AJ Hinch explains why he still calls Houston ‘home’ after Tigers 6-2 win over Astros

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Monday night was one of the most emotional nights AJ Hinch has had in Major League Baseball as he returned to Houston as a manager for the first time since being fired for his involvement in the infamous sign-stealing scandal.

Prior to the game, a group of fans held up a Welcome Home sign for the Detroit Tigers manager, and then, prior to the game starting, Astros’ fans gave Hinch a standing ovation and the team played a tribute video on the scoreboard.

The Tigers went on to beat the Astros 6-2 and following the game, Hinch spoke to the media about what it meant for him to return to a place that he still calls, “home.”

“A big thanks to the Astros and certainly the fans,” Hinch said after the Tigers’ 6-2 win over the Astros. “I mean, this place is very special to me. It’s the only time I’ve ever been uncomfortable in this setting, in this building. I really do appreciate it. It touched me. I wanted to get out, tip my cap and let everybody know I appreciated it and get inside before I showed too much emotion. But it meant a lot to me.”

“You don’t spend five years together and simply walk away and not have relationships,” Hinch said. “There’s a lot of people in the organization I care about, a lot of players, a lot of executives. [Astros owner] Jim Crane and I have stayed in touch. It’s a relationship that was built over a long time, and they’ve treated me fine.”
“Standing in front of that crowd and coming back and delivering a speech was probably the most nervous and most emotional I’ve been wearing a uniform,” he said. “That mattered to me, and the people in Houston have let me know that it mattered to them.”
“This is where I call home,” he said. “My daughter’s in high school here. I have a daughter who graduated high school here. We own property here. I come home here. My best friends are here. I mean, Houston’s home, and it’s because of the way that my family was embraced when I when first got here and through some of the best times and, ultimately, some of the lowest times.”

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