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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Report: MLB investigating ‘far less egregious’ cheating allegations with Red Sox

Alex Cora

The Boston Red Sox are still awaiting the conclusion of Major League Baseball’s investigation into allegations that they illegally stole signs during their World Series season in 2018, but there is a growing sense that they don’t have a whole lot to worry about.

MLB is expected to release its findings by the end of February, and Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the league has been looking into “far less egregious” claims than the ones that resulted in major sanctions for the Houston Astros.

The Red Sox have been accused of illegally using their video replay room to help them steal signs. According to the report last month from The Athletic, Red Sox players visited the replay room — which is located just steps from the dugout at Fenway Park — during games in the regular season to study the sign sequence opposing teams were using. Any information that was attained was relayed to someone in the dugout, then to a baserunner on first or second base, and finally to the hitter. The system was supposedly not used during the postseason, as MLB began monitoring replay rooms with on-site personnel at that point.

Replay rooms were established at ballparks when baseball introduced replay review in 2014. It’s possible — if not likely — that using the rooms to help decode opponents’ signals was common across the league, which might explain why MLB began monitoring the rooms with on-site personnel in the 2018 playoffs. Even using a video room to help steal signs would not be quite as elaborate as what the Astros were doing, and it may have been more widespread.

Whatever the case, Red Sox players seem very confident that MLB’s investigation is going to turn up nothing like what we saw with Houston. Everything we have heard to this point makes it seem like they will be right.


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