This afternoon, Major League Baseball handed down serious punishments to the Houston Astros in response to Houston’s sign-stealing cheating scandal. Still, the punishments for Houston’s manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow did not stop there, as Astros owner Jim Crane decided to fire them shortly after they received their punishment from the MLB.
Obviously this is huge news for both baseball and the Astros, but it doesn’t end here; Alex Cora and the Boston Red Sox have next.
Cora, the manager of the Red Sox, was a humungous part of the cheating scandal that took place during Houston’s 2017 championship season. According to a statement made by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, baseball found that Cora was one of the main contributors behind the mostly “player-driven” scheme.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says in statement outlining Astros’ punishment for 2017 sign- stealing scheme that then-bench coach Alex Cora actively participated. Adds he could be disciplined for similar alleged conduct during Red Sox’s 2018 World Series season #RedSox #MLB pic.twitter.com/49Z4Sg0MrX
— Kyle Hightower (@khightower) January 13, 2020
Cora brought a similar method of sign-stealing to Boston when he was hired as their manager in the 2017 offseason and it definitely paid dividends.
Red Sox at home in 2017 (before Cora) and in 2018 (with Cora) in scenarios with a runner on 2B in the regular season
You decide if there is a difference
Note: Remember in 2018 the Red Sox added J.D. Martinez and removed Hanley Ramirez
— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) January 13, 2020
There are obvious differences between both scandals (the Red Sox did not steal signs in the 2018 postseason), but both clearly gave each team a competitive advantage that helped bring a World Series championship to their respective cities. And with Cora being one of the main culprits behind the entire operation, you have to think Boston is filled with anxiety waiting to see what Manfred and Major League Baseball decide to do with their current skipper.
It is technically not a year-long suspension for Jeff Luhnow and AJ Hinch. Their suspensions begin today and conclude the day after the 2020 World Series ends.
It is still a massive suspension — and considering Alex Cora’s apparently culpability, his is bound to be far longer.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2020
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)
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