure the Astros didn’t violate rules in 2019 but it was his best judgment that they didn’t. The Yankees were beaten in the ALCS by Houston.

But, almost downgrading the seriousness of the investigation, in an on-camera interview with ESPN Sunday Manfred described the World Series trophy as merely "a piece of metal," drawing criticism from professional athletes everywhere.

He later apologized for referring to the Commissioner's Trophy in a "disrespectful way" while attempting to make a "rhetorical point" about the possibility of stripping the Astros of their 2017 championship title.

But, Gray said that Manfred should have been "suspended immediately" for those comments.

 In this Oct. 30, 2019, file photo, Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer celebrates with the trophy after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros in Houston. The Nationals head to spring training with mostly the same squad that won the World Series. They are counting again on being led by a star-studded rotation featuring Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, along with slugger Juan Soto. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

 In this Oct. 30, 2019, file photo, Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer celebrates with the trophy after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros in Houston. The Nationals head to spring training with mostly the same squad that won the World Series. They are counting again on being led by a star-studded rotation featuring Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, along with slugger Juan Soto. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

According to ESPN, Manfred has since acknowledged that he could have set precedent by stripping the title, but that he would be "very concerned about opening the door to altering results that took place on the field."

"There are just a lot of things that happened in the history of the game that arguably could be corrected, and I just think it's an impossible task for an institution to undertake," he said.

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"Who is advising Rob Manfred?" Gray asked Henry. "I mean, c'mon. He just looks so foolish in this and he should have suspended the players."

"The whole thing is just -- it's a farce. It's ridiculous, and the players ... some of the players are saying, you know, these guys should be attacked," he added.

Gray's plea to Manfred?

"Let the public know that the integrity of the game is all that matters. If you don't, if these games are predetermined, if teams have an edge, if teams are cheating to win, then really all you have is a predetermined outcome. And, if you have that, everybody ought to just jump over and watch wrestling," he concluded. "Because if the games are not real and everybody is not on an even playing field, then you do not have a competition."

Fox News' Ryan Gaydos, Jack Durschlag, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.