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

Captaincoop

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So does there appear to be real evidence of the buzzers, or is it just the tweet and the video?

If that really happened, that's in year-plus suspension territory for me. It would be worth a battle with the union.
 

Average Reds

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So IF the dam bursts and it turns out a dozen or more teams were guilty of the same transgressions (they just didn't happen to win the WS via their crime) MLB will have to:
A: rescind punishments already given out, or
B: repeat said punishments and fire a dozen more managers, or
C: somehow explain why the same crime deserves different punishments by the same hand.
This is becoming a full-fledged clusterfuck.
There is no evidence that any other team is guilty of what the Astros have been found to be guilty of. As far as I know, there haven't even been any accusations.
 

Average Reds

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So does there appear to be real evidence of the buzzers, or is it just the tweet and the video?

If that really happened, that's in year-plus suspension territory for me. It would be worth a battle with the union.
No evidence that I'm aware of beyond what we've seen here. Which is not dispositive either way.

People (not you, the folks who are tweeting) are rushing to grab their tinfoil hats and post anything that comes into their heads, or that they've heard rumors about over the years.
 

brandonchristensen

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I coach both my kids in baseball (assistant coach) and my younger team was the Dodgers in the fall. We have a four way chat for all the coaches and this morning:

940B9A43-2846-43FE-9604-A6B082960405.jpeg

The Sox will forever be branded cheaters in the same breath as the Astros.
 

bosockboy

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Frankly the more that piles on the Astros the better for us. If losing Cora due to his association with the Astros is the worst of it for us we should feel fortunate.
 

chrisfont9

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For what it's worth, the experience of cycling and other sports plagued with cheating scandals is that practically every rumored form of cheating ends up being true. The powers that control the sport deny everything, then admit the obvious stuff but deny the crazier shit, then end up admitting more and more. I am sure baseball feels like they'd rather cop to part of the story, contain the rest, and call it good. It was foolish for cycling to cover up for Lance Armstrong as long as they did rather than admit the problem in full as soon as they were aware of it. But I guess it's like kids saying they don't want vaccines because the needle hurts. It's not a rational approach.
 

lexrageorge

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For what it's worth, the experience of cycling and other sports plagued with cheating scandals is that practically every rumored form of cheating ends up being true. The powers that control the sport deny everything, then admit the obvious stuff but deny the crazier shit, then end up admitting more and more. I am sure baseball feels like they'd rather cop to part of the story, contain the rest, and call it good. It was foolish for cycling to cover up for Lance Armstrong as long as they did rather than admit the problem in full as soon as they were aware of it. But I guess it's like kids saying they don't want vaccines because the needle hurts. It's not a rational approach.
I understand your point. But I can name two instances of a local franchise being accused of "cheating" that were decidedly untrue (DFG and "taped the walk through").
 

chrisfont9

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I understand your point. But I can name two instances of a local franchise being accused of "cheating" that were decidedly untrue (DFG and "taped the walk through").
I half agree. DFG was the stupidest thing ever, at least until the most recent election. The taping thing doesn't exactly seem to have been disproven so much as disavowed, and taping seems more analogous to sign-stealing as maybe a widespread problem that we are only barely being given the underlying story. Anyway, like I said, practically everything ends up being true but not literally. I'm sure there will be an exception to the rule from time to time.
 

pappymojo

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I half agree. DFG was the stupidest thing ever, at least until the most recent election. The taping thing doesn't exactly seem to have been disproven so much as disavowed, and taping seems more analogous to sign-stealing as maybe a widespread problem that we are only barely being given the underlying story. Anyway, like I said, practically everything ends up being true but not literally. I'm sure there will be an exception to the rule from time to time.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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J.D Martinez spoke at the fan festival today.

“I'm excited for the investigation to get over with, just so they can see there was nothing going on here,"

When asked if he believed the investigation would reveal no wrongdoing, Martinez responded affirmatively.

"I believe that, yes," Martinez said.
 
Aug 11, 2019
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A member sent this in to SABR-L, a cartoon from the Duluth Daily Star, July 7, 1907, showing a solution to signaling. It's at the bottom of page 8, so you can either enter it into Page Number on the upper right of the display or scroll to the right. Also, there is a magnifier near the page number box. Amusing.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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“There is a feeling among them that they have something. That there’s something specific that they’re working off of. Whether or not that’s true, I can’t tell you,” Olney said. “Does it rise to the level of what the Astros did? I don’t know. But, they’re asking very specific questions. It’s like having one piece of evidence and building off of that.”
 

brandonchristensen

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Diamond Don Aase

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”Something?” I am glad they have “something.” Sure, the YES center field camera is getting its own Yankeeography and Toronto’s City Centre Hotel’s minibar comes with complimentary binoculars but knowing that they have “something” assures me that this is not ridiculously disparate enforcement of common and widespread violations.
 

Van Everyman

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I can’t read the WSJ piece bc it’s behind a paywall but this was interesting from the NBCSB piece:

Why did MLB not punish any personnel besides Lunhow? The intern who reportedly originally presented Codebreaker to Lunhow, Derek Vigoa, is now Houston’s senior director of team operations. For that matter, why has nothing become of Kevin Goldstein, who according to a report from Jeff Passan asked his scouts to point their cameras into other teams’ dugouts? That information became public before the conclusion of the league’s investigation. Is the front office-driven nature of the scheme the reason that AJ Hinch never put a stop to the banging?
Also, here’s Hinch issuing a non-denial denial about the buzzers in 2019 to Verducci:

View: https://twitter.com/brendankutynj/status/1225924191343517696?s=21
 

edoug

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I can’t read the WSJ piece bc it’s behind a paywall but this was interesting from the NBCSB piece:



Also, here’s Hinch issuing a non-denial denial about the buzzers in 2019 to Verducci:

View: https://twitter.com/brendankutynj/status/1225924191343517696?s=21
I didn't read it either but this might cover some of the same ground.
 

RedOctober3829

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Basically Lunhow lied about his knowledge of the scheme and they blamed it all on Cora. However it started before Cora got there and continued in 2018. This is what Sam Kennedy and Co. was talking about in terms of reserving judgment until the facts came out.
 

BaseballJones

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I have a good buddy who's an Astros fan and he was very quick to pin all the blame on Cora, not Hinch or the GM. Ah, but now it seems like that wasn't quite how it went down.
 

nvalvo

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This is what I've been saying since this broke. There was simply no way that something like this was spearheaded by the bench coach. Implemented, sure. But bench coaches don't decide for themselves what their in-game responsibilities are.

It sure is convenient from a Houston perspective how many of the bad actors in this scheme have moved on to the Red Sox and Mets *eye roll*.
 
Feb 19, 2015
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I have a good buddy who's an Astros fan and he was very quick to pin all the blame on Cora, not Hinch or the GM. Ah, but now it seems like that wasn't quite how it went down.
The only thing I don't understand, if the new reports are true, is why would Cora so meekly bow out and basically let Houston pin the whole blame on him? Especially if he then didn't bring the system, in part or in whole, to the Sox?
 

HangingW/ScottCooper

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What if I told you that mixing up the signs led to 5 seconds more per pitch, which in a 270 pitch game lengthens it by about 22 minutes?

Would your opinion change?
This is why a wireless transmitter amongst players and coaches is necessary. Not an ear piece but something that vibrates in the hat. Catchers and coaches relay signals that are non visual. It shortens the game and solves the sign stealing problem.
 
Feb 19, 2015
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The evidence unconverted by the WSJ strongly suggests that Luhnow is lying about his involvement. It doesn’t exonerate Cora.

So, no.
It's one thing for him to have participated as bench coach in a system that was in place before he got there and after he left. And a totally different thing to be the entire impetus behind it.
 

BaseballJones

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The only thing I don't understand, if the new reports are true, is why would Cora so meekly bow out and basically let Houston pin the whole blame on him? Especially if he then didn't bring the system, in part or in whole, to the Sox?
Well because he definitely was involved, heavily, it appears. It’s just that he wasn’t the inventor of the scheme as the Astros uppity-ups portrayed.
 

Average Reds

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It's one thing for him to have participated as bench coach in a system that was in place before he got there and after he left. And a totally different thing to be the entire impetus behind it.
I agree. It still doesn't exonerate Cora. And he's not coming back (which was the suggestion I responded to) without being exonerated.

Edit: Let me be more direct. It has always seemed obvious to me that Alex Cora got hosed. He was the bench coach, not the manager. And it has always been preposterous to suggest that a bench coach was the driving force behind an organization-wide scheme like this.

That reality doesn't mean that he wasn't heavily involved in his season with the Astros. And his willingness to take the fall (quietly) is an acknowledgement of (1) his role, and (2) his desire to remain a viable candidate for a future managerial position.
 
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nvalvo

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Well because he definitely was involved, heavily, it appears. It’s just that he wasn’t the inventor of the scheme as the Astros uppity-ups portrayed.
Exactly: just because they self-servingly misrepresented the *nature* of his involvement doesn't mean he wasn't involved.
 
Feb 19, 2015
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Well because he definitely was involved, heavily, it appears. It’s just that he wasn’t the inventor of the scheme as the Astros uppity-ups portrayed.
I get that, and he definitely deserved punishment. But if I'm him I don't let them blame the entire thing on me unless there is something significant in it for me.
 

santadevil

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I can’t read the WSJ piece bc it’s behind a paywall but this was interesting from the NBCSB piece:



Also, here’s Hinch issuing a non-denial denial about the buzzers in 2019 to Verducci:

View: https://twitter.com/brendankutynj/status/1225924191343517696?s=21
I watched the interview last night and that was such a chickenshit answer. Hinch wasn't a leader, he didn't do his job properly and his player's didn't respect him. Destroying monitors to show his displeasure and then being ignored by his players, twice, and not having the balls to actually call a team meeting to shut this down, shows me exactly the type of guy he is.

I hope no one ever hired him again, even for U11 baseball
 

cornwalls@6

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I agree. It still doesn't exonerate Cora. And he's not coming back (which was the suggestion I responded to) without being exonerated.

Edit: Let me be more direct. It has always seemed obvious to me that Alex Cora got hosed. He was the bench coach, not the manager. And it has always been preposterous to suggest that a bench coach was the driving force behind an organization-wide scheme like this.

That reality doesn't mean that he wasn't heavily involved in his season with the Astros. And his willingness to take the fall (quietly) is an acknowledgement of (1) his role, and (2) his desire to remain a viable candidate for a future managerial position.
Agree with all this. I’d also ad that as he hasn’t been formally punished by MLB yet, he may have been told, or just realizes it’s in his best interest, to withhold comment for now. It wouldn’t at all surprise me if gets a smaller, but still substantial, penalty than Hinch and Luhnow. And the talk of a multiple year suspension, or a lifetime ban, seems even more ridiculous now.
 

Plympton91

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One of my first posts in this thread was how ridiculous it was that Cora masterminded this whole thing. Glad to have been proven right.

But hey, the Red Sox now appear likely to have an old, mediocre, white guy managing them instead of a brilliant, young, charismatic minority hire, so heck of a job Manfred!
 

leftfieldlegacy

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I watched the interview last night and that was such a chickenshit answer. Hinch wasn't a leader, he didn't do his job properly and his player's didn't respect him. Destroying monitors to show his displeasure and then being ignored by his players, twice, and not having the balls to actually call a team meeting to shut this down, shows me exactly the type of guy he is.

I hope no one ever hired him again, even for U11 baseball
In fairness to Hinch, Astro's management didn't want a leader, they wanted a puppet. The FO and GM were running that show and the players knew it. The players ignored Hinch because they knew there would be no repurcussions from the GM and continuing to steal signals could improve their stats. Hinch had no power to change things so he expressed his displeasure in a childish way by trashing a few monitors.
 

JimD

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If Hinch knew he was being used as a puppet, he should have quit. He knew damn well that they were in the wrong and did nothing.
 

Harry Hooper

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The WSJ piece suggests the Commish has enough material to tell the Astros owner to shut up if he's upset about the Sox getting a minor punishment.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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If Hinch knew he was being used as a puppet, he should have quit. He knew damn well that they were in the wrong and did nothing.
I agree with your first sentence. He could have stood by his principles and quit, but he was the well paid manager of a MLB team with a WS ring and he chose to stay and get paid. He wanted to have his cake and eat it too. My point is that once he stayed I don't believe he had the power to do anything else to rectify the situation because the GM was in on it as was his bench coach and the players. His problem was opening his mouth and complaining that he didn't agree with the sign stealing. Once he decided to stay he should have just shut up and taken his medicine when things unraveled and not cried about how he really wasn't part of the scheme. I completely agree that he deserved his punishment.
 

djbayko

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If you want to read the WSJ article - which is very bad for the Astros, especially Luhnow and the FO - but are paywalled out, you can read it here

Interesting that this Koch-Weser guy essentially blackmailed Luhnow for a contract extension, warning him that they wouldn’t want their secret to leave the Astros organization.
In October 2018, Luhnow met with Koch-Weser to discuss a potential contract extension...“Lastly, I know the secrets that made us a championship team, some of which he[’]d definitely feel a lot safer if they were kept in-house.”
 

uncannymanny

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Interesting that this Koch-Weser guy essentially blackmailed Luhnow for a contract extension, warning him that they wouldn’t want their secret to leave the Astros organization.
Yup, and then you’ve got the guy who was an intern in September 2016 and is now “senior manager for team operations”. Quite a jump!
 

Cokes311

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Yeah, that was one of the more striking parts of the article. The whole thing is striking, honestly. People calling it a "bombshell" on Twitter were not really lying
 
Dec 8, 2017
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If you want to read the WSJ article - which is very bad for the Astros, especially Luhnow and the FO - but are paywalled out, you can read it here

Wow, thanks for the link!

Luhnow's denial is pathetic. This isn't even a he said-he said vis a vis communication between Luhnow and Koch-Weser; the scheme was referenced in multiple emails to Luhnow and is therefore documented! "I didn't read that far into the email." Oy. Regardless of his claims, he SHOULD have known about it, and, given the nature of the organization's new "capability" (it was referred to as "codebreaker" and "dark arts" fercryinoutloud!), he SHOULD have inquired to understand exactly how it was being used. But, of course, he did exactly that. Are you a liar, sir, or just a completely incompetent leader? I'm going with the former.