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Monday, June 1, 2020

Articles tagged: Boston Red Sox

MLB has completed Boston Red Sox investigation

Red Sox logo

MLB has completed its investigation into the Boston Red Sox’s alleged cheating.

Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt for an interview on Wednesday night. During the interview, Manfred shared that the investigation has been completed. He said no written report has been produced yet because they have been focused on other more pressing matters.

“We are done with the investigation,” Manfred told Van Pelt. “There’s been a delay in terms of producing a written report, just because I, frankly, have not had time to turn to it with the other issues. But we will get a Boston report out before we resume play.”

An investigation into the Red Sox began after The Athletic reported in their article about the Houston Astros cheating that Boston used its replay room to illegally watch video in their 2018 World Series season. The allegations against the Red Sox were said to be far less egregious than the Astros.

A recent legal case suggested MLB found some wrongdoing by Boston, but the belief all along has been that the findings are not close to the level of what Houston was doing.

Red Sox appear to know conclusion of MLB sign-stealing investigation

Alex Cora

We’ve been waiting quite a while for an update on MLB’s investigation into the Boston Red Sox, but it sounds like the team might already know what’s coming.

Red Sox lawyers were in court Friday as part of a lawsuit brought by fantasy sports contestants over sign-stealing by both Boston and the Houston Astros. One lawyer, as well as the judge in the case, seemed to hint that the Red Sox will be accused of using electronic devices to steal signs by commissioner Rob Manfred.

The lawyer, Lauren Moskowitz, said the Red Sox do not admit to rules violations when asked, according to Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. Judge Jed Rakoff indicated that this was contrary to the commissioner’s findings.

“That’s interesting,” Rakoff said. “So you think the commissioner of baseball was just off base in your view?”

It’s been hinted that the Red Sox were up to something in 2018, but that it was less severe than Houston’s system. This hints at that being true. We won’t know for sure until we see the report, and MLB has been slow to release their findings, but it does sound like the Red Sox are both aware of the findings and don’t agree with them.

Red Sox player reportedly said he believes coronavirus is a hoax

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There are plenty of people who feel the media has created unnecessary panic with some of its coverage regarding the coronavirus, but is there really anyone who refuses to believe that the virus is a real thing? As of Wednesday, there was apparently at least one professional athlete who did not believe in it.

In a story he wrote about the confusion that has been brought about this week by cancelations and postponements due to the coronavirus, Chad Jennings of The Athletic revealed that one Boston Red Sox player said Wednesday that he believes the coronavirus outbreak is a hoax. What exactly the player meant by that, we aren’t sure. The player made the remarks in an interview with another reporter, so Jennings did not want to reveal the player’s identity.

Nearly 150,000 people in the world had been diagnosed with COVID-19 — the disease caused by the new coronavirus — as of Friday afternoon. Roughly 2,000 of those cases were from the United States, and that number is unfortunately expected to grow at a rapid pace in the coming days and weeks. While there has undoubtedly been misinformation spread about the coronavirus, it is anything but a hoax.

The Red Sox player who said he believed the coronavirus was a hoax made the comments on Wednesday, so they likely came before Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the illness on Wednesday evening. Gobert’s positive test seemed to really set things in motion for the cancelation and postponement of sporting events, so perhaps the Boston player felt differently after that happened.

Either way, believing that the coronavirus outbreak is a hoax is dangerous. Gobert actually mocked the way people were panicking over the situation before he tested positive, and he has since apologized for his behavior. The last thing the world needs is professional athletes not treating a pandemic with the respect it warrants.

Report: MLB warned Astros, Red Sox about cheating prior to 2018 ALCS

Rob Manfred

The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox are the two teams investigated for cheating in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and it sounds like they had fair warning of whistleblowers ahead of their meeting in the 2018 American League Championship Series.

ESPN’s Karl Ravech relayed a story on the “Baseball Tonight” podcast around the 10:50 mark about how the managers and GMs of the Astros and Red Sox — A.J. Hinch, Jeff Luhnow, Alex Cora, and Dave Dombrowski — were summoned to a meeting with chief baseball officer Joe Torre ahead of the 2018 ALCS, where they were collectively warned that any cheating ran the risk of being exposed by someone who left their organization.

“At some point there’s going to be a player or players or front office person that’s going to leave your team, go to another team, and basically rat you guys out, basically tell the dirty secrets,” Ravech said of Torre’s message.

Ravech said the meeting “scared the heck” out of both teams and ensured that any behavior did not continue into 2019. He added it was unclear if Torre knew specifics of what both teams were doing or was simply issuing a warning.

Ultimately, this came true in the Astros’ case, as Mike Fiers went public with information about their system. It seems very hard to believe that both teams would be shocked by this sort of disclosure. It’s also not clear how much MLB knew at the time and how serious they were about pursuing it. It is the closest we’ve come to getting a reason for the Astros no longer cheating into the 2019 season as MLB investigators claim happened, a finding questioned by some players.

This sure makes it sound like MLB knew something was up at early as 2018, assuming this report is correct. It would make sense considering the Red Sox had run afoul of sign stealing rules a year earlier. The question would then become why they didn’t act more authoritatively at the time, which helped lead to what we’re seeing now.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Report: Red Sox sign-stealing investigation to take at least another week

Alex Cora

Major League Baseball appears to be leaving no stone unturned in its investigation into allegations that the Boston Red Sox illegally stole signs during their World Series season in 2018.

While the feeling for weeks has been that MLB is on the verge of releasing its findings and levying potential disciplinary action against the Red Sox, Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe reported on Tuesday that the investigation will not be wrapped up until next week at the earliest. There were rumblings at one point that MLB would want to finish with the probe prior to spring training games, but it is already too late for that.

The investigation began six weeks ago after a report from the The Athletic cited anonymous sources who said the Red Sox illegally used their video replay room to steal signs in 2018. Former manager Alex Cora has been fired stemming from his role as one of the masterminds behind the sign-stealing scheme with the Houston Astros, but MLB chose to hold off on discipline for him until the Red Sox investigation is also completed.

There have been numerous reports that whatever the Red Sox were doing — if anything — was not nearly as egregious as what went on in Houston in 2017. Several Boston players have expressed confidence that MLB is not going to find anything substantial.

There has been a tremendous amount of backlash against MLB commissioner Rob Manfred for his handling of the Astros investigation, so that could be why the league is being so diligent with the Red Sox.

Ian Kinsler hints Red Sox used video to help steal signs, defends ‘system’

Alex Cora

Ian Kinsler spent half of a season with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, and he admits the team had a solid system in place for decoding opponents’ signals when he got there. However, Kinsler insists that everything he saw the Red Sox doing and took part in himself was within the rules.

Kinsler told 1310 The Ticket in Dallas this week that what the Red Sox were doing during their World Series season in 2018 was “not anything close to what’s going on (in Houston).”

“When I was injected into that team in the middle of the season, it was a lot like the Rangers clubs I was on, where it was just a very tight-knit group and their system was flawless,” Kinsler said, as transcribed by Chris Cotillo of MLive.com. “They just had a very good system of relaying from second base to home plate. That was it. Honestly. We’ll see what happens with the commissioner’s report.”

The Red Sox have been accused of illegally using the video replay room at Fenway Park to study opponents’ signals. Kinsler seemed to acknowledge that players used the video room, but he implied that the information was readily available and almost impossible to ignore.

“If there’s a video and you’re going to check out your at-bat and while you’re checking out your at-bat, there’s a runner on second base also, and you look through your at-bat to see your personal flaws and what you’re trying to fix for the next time … I’m going to go back again and check out the signs and see if I can crack them,” Kinsler said. “If I can, I can. If I can’t, I can’t.”

Kinsler said the Red Sox could no longer “run our system” in the playoffs because good teams are constantly changing their signs. The 2018 postseason was also the same time MLB began monitoring video rooms with on-site personnel, so the practice may have officially ended there.

The issue with the Red Sox will likely be whether or not they continued engaging in illegal practices even after being warned by MLB. However, it sounds like the concept of using the video room to study signs was common across baseball, which is likely why the league began monitoring the rooms more closely. Everything we know about MLB’s investigation into the Red Sox makes it sound like they are facing far less serious consequences than the Astros.

Red Sox owner John Henry issues statement addressing Mookie Betts trade

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Boston Red Sox fans were not happy when their team traded superstar outfielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers this month, and nothing John Henry can say will make them feel better about the deal. That didn’t stop the Red Sox owner from trying.

Henry issued a lengthy statement on Monday attempting to explain the Red Sox’s rationale behind moving on from Betts. He compared the trade to when Boston dealt fan favorite Nomar Garciaparra to the Chicago Cubs in 2004. Henry also rambled about how the current Major League Baseball system is good for players and allows them to seek new opportunities in free agency. He essentially said the Red Sox knew they wouldn’t be able to pay Betts when the former AL MVP became a free agent next year, so they had to make a move now.

The Nomar comparison is insulting to the intelligence of Red Sox fans. Garciaparra was battling injuries and seemed unhappy in Boston, and the trade — even if it was somewhat unpopular at the time — helped spark a World Series run. Betts is right in the prime of his career and had become the face of the Red Sox, while Nomar was a fading star when he was traded.

Henry would have been better off saying nothing, as his statement is surely just going to irritate Red Sox fans further. What Boston fans wanted was their extremely wealthy team to pay its best player. Even if the decision ends up being the right one in the long run, a billionaire owner talking about how he grew up idolizing Stan Musial doesn’t help the situation.

The way the Red Sox handled the logistics of the Betts trade has also been called into question, and that led to even more frustration for fans. Henry’s statement probably had the opposite effect of what he was going for.