On Wednesday, MLB finally dished out punishment for the Boston Red Sox after a long investigation into a sign-stealing scandal. This coming after the Houston Astros punishment back in January for sign-stealing. While the Astros actions were player-driven, the Red Sox actions were not. So, the punishment wasn’t as severe. The investigation states that the replay operator misused the replay room to look at the video and decode signs. It took a while but Major League Baseball is finally done with the investigation after a Winter-long process. Let’s take a look at the punishments dished out to the Red Sox.
MLB Dishes Out Punishment For The Red Sox
Loss Of 2020 Second-Round Pick
Draft picks don’t seem like much but they help build the future for teams. Whether or not it’s enough, this might affect the team down the road. You never know if that pick could’ve turned into the next big thing for a player that can be with the team for the long haul. Yes, the team can survive without a second-round pick but they’d sure like to have it. Given the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, this might prove to be a bigger loss than we think.
J.T. Watkins Suspended Through 2020 Playoffs And Prohibited To Return To Role in 2021
As mentioned, investigations found that the replay operator for the Red Sox (J.T. Watkins) misused the replay room and looked at the video to decode signs. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the following: “I do not find that then-manager Alex Cora, the Red Sox coaching staff, the Red Sox front office, or most of the players on the 2018 Red Sox knew or should have known.” Watkins worked in the replay room for the team and his job was to let the team know if they should challenge a play or not. While doing that, he would find new things to communicate down to the dugout. When players received it, they didn’t know which source was or where it came from so they just went with it. Essentially, Watkins is suspended from his role for two seasons.
Alex Cora Suspended Through The 2020 Postseason
Former Red Sox manager receives punishment form the league but it may not be because of this situation. Cora was the bench coach for the Astros in 2017 for using film to steal signs. When the Red Sox felt that Cora would’ve received punishment, they fired him immediately before anything came down. Cora is without a job and will continue to be in 2020. He was not found responsible for any wrongdoing in Boston but he had a big part in that 2017 sign-stealing scandal with Houston.
Around The Diamond
These punishments are not on the same level as the Astros but there’s a reason why. Manfred found that Red Sox players, coaches, and front-office executives were not involved in any schemes. He also found no evidence that Watkins broke any rules during the 2018 postseason or 2019 regular season. Like the Astros punishment, the public thinks this is a slap on the wrist, especially to the Red Sox. No matter the position you fall under, Major League Baseball has absolutely no tolerance for cheating and something will be done about it.
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