Red Sox News: Andrew Benintendi says MLB won’t find any cheating

The Boston Red Sox are still awaiting the results of Major League Baseball’s investigation into the 2018 season, but one star says there’s nothing to find.

Spring training has begun and full squads will be reporting to their respective preseason homes on Monday. The Red Sox have been under investigation by the MLB for much of the winter due to allegations into the 2018 season and possible sign-stealing.

A report from Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic sparked the interest in Boston’s World Series campaign. We’ve been told recently by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred that the investigation should be completed soon. Well, first he said it would be finished by the beginning of February. Then at the recent Owner’s Meetings, he said that his goal was by the beginning of spring training.

A report today states that Manfred is now shooting for the end of February to release his findings. Keep searching Rob, you won’t find anything and you would’ve wasted time and money all winter long. Good job by you, Commish.

My friends, we are officially in the spring training swing of things and yet no report from the Commissioner. At this point, it’s just getting ridiculous that they have yet to release any findings. Honestly, if they DID have something on the Red Sox then we would’ve heard about it by now.

Hell, the Astros investigation feels like it took an afternoon to complete. Here we are Red Sox Nation still waiting to see what the hell is in store for our beloved team. This investigation has made the offseason a nightmare for newly appointed Chief Baseball Officer, Chaim Bloom.

Not only was he tasked with saving the budget, but then he also had to separate from then-manager Alex Cora and begin the search for his successor.

This past week that search came to an end as former bench coach Ron Roenicke was named the interim manager. You can look at the interim tag in a few ways but they all relate back to the investigation. He may only be an interim manager due to a possible punishment looming or simply because we still don’t know what kind of judgment is waiting for Cora.

A big difference between the Astros and Red Sox is that Boston’s players have been adamant that nothing happened in 2018 and that nothing will be found. Both J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers have spoken out against the investigation and now left fielder Andrew Benintendi can add his name to that list. He spoke to the media in Fort Myers yesterday and was pretty clear with his feelings.

“I just think we know what’s going on and we know we didn’t do anything,” Benintendi said. “As far as what the report’s going to say, what it says, it says. We need to focus on this year. That’s all we can focus on.”

Benny has the right mindset considering the current circumstances. You can’t control what the MLB will or will not say in their report. Focusing on the upcoming season is what matters the most and seeing the players not dwelling on the witchhunt is a good sight. After an absolute nightmare of a season in 2019, this year is tantamount to the future of the Red Sox.

The majority of the team that not only won in 2018 but then failed in 2019 will be returning for 2020, sans stars Mookie Betts, David Price, and Rick Porcello. However, there are some seriously strong building blocks in this lineup that can allow the squad to bounce back. Benintendi is surely someone who wants to see his production increase this season and will work tirelessly to get there.

Having recently agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Red Sox that won’t extend any time but will allow both sides to avoid arbitration for the next two seasons, Benny has to step up. The left fielder posted a paltry .266/.343/.431/.774 slash with 13 dingers and 68 RBI. All of these metrics were significantly down from 2018. With an entire winter of work and determination, we very well may see the best year from the defensive dynamo in 2020.

“I think we’re all just looking forward to 2020,” Benintendi said. “I think all of us are confident in what’s going to come out. All we can do is focus on baseball. There’s a lot of distractions, obviously. We’re all just ready to focus on this year.”

It’s hard to disagree with Benny that there have been some distractions this offseason. Every week it seems like the Red Sox have been in the news for something. Fired manager, traded superstar, budget cuts, and a cheating scandal. This has been one of the busiest winters that I can recall. However, we’re back to the best part of the baseball season, THE BASEBALL.

Next: Sox prospects that have a realistic shot in 2020

Hopefully, we can move beyond all of the BS that has plagued the organization this offseason and get back to the game. Boston has one hell of a hill climb and we still don’t know what kind of pitfalls Manfred has ready to hurl their way. If the reaction from the players and the lack of any findings to this point are an indication of how the investigation is going, I think 2020 will be a good year.