The Major League Baseball world was turned upside down this week when the Houston Astros were found guilty of electronic sign-stealing during their championship run in 2017.
The penalties included suspensions for general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch, who were then fired by the Astros, as well as a $5 million fine and the loss of first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.
MLB is also currently investigating the Boston Red Sox for a similar form of electronic sign-stealing during their championship season in 2018. Although the investigation has not yet concluded, the Red Sox already decided to mutually part ways with manager Alex Cora.
Cora was the bench coach of that 2017 Astros team and was named in MLB’s findings as one of the masterminds behind the sign-stealing operation. The misconduct the Red Sox are said to have orchestrated isn’t under the same system, but would be impermissible nonetheless.
Perhaps the team that was affected the most by all of this is the Los Angeles Dodgers as they were defeated by the Astros in the 2017 World Series, then fell short to the Red Sox the following year.
Despite the Astros being found guilty, owner Jim Crane recently said he doesn’t believe it taints their World Series win over the Dodgers. Now, Red Sox owner John Henry and president and CEO Sam Kennedy took a similar stance during their press conference, via Alex Speier of the Boston Globe:
Asked if they believe they beat the Dodgers fairly in 2018, Henry and Kennedy respond, ‘Absolutely.’
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) January 15, 2020
The investigation into the Astros concluded that they were stealing signs in the 2017 postseason as well as the regular season, so it is impossible to say their championship does not have some sort of asterisk.
At present time it is unclear whether the Red Sox’s operation carried into the 2018 World Series. Regardless, if they illegally stole signs at any point in the season, their title is absolutely tainted as well.
Considering Boston was already part of an Apple Watch issue that prompted a warning and fine by MLB, it’s presumed they will face harsh penalties if found to have violated league rules.
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