The Boston Red Sox will be up next in the sign-stealing saga. The Commissioner has come down hard on the Astros who have fired their manager and GM.
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane responded quickly to the verdict of guilty dispensed by Baseball Commissioner Manfred resulting in a one-year suspension to his manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow – both were fired by Crane. Unless you have resided in North Korea, this is the result of the Astros concerted effort to electronically pilfer signs of the opposition. Next up to face the executioner is Red Sox manager Alex Cora.
Cora was industrious enough to take his 2017 involvement as Houston’s bench coach and inner circle sign-stealing accomplice tactics to Boston. The Boston program was far less creative than Houston’s drum banging but still simply illegal. Teams had been forewarned and baseball put the electronic magic on the kibosh list. That, however, was apparently ignored.
The discipline ax fell heavily upon the Astros with a $5 Million fine and loss of draft picks the first two rounds the next two seasons. But that is Houston and now next up on the scaffold will be the Red Sox. The executioner’s bar has been set so Cora will undoubtedly face a one-year vacation – without pay. Same as Hinch and Luhnow.
That leaves phase two and based on the Houston response, Cora will soon have the former manager of the Red Sox attached to his name. Crane acted swiftly and so will the Red Sox. Of course, Boston could let Cora enjoy his hiatus and bring in a temp for a season. Maybe Bobby Valentine? Then back to the helm – stench and all.
The Red Sox do have a recent history of circumventing baseball regulations with international signings violations that resulted in the loss of signed prospects, fines, and a moratorium on signings. As far as any walk of shame, that did not seem to exist since internal promotions followed. Not this time.
The Red Sox are also not novices in the use of technology to eavesdrop on the opposition. In 2017, the Red Sox boosted Apple stock by the use of Apple Watches to gain an edge on the New York Yankees, among others. Like this latest indiscretion, it failed.
Chaim Bloom now has the opportunity to select his own manager – a Bloom guy as a Dombrowski guy will soon be gone. The Red Sox will act swiftly to place the sordid mess in the rear view mirror as quickly as possible. Who will take over will not be John Farrell or the before mentioned Valentine.
The Red Sox are a team and an organization that is having – to put it mildly – some difficulties. Poor performances by pricey players and the potential trade of a resident superstar do not bring comfort. Is this an eerie reminder of 1919 when the franchise started to crash and burn after two decades of success?
Meanwhile, those with rose-colored glasses or blinders can use the old “everyone does it” fall back. That will not fly. Baseball is desperately attempting to return fans to the seats and gain back a sports market share they are losing. A statement has been made regarding the Astros and will with the Red Sox. Baseball is going pro-active on personal behaviors and team behaviors be it domestic violence, PED use, and organizational malfeasance.