2020 Boston Red Sox
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2020 Boston Red Sox / Franchise: Boston Red Sox / BR Team Page
Managed by Ron Roenicke
History, Comments, Contributions
Before spring training started, the 2020 Boston Red Sox were rocked by scandal, becoming a secondary target of the investigation by Major League Baseball into sign-stealing that originally focused on the 2017 Houston Astros. The Red Sox's manager, Alex Cora, had been the Astros' bench coach at the time, and his role in devising and implementing the Astros' illegal sign-stealing scheme was made clear during the investigation. In addition, allegations emerged that the Red Sox had implemented a similar system in 2018, the year they won a World Series title. Based on this information, the team's top brass decided to fire Cora in January. He was replaced on an interim basis by Ron Roenicke, then spring training was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic before MLB could issue the findings of its investigation into the Red Sox's doings.
On April 22, with baseball still shut down, the Commissioner made his findings public, stating that "on at least some occasions" in 2018, the Red Sox had used the video room to revise sign sequence information, in violation of MLB regulations but that the cheating was much more limited than what the Astros had done. In consequence, video systems operator J.T. Watkins was suspended for the 2020 season and postseason, and will have to perform duties not related to the video room if he returned in 2021. The Red Sox also forfeited a pick in the second round of the 2020 amateur draft. Cora did not receive any additional discipline (although he was already suspended for a year due to his role in the Astros' scheme), and no other front office personnel or members of the coaching staff were fingered, as the scheme was not pervasive and there was no indication that it was condoned or encouraged by management. In the wake of the findings, the Red Sox announced that they were removing the interim tag from Roenicke as the team's manager on a one-year contract.
Awards and Honors
- Mark Feinsand: "Boston sign stealing in '18 found limited in scope", mlb.com April 22, 2020.