Red Sox, Alex Cora had clear explanation for mysterious light during ALCS
A mysterious light at Fenway Park led to new cheating rumors during ALCS
When it became clear that the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros would be facing one another in the ALCS, the cheating jokes ran rampant.
Some called it the American League Cheaters Series. Many wondered if either team was still cheating, or would cheat during the series.
Then, in Game 5, FOX picked up on some kind of flashing light in centerfield. Suddenly, the cheating rumblings online became a roar.
Alex Cora pointed it out to Dusty Baker and the umpires, who then relayed to ballpark officials that there was something to inspect.
After the Astros mopped the floor with the Sox 9-1 to take a 3-2 series lead, Baker told the media what had happened:
"“It wasn’t in anybody’s eyes or point of vision or distraction. It was some reflective tape that somebody had put out there. It looked like a light shining off the lights, but I didn’t really see it. I didn’t have the angle to see it.”"
Whatever it was, it certainly didn’t help the Red Sox. If they were cheating, they probably would have plated more than three runs over their last two home games, and not allowed the Astros to score a total of 18.
Then, Wale Aliyu, who had been doing a story for Boston 25 News inside Bleacher Bar, clarified that the light was from his work during the game:
You know who would have never made that mistake? Dave O’Brien, Dennis Eckersley, and Jerry Remy, the popular regular-season booth who are familiar with Fenway’s layout and the existence of the popular watering hole, which offers patrons the opportunity to stare directly into America’s Most Beloved Ballpark through the centerfield fence.
Instead, Joe Buck and John Smoltz, who briefly pitched for Boston back in the day, got everyone riled up over nothing.
Even more ridiculous, Boston News 25 is a FOX affiliate.
Will the Red Sox ever be able to distance themselves from the cheating scandals?
Any kind of cheating is unacceptable, but to conflate the Red Sox and Astros’ scandals is irresponsible and factually inaccurate.
It’s also worth noting that MLB found that it would have been impossible for the Red Sox to cheat during the 2018 postseason, as they had league officials present in the video rooms throughout October. They also found Cora to be worthy of punishment for his part in Houston’s “player-driven” scheme, but not for any wrongdoing in Boston.
Ultimately, this incident is a frustrating reminder that the tarnish on the Red Sox’ reputation remains.