As the Baltimore Orioles and the rest of the league await news about the beginning/resumption of the 2020 season, MLB came down with their discipline of the Boston Red Sox for their cheating in 2018. And unless you’re a Boston fan, I think you’ll be sorely disappointed:
- T.J. Watkins, formerly the BoSox’s video replay system technician operator, is suspended for the entirety of the 2020 regular season and postseason. The league found that he at times utilized game feeds to steal signs.
- Boston forfeits their second round pick in the 2020 first year player draft
- Now former manager Alex Cora is suspended for the entirety of the 2020 season. Cora of course has already been deposed of his duties, so all this means is that he couldn’t sign with another team or play a role in this season – whatever this season ends up being. (For the record, this discipline is the result of his actions with the 2017 Houston Astros, and not the 2018 Boston Red Sox.)
The Boston Red Sox issued a statement in response:
As an organization, we strive for 100% compliance with the rules. MLB’s investigation concluded that in isolated instances during the 2018 regular season, sign sequences were decoded through the use of live game video rather than through permissible means.
MLB acknowledged the front office’s extensive efforts to communicate and enforce the rules and concluded that Alex Cora, the coaching staff, and most of the players did not engage in, nor were they aware of, any violations. Regardless, these rule violations are unacceptable. We apologize to our fans and Major League Baseball, and accept the Commissioner’s ruling-MLB
I’ll put it like this – these “penalties are flat out INSULTING to any non-Boston fan. I might accept that their level of cheating might not have been as hands-on as that of Houston in 2017. But this is seriously less than a slap-on-the-wrist. Again, in my view it’s flat out insulting.
And I’ll be honest; if there was something that could have made the Houston Astros look sympathetic, it was this. Because if I’m Houston I’m pretty ticked off at the penalty that my team got, compared with the Boston Red Sox. This utterly wreaks of the rich just get richer.
Losing a second round pick might be serious for a team, but again if I’m Houston I’m questioning how they only lost a second round pick and I list a first and a second in two different drafts. Nevertheless, this is what the league and commissioner Rob Manfred have decided. So the matter is now closed.