Red Sox manager Alex Cora on the sign-stealing hot seat
The Boston Red Sox are now in the baseball crosshairs for sigh stealing or at least manager Alex Cora is. Will this be an opportunity for Chaim Bloom to get another manager?
Cheating requires ingenuity since you have to obfuscate around the baseball arbiters and your opponents. The cheating issue du jour is the sign-stealing engaged in by the Red Sox of which baseball officials may have had a eureka moment of realization with the monitoring of the Red Sox (and others) clubhouses in the postseason.
For those who assume using technology to advance the cause is a relatively new approach I present a fascinating book by Dr. Rob Bauer of SABR where cleverness included even the use of a hidden telegraph wire whereby signs pilfered via binoculars could be transmitted directly underground to the coaches box – usually occupied by the manager. This happened in the late 1890s.
The legality – at least by baseball rules – is a poorly defined area where some transgressions are acceptable and others are not. My own opinion is the ethics involved. For a musical reference is the number from “Catch Me If You Can” that gives the line “The game ain’t worth winning if you’re breaking all the rules.”
The Red Sox did it. The Astros did it. Other teams do it. Other teams have done it. So what? The known fact is both Boston and Houston got bagged and the dimes were dropped by former players. At the center of this mainstream is one figure that connects both franchises – Alex Cora.
Cora was bench coach of the Astros when they engaged in their covert operations and manager of the Red Sox when they did the same. A noteworthy connection, but the baseball jury or baseball Judge Dredd is still determining penalties to be dispersed especially to the Astros. Cora’s implication may carry over to Boston if suspensions are meted out.
If Cora gets strike one for his Houston ventures just what will he get for Boston? Since the investigation is incomplete and Cora has not – at least yet – been formally implicated I am in full conjecture mode. Hope for the best, but assume the worse. A second strike could result in a third strike being fired.
John Farrell got a break in Boston when Dave Dombrowski took charge. Farrell was not DD’s guy being a holdover from the previous regime, but Farrell had a health card in his back pocket. How do you can a manager fighting cancer? Farrell got another season before he was dismissed and replaced by a Dombrowski guy. Now Chaim Bloom is running the show and Dombrowski is on the sidelines.
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Cora’s 2018 became a 2019 nightmare starting right from spring training. If anything could go wrong – especially injuries – it happened. The magic Cora had in 2018 vanished like a snowball in the Sahara. If Bloom wants “his guy” the current sign-stealing conspiracy may just open that door. But would it happen? Just how much sympathy does Cora have? Depending upon Cora’s level of involvement – a to be determined – I could certainly see the Red Sox jettisoning the manager – a sacrifice to cleanse an organization that already has some real issues in the recent past.
The past. What is in the history of the Red Sox that connects all these dots? The Apple Watch incident is most notable since it falls under the exact situation currently on the table – sign stealing. Then you can toss in circumventing of bonus money on international signings. Certainly a history of mud being dragged into that fluffy white carpet in the living room.
If Cora is looking for a possible bright spot or life vest in this mess it is Eddie Romero. Romero was vice president of international scouting when the money fiasco hit and his level of involvement is just conjecture. What did he know and when? What is known is Romero has been promoted to Executive Vice President/Assistant General Manager”. Maybe Cora will be as fortunate? Maybe the fish rots from the head down? We know where the starts.