Alex Cora and the Red Sox Have “Mutually Parted Ways”
The writing was on the wall for the Red Sox and Alex Cora. A day after Major League Baseball handed out punishments to the Astros for their high-tech cheating scandal, the Sox and Cora weren’t going to sit around and wait and see what fury MLB would rain down on them. Rather, they decided to ‘mutually part ways’, which is essentially a polite way to say the Sox said “quit or you’re fired.”
Cora’s name came up many times over the course of the investigation into the elaborate sign-stealing scheme brought against the 2017 champion Astros. He was named nine times over the eleven pages of Commissioner Rob Manfred’s report on the investigation, as he was the bench coach for the Astros that season. Cora likely brought the scheme with him to Boston in 2018, when he signed on as the manager of the Red Sox. The Red Sox the World Series that year, and the legitimacy of their 108 wins and ultimately their championship, are now under major scrutiny.
Punishments will likely be worse for the Red Sox than the Astros for a handful of reasons. 1: They’d already been warned – and fined – over using technology to steal signs after the 2017 season. 2: The rules regarding the use of technology to steal signs weren’t firmly in place in 2017 when the Astros were doing this, but after the Red Sox and Yankees were both fined for smaller offenses, the rules changed. 3: The sign surveillance only worked at home. The Astros actually played better on the road than at home in 2017, but as you can see below, the Red Sox played significantly better at home – hitting as a team nearly 30 points higher in batting average, they struck out less, hit more hits, including doubles and triples, and in general had a much higher OPS.
There has not been any word at this time as to who may be taking Cora’s spot as manager (nor AJ Hinch’s spot in Houston). We also aren’t aware of any front office or players that might be sanctioned by MLB. This may be the tip of the iceberg, however, as players are now speaking out about how this has happened with other teams as well. In a since-deleted Instagram post, Logan Morrison calls out not just Houston and Boston, but also the Yankees and Dodgers for doing similar things, going back to at least 2014:
So naturally, people are now looking back to see what they can find, and it turns out.. there may be something to LoMo’s claims:
Looked into Logan Morrison’s claim that the Astros were cheating in 2014, and he’s CORRECT.
— Kyle ⚾️ (@KyleNYY) January 13, 2020
Morrison has played for ten seasons in Miami, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and Philadelphia. He did not say if any of his former teams have done any sort of electronic sign stealing, so it’s not clear yet how many teams will be implicated by the time this all settles.