The Boston Red Sox have parted ways with Alex Cora, who managed the baseball team since late 2017, amid a sign-stealing controversy. Cora had been implicated in the Houston Astros cheating scandal in 2017 and is now under investigation by the MLB for using technology to steal signs.
During his stint with the Red Sox, “[i]t is alleged that throughout the 2018 season the club used a video replay room to steal signs and relay them on to baserunners who passed them on to hitters,” says sports expert Jaiden Sattlemeyr from THEGOODESTATE. “While the MLB doesn’t make decoding signs illegal, the practice is not permitted if it involves using technology.”
Cora is still waiting for the MLB’s decision regarding his punishment. The MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told CNN that for now he is biding his time. “I will withhold determining the appropriate level of discipline for Cora until after the [Department of Investigations] completes its investigation of the allegations that the Red Sox engaged in impermissible electronic sign stealing in 2018 while Cora was the manager.”
Cora’s dismissal from the Astros followed hot on the heels of the suspension and subsequent dismissal of the team’s manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, even though the MLB did not implicate them in the 2017 scandal. When it comes to his dismissal from the Red Sox, Cora said in a statement that he did not want to be a distraction to the club. “We agreed today that parting ways was the best thing for the organization,” Cora said. “I do not want to be a distraction to the Red Sox as they move forward. My two years as manager were the best years of my life. It was an honor to manage these teams and help bring a World Series Championship back to Boston. I will forever be indebted to the organization and the fans who supported me as a player, a manager and in my efforts to help Puerto Rico. This is a special place. There is nothing like it in all of baseball, and I will miss it dearly.”
The 2018 sign stealing incident is not the first time the Red Sox have been investigated for the team’s involvement in such a scheme. In 2017, before Cora’s involvement in the club, the MLB fined the Red Sox for using an Apple Watch to pass stolen signs to hitters.
With Cora out of the picture, and around a month until the start of spring training, the Red Sox will be looking for a replacement. “There’s no question it’s an unusual time to be doing a managerial search. … We want to make sure we do this justice,” said Red Sox’s newly appointed general manager Chaim Bloom at a recent press conference. “We have a lot of regard for our [current] coaches. It’s an impressive group. There’s no reason to think a number of them wouldn’t deserve consideration for this. We are going to turn our attention to figuring out who our next manager is going to be, and what that means for the rest of the staff.”