Major League Baseball recently concluded its investigation into the Boston Red Sox for potential sign-stealing during their 2018 World Series run, and like the Houston Astros the year before, they were found guilty as misconduct.
The Red Sox’s cheating was deemed not as egregious as the Astros, as the only person held responsible was video replay system operator J.T. Watkins, who was given a one-year suspension.
The only other penalty for Boston was the loss of a second-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, and a one-year suspension for former manager Alex Cora, although that was for his role in the Astros’ scandal.
Like the Astros, no Red Sox players were suspended for their participation in the scheme and the organization kept their 2018 World Series championship trophy. Unlike the Astros though, MLB revealed that the Red Sox’s cheating did not carry into the postseason or the following year in 2019.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the organization that was affected the most by the two cheating teams as they lost to the Astros in the World Series in 2017, then the Red Sox in 2018.
In an interview with David Vassegh of AM 570 LA Sports, former Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier sounded off on Cora and the Red Sox’s lack of accountability, and lack of punishment handed down by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred:
“I don’t even know how you don’t state it’s a lack of control by the manager or the staff or anyone. If they’re going to lay blame to one individual — a video guy — and you’re going to say that the manager or a coach wasn’t aware of any of this going on? I find that hard to believe. There’s some managers out there who are clueless and don’t know what’s going on in the clubhouse or dugout at times. But, when there’s a game going on and you’re in the heat of stuff, there’s at-bats and tons of information, you’ve got a guy standing on deck or in the hold.
“If any of you guys have seen on TV, you’ve seen [Brant Brown], hitting coaches have their book open, they’re talking about what the hitter might see, tendencies, all that stuff is being relayed. So you’re going to tell me that this one guy is running up and tapping on the hitter’s shoulder and speaking in the other ear so that the hitting coach can’t hear?
“It’s a typical Rob Manfred story. With what we’re hearing of all the other stuff coming out, I don’t think we’re necessarily hearing all of it. And for a guy like Alex, who a year before was in Houston, where all the stuff was going on. I mean, where there’s smoke there’s fire. Obviously, he brought the system over and knew about the system.
“And if you are a great conspiracy debunker or follower, you’ve seen all these videos of Alex talking about Beltran, talking about Houston, in code terms of all the stuff they were doing when he was in Boston and how he prepared. It’s disheartening to hear. We’re never going to get real results, real answers. It’s just what we’re used to now: brush it under the rug and let everyone forget about it.”
It had to have taken a lot for Ethier to speak his mind about Cora like that considering they are both former Dodgers players. There is a lot of truth to what he said though considering it is a bit suspicious that Cora was considered one of the masterminds of Houston’s operation, MLB says he did not know about what was going on with the Red Sox a year later.
The Red Sox decided to part ways with Cora when the Astros’ investigation was concluded, and thus far have not given any indication rehiring him in 2021 is a possibility.
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