MLB’s sign-stealing controversy broadens: Sources say the Red Sox used video replay room illegally in 2018

Red(s)HawksFan

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The mention of Beltran is really weird because there was no need to do it. The relevant quote is "Approximately two months into the 2017 season, a group of players, including Carlos Beltrán, discussed that the team could improve on decoding opposing teams’ signs and communicating the signs to the batter." Why include the bolded? Presumably the group "included" a bunch of players. All this does is fuck over the Mets because now everyone is asking how they can continue to employ as a manager someone who was definitively involved in the scheme.

The conspiratorial view of this is that MLB knows it can't suspend Beltran alone because it would raise the question of why other players weren't also getting suspended, so it's passed the buck to the Mets to make a disciplinary decision. The ultimate question is, if Beltran were just enjoying his retirement in a villa in Puerto Rico somewhere, would he have been named in the report at all?
I suspect that Beltran was the only one named because he's the only one who's no longer an active player. Even though players were clearly involved, it seems like MLB wants to lay all the blame on the management level and put the punishments on them. It makes sense to that end to not name other players in the report so as to not brand them with a scarlet letter and raise the ire of MLBPA.

Frankly, I don't see why the Mets need to be under any pressure to discipline Beltran for something they had nothing to do with. If they want to re-think the hiring based on this new information, fine. But if they see it as activities as a player that won't impact his ability to manage their club, they're perfectly entitled to keep him on. I mean, teams have hired Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds in coaching roles despite their PED allegations/admissions. Should they not have for fear that they might corrupt players into using PEDs themselves?
 

jon abbey

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Some confusing posts here, Cora and Beltran were named and named often because they were the two people who put this in place and ran it in HOU in 2017. I thought this was common knowledge at this point?
 

BaseballJones

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Some confusing posts here, Cora and Beltran were named and named often because they were the two people who put this in place and ran it in HOU in 2017. I thought this was common knowledge at this point?
It's common knowledge because that's what Houston told MLB, right?
 

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Some confusing posts here, Cora and Beltran were named and named often because they were the two people who put this in place and ran it in HOU in 2017. I thought this was common knowledge at this point?
It may be common knowledge from other sources but nowhere does the actual report say anything like that. Unless I missed it the only explicit mention of Beltran is that the group of players that came up with the idea “included” him. It says nothing else about his level of involvement - which is my point, MLB is essentially passing the buck even though it could have tried to suspend him as having had more involvement than the other players.
 

jon abbey

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It's common knowledge because that's what Houston told MLB, right?
"Houston" is not a person, they interviewed close to 70 people individually and the players, including the ones on different teams now, all got immunity as long as it turned out they weren't lying.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Some confusing posts here, Cora and Beltran were named and named often because they were the two people who put this in place and ran it in HOU in 2017. I thought this was common knowledge at this point?
So say the guys who otherwise have their asses in a sling (Houston management). No one is denying that Beltran and Cora participated. The question is whether they were truly the ringleaders of the scheme or convenient scapegoats fingered by people trying to minimize their own culpability.
 

jon abbey

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So say the guys who otherwise have their asses in a sling (Houston management). No one is denying that Beltran and Cora participated. The question is whether they were truly the ringleaders of the scheme or convenient scapegoats fingered by people trying to minimize their own culpability.
This is my point, besides management, they interviewed dozens of players, all of whom had a huge incentive to be truthful.
 

BaseballJones

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This is my point, besides management, they interviewed dozens of players, all of whom had a huge incentive to be truthful.
Do you really think that MLB granted immunity on the basis of "telling the truth"? We've been talking for a few days about how the MLBPA would fight suspensions for players and how it would be the biggest hellhole of a mess for MLB to go down that road.

And do you really believe that Cora and Beltran were doing this while Hinch was actually against it, but just powerless to stop it? Because that's the "official" story, right?
 

jon abbey

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Do you really think that MLB granted immunity on the basis of "telling the truth"? We've been talking for a few days about how the MLBPA would fight suspensions for players and how it would be the biggest hellhole of a mess for MLB to go down that road.
Yes, which is why they granted immunity on the basis of telling the truth, and promised to go hard after any player they caught lying to them.

And do you really believe that Cora and Beltran were doing this while Hinch was actually against it, but just powerless to stop it? Because that's the "official" story, right?
No, but what's your point? Hinch was punished just the same as if he'd been the person who instituted it, suspended by the league and fired by the team. I'm not arguing that management was truthful in their testimony, just that players very likely were because if 10 players said one thing and an 11th said another, that 11th would be in big trouble.
 

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So say the guys who otherwise have their asses in a sling (Houston management). No one is denying that Beltran and Cora participated. The question is whether they were truly the ringleaders of the scheme or convenient scapegoats fingered by people trying to minimize their own culpability.
Hinch and Luhnow were fired by the Astros and suspended by MLB. I have zero doubt that their statements were self-serving, but I don't see anyone rallying around them. MLB didn't seem to care about their statements. And again, the Astros fired them.

I think it likely that they all knew what was going on and Cora was the guy behind it. Too many interviews and details to support it.

If Cora was treated unfairly, then what did he admit to when he met with Sox leadership?

Edit: And if Cora was not treated unfairly (since the Sox investigation isn't over yet and MLB hasn't done anything), then I guess I don't understand what the complaint is really about. The report?
 

BaseballJones

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Yes, which is why they granted immunity on the basis of telling the truth, and promised to go hard after any player they caught lying to them.



No, but what's your point? Hinch was punished just the same as if he'd been the person who instituted it, suspended by the league and fired by the team. I'm not arguing that management was truthful in their testimony, just that players very likely were because if 10 players said one thing and an 11th said another, that 11th would be in big trouble.
What trouble would they really be in? We have already been pretty much in agreement here that any attempt to go after players would result in a massive issue with the MLBPA and would be an absolute sinkhole for MLB. And therefore MLB wouldn't go after players. Just way way too messy.
 

jon abbey

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What trouble would they really be in? We have already been pretty much in agreement here that any attempt to go after players would result in a massive issue with the MLBPA and would be an absolute sinkhole for MLB. And therefore MLB wouldn't go after players. Just way way too messy.
Unless they lied, and then they would. Domingo German just got suspended for 81 games for a domestic violence issue that was never reported to the police. No pushback from the player or the union, no appeals, punishment accepted, all settled behind closed doors. MLB would do it if they had to, but they preferred not to for the reasons you mention. As is often the case, you get in more trouble for the coverup than the crime.
 

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Seems to me that the guy who got off easiest here—and who didn’t deserve to IMO—is Crane. The first paragraph of the report exonerates him completely for chrissakes.
 

BaseballJones

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I have no reason to doubt that Beltran and Cora were the "ringleaders" in this. But it's simply not possible to pull this off without the enthusiastic support of the players and other management. And so Beltran and Cora are going to be the fall guys for what is undoubtedly a much larger conspiracy (if I can use that term). Hinch got hammered because at least MLB realized that it's just not possible to be the manager and be "against" this but also be powerless to stop it. It was ultimately HIS responsibility as manager so he had to be suspended. But even as they suspended him they still are pointing the finger at Beltran and Cora. If I understand the story right.
 

JCizzle

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It's common knowledge because that's what Houston told MLB, right?
I'm trying to imagine a guy like Terry Francona fingering anyone on his staff (whether current or former) if his team got caught in a situation like this. I just can't see him doing it. I know it wasn't just Hinch and the GM, but I am in complete agreement with the point you're making.
 

jon abbey

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I have no reason to doubt that Beltran and Cora were the "ringleaders" in this. But it's simply not possible to pull this off without the enthusiastic support of the players and other management. And so Beltran and Cora are going to be the fall guys for what is undoubtedly a much larger conspiracy (if I can use that term). Hinch got hammered because at least MLB realized that it's just not possible to be the manager and be "against" this but also be powerless to stop it. It was ultimately HIS responsibility as manager so he had to be suspended. But even as they suspended him they still are pointing the finger at Beltran and Cora. If I understand the story right.
Take a deep breath, man. Management involved were punished (except for Crane, who mostly skated because Manfred seems to be scared to punish an owner directly). No players were punished, so that they could get them to tell the truth. Beltran was not punished, he stepped down/was fired because 1) he lied to the Mets privately about this (this is being reported on Twitter currently) and 2) the Mets didn't want to deal with yet another cloud hanging over their team as long as Beltran was there.
 

jon abbey

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I'm trying to imagine a guy like Terry Francona fingering anyone on his staff (whether current or former) if his team got caught in a situation like this. I just can't see him doing it. I know it wasn't just Hinch and the GM, but I am in complete agreement with the point you're making.
They interviewed almost 70 people (68 was the number, I believe).
 

Van Everyman

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Yeah in terms of punishment, it’s the whole hierarchy – player (Beltrán – via the Mets), Coach (Cora), Manager (Hinch), management (Luhnow). Even the owner got whacked a little with draft picks and a fine (that was really modest but that’s all Manfred was allowed to impose I gather).

Putting the “narrative” aside, isn’t that how it should be?

Edit: meaning, the discipline effectively makes your point about the chain of command, @BaseballJones.
 

JCizzle

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They interviewed almost 70 people (68 was the number, I believe).
The GM put his name on a statement calling himself innocent and naming Cora as a cheater. I don't have much respect for him or Hinch was my point. Even if Cora was the mastermind, it's such a weasel way to handle the situation.
 

BaseballJones

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Take a deep breath, man. Management involved were punished (except for Crane, who mostly skated because Manfred seems to be scared to punish an owner directly). No players were punished, so that they could get them to tell the truth. Beltran was not punished, he stepped down/was fired because 1) he lied to the Mets privately about this (this is being reported on Twitter currently) and 2) the Mets didn't want to deal with yet another cloud hanging over their team as long as Beltran was there.
I'm totally cool, JA. We're just having a conversation. My temperature hasn't gone up at all. We're just talking about this as civilized people. All good.
 

jon abbey

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The GM put his name on a statement calling himself innocent and naming Cora as a cheater. I don't have much respect for him or Hinch was my point.
Yeah, you shouldn't (although Hinch's statement was a lot better than Luhnow's), Luhnow's MLB career is likely over and not just because of this. It seems to have been mostly overlooked, but the Taubman incident was also investigated here which is why his MLB suspension was also announced Monday, and that was the shitty McKinsey win at all costs/fuck the rules culture that Luhnow put in place.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Hinch and Luhnow were fired by the Astros and suspended by MLB. I have zero doubt that their statements were self-serving, but I don't see anyone rallying around them. MLB didn't seem to care about their statements. And again, the Astros fired them.

I think it likely that they all knew what was going on and Cora was the guy behind it. Too many interviews and details to support it.

If Cora was treated unfairly, then what did he admit to when he met with Sox leadership?

Edit: And if Cora was not treated unfairly (since the Sox investigation isn't over yet and MLB hasn't done anything), then I guess I don't understand what the complaint is really about. The report?
I'm not arguing that Cora was treated unfairly. I was more responding to Beltran's role and the lack of punishment. MLB declined to address Cora until after the Red Sox investigation, which makes sense. There is no Mets investigation. There's no reason not to discipline Beltran if he was truly a ringleader. But they haven't. So it makes me wonder how much the MLB investigators actually believe the story that Beltran and Cora orchestrated everything without approval or involvement from Hinch or Luhnow. Did they decide that naming him in the report was "punishment enough", especially now that he's quit his new job under the cloud of the whole thing? Or was he a lesser figure than has been portrayed?
 

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There's no reason not to discipline Beltran if he was truly a ringleader. But they haven't.
Sure there is a reason, Beltran was a player at the time. And MLB decided against going after players. I know it is an unsatisfying answer, but Beltran wasn't in management or in a role that obligated him to provide such oversight. Luhnow was. Hinch was. Cora was.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Sure there is a reason, Beltran was a player at the time. And MLB decided against going after players. I know it is an unsatisfying answer, but Beltran wasn't in management or in a role that obligated him to provide such oversight. Luhnow was. Hinch was. Cora was.
Okay, that's reasonable. But why then is he singled out at all? If MLB decided to forego going after players, why did they name him at all? Is it only because he's retired and no longer protected by MLBPA?
 

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Okay, that's reasonable. But why then is he singled out at all? If MLB decided to forego going after players, why did they name him at all? Is it only because he's retired and no longer protected by MLBPA?
Possibly or they are also looking into what he did in his short stint with MFY.
 

EvilEmpire

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Okay, that's reasonable. But why then is he singled out at all? If MLB decided to forego going after players, why did they name him at all? Is it only because he's retired and no longer protected by MLBPA?
Good question. I suspect because that is what came out of the interviews and MLB wanted to describe how the cheating happened as accurately as the investigation could determine.

MLB didn't punish Beltran, but I don't think they owed him anonymity if he helped develop the Astros' cheating system.
 

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I'd like to know how MLB is going to enforce this going forward. You can't bury your head in the sand and pretend technology doesn't exist and won't continue to evolve. You can't always assume there's going to be a whistle-blower or article written. There are likely many more teams doing something related to sign stealing that broke the rules. They only are investigating two. A precedent has been set and it's likely happened and will continue to happen in the future. Maybe now the players will just do it by themselves. it's like they just wanted to react and make an example of one organization, the other was guilty by association, but they don't want to get to the bottom of how widespread it is.
 

BaseballJones

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I'd like to know how MLB is going to enforce this going forward. You can't bury your head in the sand and pretend technology doesn't exist and won't continue to evolve. You can't always assume there's going to be a whistle-blower or article written. There are likely many more teams doing something related to sign stealing that broke the rules. They only are investigating two. A precedent has been set and it's likely happened and will continue to happen in the future. Maybe now the players will just do it by themselves. it's like they just wanted to react and make an example of one organization, the other was guilty by association, but they don't want to get to the bottom of how widespread it is.
The Yankees broke the rules too. Apparently word is they stopped when Manfred issued his memo, but the memo didn't create the rule; it was basically a note saying, "Look, we are serious about this...cut the crap." The Yankees were one team that was engaged in the crap that Manfred's memo was trying to address. It's just that the stupid Red Sox apparently kept going while allegedly the Yankees didn't. While that may get the Yankees an official get out of jail card from MLB, it doesn't mean they weren't also engaged in 'cheating'.
 

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The Yankees broke the rules too. Apparently word is they stopped when Manfred issued his memo, but the memo didn't create the rule; it was basically a note saying, "Look, we are serious about this...cut the crap." The Yankees were one team that was engaged in the crap that Manfred's memo was trying to address. It's just that the stupid Red Sox apparently kept going while allegedly the Yankees didn't. While that may get the Yankees an official get out of jail card from MLB, it doesn't mean they weren't also engaged in 'cheating'.
I'm not going to go back through the entire thread, and I don't remember reading this anywhere. We need a cite from a source more reputable than "word is."
Edit: something more than the Fiers accusation please
 

jon abbey

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I didn't want to start this, but there is also a good closeup of Altuve rounding 3B after hitting the walkoff HR to end this year's ALCS and begging his teammates not to rip off his jersey. There are other possible explanations, but we heard the buzzing device rumors months ago and it's hard to believe that is what was on his mind as he was about to touch home plate if it wasn't about the device under his uniform.

Edit:

View: https://www.reddit.com/r/NYYankees/comments/epcooc/its_been_rumored_that_the_astros_used_an/
 

Gambler7

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I wouldn't be suprised to find out MLB knew about this as well though didn't want it out in the public and have to deal with the blowback. How would it not be discovered during their investigation?

Either way, what a bombshell and appears to pretty clearly be true.
 

jon abbey

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We heard about the buzzers months ago so I'm sure MLB knew about them also.
 

BaseballJones

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I'm not going to go back through the entire thread, and I don't remember reading this anywhere. We need a cite from a source more reputable than "word is."
Edit: something more than the Fiers accusation please
View: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2871537-report-mlb-not-investigating-yankees-despite-old-alex-cora-carlos-beltran-video


"Major League Baseball hasn't opened a sign-stealing investigation into the New York Yankees in the wake of previous comments made by former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, per SNY's Andy Martino.

MLB reaffirmed its previous stance on the Yankees after a press conference clip featuring Cora calling Carlos Beltran, who worked for New York as a special adviser last season, the team's "biggest free-agent acquisition" heading into 2019.

Martino previously reported that MLB wasn't investigating, nor was it aware, of any allegations that the Yankees attempted to steal signs during the 2018 or 2019 seasons.

Martino noted the Yankees did use their video room from 2015 to 2017 to decode signs, and MLB warned them and the Red Sox during the 2017 season that "future violations of this type will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks.""

Maybe bleacher report isn't more reputable than "word is", but they're citing SNY's Andy Martino, who is SNY's "baseball insider".
 

JimD

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The supposed Sox scheme almost looks quaint next to this. It would make sense that MLB wouldn't want to necessarily highlight the use of buzzers, and the sheer audaciousness resulted in the hammer being lowered on the Astros. Crossing my fingers that Manfred is tiring of the embarrassment being heaped on the sport and downplays the Sox punishment somewhat.
 

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View: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2871537-report-mlb-not-investigating-yankees-despite-old-alex-cora-carlos-beltran-video


"Major League Baseball hasn't opened a sign-stealing investigation into the New York Yankees in the wake of previous comments made by former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, per SNY's Andy Martino.

MLB reaffirmed its previous stance on the Yankees after a press conference clip featuring Cora calling Carlos Beltran, who worked for New York as a special adviser last season, the team's "biggest free-agent acquisition" heading into 2019.

Martino previously reported that MLB wasn't investigating, nor was it aware, of any allegations that the Yankees attempted to steal signs during the 2018 or 2019 seasons.

Martino noted the Yankees did use their video room from 2015 to 2017 to decode signs, and MLB warned them and the Red Sox during the 2017 season that "future violations of this type will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks.""

Maybe bleacher report isn't more reputable than "word is", but they're citing SNY's Andy Martino, who is SNY's "baseball insider".
Thanks.
 

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Starting to seem more and more clear that MLB hoped they could just investigate only the specific conduct mentioned in the two Athletic articles, claim they had addressed the issue and move on, but instead they opened up a huge can of worms.

Edit: And I am sure there are many in the MLB offices, including perhaps Manfred himself, that privately agree with Mendoza and really wish Fiers had just kept all this to himself or quietly raised it with MLB officials instead of with reporters.
 

InstaFace

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And MLB's crack investigative team missed this?
Did they?

Jomboy makes funny videos with great commentary, I'm not exactly going to treat him as a "source" here. Nor that image (or Trevor Bauer's haterade) as dispositive. Lots of people thought a picture of some kids with backpacks were the marathon bombers, too.

edit: for that matter, why would Altuve's worry there be "don't tear my jersey off"? Is there some sort of jersey-tearing ritual for walk-offs that I've missed despite watching my share of baseball? Banging on helmets, gatorade baths, all of that sure, but "rip the guy's jersey off" isn't part of the repertoire I'm used to. Maybe we're misinterpreting Altuve's body language there via some motivated reasoning.

It's certainly possible MLB missed this, but I think given the thoroughness of the investigation as reported, our default stance should still be that they came up with everything there was to bring to light.
 

absintheofmalaise

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Before we all get too far ahead of ourselves here:


Marly Rivera
@MarlyRiveraESPN

13m
The Beltrán family told me that this individual, who claims to be Carlos Beltrán's "niece", is not related to the family in any way. This person may or may not have additional information about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, but they are not related to the Beltráns.

Marly Rivera from ESPN tweeted:
The Beltrán family told me that this individual, who claims to be Carlos Beltrán's "niece", is not related to the family in any way. This person may or may not have additional information about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, but they are not related to the Beltráns.