The cheating scandal that rocked Major League Baseball (and the Dodgers) this offseason continues to expand. Originally, it was the Astros being investigated for using cameras and monitors to steal signs from teams. And now the Rex Sox are now coming under fire for tactics used to steal signs as well.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 7, 2020
Per reports to The Athletic, the Red Sox have been employing sign-stealing strategies the past couple of seasons that are questionable, to say the least. The system involved relaying stolen signs on a monitor to baserunners, different from the Astros method.
Alex Cora, the manager of the Red Sox, is now at the center of cheating controversies on both World Series teams he has been a part of. Cora was the bench coach during the Astros 2017 World Series against the Dodgers and obviously managed the Red Sox in the 2018 World Series against…the Dodgers again.
Major League Baseball issued the following statement in the wake of the news:
The Commissioner made clear in a September 15, 2017 memorandum to clubs how seriously he would take any future violation of the regulations regarding use of electronic equipment or the inappropriate use of the video replay room. Given these allegations, MLB will commence an investigation into this matter.
The system the Red Sox reportedly used would send signs along to a baserunner who would then relay them to a hitter. The signs were reported to be sent via body language or actions on the basepaths that were discussed prior to the game. A runner stepping with one or two feet on the base is an example of how this information was relayed.
Regardless of how it was done, this is a little bit different from how Houston accomplished this. Boston relayed the message through players on the field whereas the Astros used a camera in centerfield and relayed directly to the hitter by banging on trashcans. Regardless, it’s pretty easy to see how wrong both teams are.
If you can remember back to 2017, the Red Sox were fined for using Apple watches to steal signs. While stealing signs is not illegal in of itself, the act of doing so using electronic means is certainly not allowed in baseball.