BOSTON - A lot's happened. Yesterday, the MLB concluded their investigation into the Houston Astros for their 2017 cheating scandal. The scandal surrounded an illegal use of technology to steal signs from opposing teams and it was clear from old video footage (which included the noise of trash cans banging, the sign the Astros would use to alert players at bat) that the Astros were doing exactly what The Athletic alleged them of doing back in November.
The MLB seemed to agree with this as their investigation led to the season-long suspensions for the general manager of the Astros, Jeff Luhnow, and the manager, A.J. Hinch. Both men were promptly fired from the team after the suspension, as reported by The Boston Globe.
Oh, but that's not it! Not by a long shot. Because Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora was implicated in this scandal, as well. The report makes it clear that Cora, while he was a bench coach in Houston, helped serve as the ringleader for this cheating system in 2017, which he then brought over to Boston in 2018. There are many fingers being pointed right now and many "he said," "I said," "I didn't know" statements. But it seems very clear that, once the MLB finishes investigating the Red Sox side of things, that Cora is going to get the whole book thrown at him. Reports indicate that Cora will receive a "harsh" punishment from the league, as the one who facilitated the entire cheating system across two different franchises. This could be a season-long suspension. This could be a two season-long suspension. This could be a ban from baseball, as speculated by sportswriter Joe Posnanski.
Not much reading between the lines necessary to predict that Alex Cora will never manage in the Major Leagues again. pic.twitter.com/qiuFkvlaau— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) January 13, 2020
Nothing is official yet, but it is hard for me to envision a future where Cora is the manager of the Red Sox. And to be honest, I doubt he should be at this point, even with the claims still alleged.
Ultimately, this story is just sad. It sucks. It really sucks. Boston sports teams have such a wide array of funds and an ability to do pretty much whatever they want when it comes to trades and free agency. We are one of the biggest sports markets in the world and yet, we still cannot stop cheating. Why can't there just be a season untainted by some sort of cheating scandal? I don't know. I just don't get it.
This story sucks and as much as I loved Alex Cora, for all his kind words in the wake of Nick Cafardo's death and his actions to help Puerto Rico recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, it's hard to even care about what happens to him. Banned from baseball? Suspended for two years? Who cares? I thought he was an amazing manager, but if this is what he's actually been doing, then why would I want him in the dugout at all? Bring on Jason Varitek. Bring on Tim Wakefield. Bring on someone else because Cora won't be here much longer. And honestly, he really shouldn't be.
Image via Wikimedia Commons