Reserving Judgment... But What Did the Sox Do and How Bad Will They Get Hit?

Archer1979

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We all know by now that MLB is investigating the Red Sox (or some players) for using the replay room to decipher signals and getting that information so that they can relay the intel to the batter when we have guys one second base.

Since MLB has been quiet(bigger fish to fry with Houston), and John Henry has recently said to "reserve judgment" on how bad it can be, curious as to what we think is the outcome of the investigation as well as what punishments will be levied.

Based on John Henry and Co. thinking that this isn't that big of deal, I tend to think that this isn't that big of a deal. I have to think that John Henry would have some knowledge of what is being investigated and uncovered, and the blowback on him should it be a big deal somewhat tells me that he's probably right. This statement is of course the kiss of death as I've pretty much been wrong on every aspect of the cheating scandals since they broke... so reverse-jinx!!!

At any rate, I'm thinking that the Sox will have been found to have used the replay room inappropriately. The some (not all) used the room to decipher signs and that no coaching staff was involved (speaks to the "reserve judgment" line. Plus, the Sox were road-warriors that year so any advantage that the Fenway layout would have provided didn't seem to make an appreciable difference.

In keeping with what happened to Houston in that no players were punished and that Boston would now be a two-time offender. Also keeping in mind that this could not have happened during the 2018 playoffs, and this doesn't seem to be as egregious as Houston's offense, I'm thinking:

Boston gets fined $1,000,000 (someone's got to pay).
Boston loses first and second round draft picks this year (two time offenders).
Boston loses use of the replay room for one year (punishment fits the crime).

Curious as to what everyone else thinks and why...
 

Ale Xander

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There's not a lot of evidence against the Red Sox. Or at least, we don't know of any real evidence, yet, if it exists. Nothing close to Astros.

Maybe a 250-500k fine for MLB to save face. I don't see the draft pick dockage, at least yet. Or loss of replay room. maybe more oversight and less rope. But if there is no league-wide MLB change on replay room, then Boston will still have a replay room.
 

Green Monster

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How is the described scenario of using the video replay room to decode the catchers signals and then communicating it to the batter with a runner on second base limited to just the home team? Does the road team not have access to video replay feed also??
 

Minneapolis Millers

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How is the described scenario of using the video replay room to decode the catchers signals and then communicating it to the batter with a runner on second base limited to just the home team? Does the road team not have access to video replay feed also??
Yes, the road team does.

MLB would not take away the team‘s access to the replay room as punishment. That puts them at a competitive disadvantage every game. They didn’t even do that to Houston.
 

Archer1979

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Yes, the road team does.

MLB would not take away the team‘s access to the replay room as punishment. That puts them at a competitive disadvantage every game. They didn’t even do that to Houston.
The road team does, but the way that I've read it is that the layout in Fenway Park made it very easy to use for this purpose for the Red Sox. The road team wouldn't have had that advantage at Fenway, and the Sox wouldn't have had that advantage on the road.

My reasoning for losing the replay room is that they, being a second time offender, would be punished in a more harsh manner.
 

JimD

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If MLB finds any truth at all to the allegations, Manfred is going to hit the team hard. I would expect the Sox to get hit with a multimillion-dollar fine and the loss of draft picks (perhaps for just one year instead of the two year penalty that Houston received).
 

lexrageorge

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I would like to think that if some players did occasionally take a peek at catcher signals in the replay room, Manfred would consider it the minor offense that it is and implement penalties commensurate with the violation. However, I honestly did not expect Hinch and Luhnow to get suspended for a full year, either, so clearly Manfred views any form of sign stealing as something far more serious of an issue than most knowledgeable fans would. Plus this will be viewed as the team's second offense, no matter how minor.

So, my expectation is that the team will get hit with a fairly consequential penalty, including fines and draft picks. Probably not as much $$$ or as many picks as Houston, but something consequential nonetheless.
 

BaseballJones

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Is there any indication of how long the MLB will take to conclude this investigation?
I'm still waiting for the NFL to finish its investigation of the Pats' taping the Bengals. LOL

I can't imagine this will take much longer for the Sox. The preliminary indications (maybe I'm just being optimistic) are that the Sox may not really be in all that much trouble for 2018-beyond. But considering it's a second offense (apple watch), they may still get hit hard. Who knows.
 

Muppet

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Fines and picks sure, but taking away the replay facility would be silly. I get the idea that the punishment should fit the crime, but that puts the Sox at a significant disadvantage in every game.

Would be like if a team was found out to be adding a foreign substance or corking to their bats, then the league punished them by not letting them use bats for a season.
 

garlan5

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seems like they need to do away with the replay room and figure out a better mousetrap. not a big fan of replay in baseball
 
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Fines and picks sure, but taking away the replay facility would be silly. I get the idea that the punishment should fit the crime, but that puts the Sox at a significant disadvantage in every game.

Would be like if a team was found out to be adding a foreign substance or corking to their bats, then the league punished them by not letting them use bats for a season.
If that was part of the punishment the Red Sox should file a federal lawsuit against MLB.
 

Average Reds

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If that was part of the punishment the Red Sox should file a federal lawsuit against MLB.
I get that I’m stating the obvious, but a federal lawsuit would be dismissed, because MLB enjoys a SCOTUS-endorsed anti-trust exemption.

MLB can do whatever they want to one if their franchises and the courts are powerless to intervene.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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If MLB didn't take the Astros replay access away (I know abuse of it wasn't their primary offense), I can't imagine they'll take it away from the Red Sox either.

Also, if it comes out that all the Red Sox did was misuse the replay screens for checking signs, and it stopped when MLB stepped up the monitoring of those rooms, then I would think MLB would recognize their own lack of oversight in the matter too. Slap the Sox on the wrist for breaking MLB's trust if they must, but they shouldn't be "making an example" in this case when it is highly likely that other teams broke the trust as well.
 

lexrageorge

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MLB is not going to take away access to the replay room. They are not going to force one team to play under a different set of game day rules than the other 29 teams. We can talk about whether it's justified or not, or whether the replay room should be put on a rocket and blasted into orbit, but there is absolutely zero chance of the Sox being prevented from using the replay room.

Fines and draft picks are in play. The amount and severity are going to be based on what Manfred learns, and how he feels about the team being a repeat offender.
 

Archer1979

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After the Soxfest thing at the MGM in Springfield and JD Martinez's comments, I'm beginning to think that this is going to be a big nothing-burger.

That said, why would taking away the use of the replay room be THAT much of a competitive disadvantage? They can still challenge replays, they just would have to rely on the naked eye as the basis for the challenge. Taking away the use of the replay room would pretty much end the abuse of it across the league.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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After the Soxfest thing at the MGM in Springfield and JD Martinez's comments, I'm beginning to think that this is going to be a big nothing-burger.
I think most of us could type out JD Martinez's comments, nearly verbatim, without having heard them.

He said exactly the right things, which is why he was the one to pass along the team's message
 

Archer1979

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I think most of us could type out JD Martinez's comments, nearly verbatim, without having heard them.

He said exactly the right things, which is why he was the one to pass along the team's message
Except, if there was something there I would have expected something very non-commital along the lines of "I can't comment on the investigation. We'll just have to wait and see... "

What he did say puts him out on a limb if he knew something was up...

JD Martinez Comments...
 

reggiecleveland

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Eventually teams just have to adjust to info being out there in the video room and make new ways to do signals, change them, or even trick the guys watching film. There has to be a way to burn the people that think they know what pitch is coming. If somebody had picked up on it imagine Bregman thinking curve was coming getting a fastball on the inner half.

When game film came to hoops, at first people thought it was cheating to have film, then there were film rules. Some leagues required teams to erase game films more than two weeks old. In the pro league I coached in this summer one coach kept "forgetting" to upload his game films to the league server, unaware the games were on YOutube and other teams were uploading them anyway. My high school team's opponents have at least 8 films online of my team they can watch. High school football every play is available. Coaching to film is now part of both sports. Lots of us will put on zone press, or run a set play, just because we know our opponent will watch.
 
May 9, 2018
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So, assuming that Player A uses the replay room to decipher signals, he still needs to communicate the deciphered signal to Player B who is at bat in real time, so that Player B knows whether the next pitch is a breaking ball or a fastball. Houston appears to have done this with the trash can banging. I have not seen any allegation on how the Red Sox were supposed to have done this.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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So, assuming that Player A uses the replay room to decipher signals, he still needs to communicate the deciphered signal to Player B who is at bat in real time, so that Player B knows whether the next pitch is a breaking ball or a fastball. Houston appears to have done this with the trash can banging. I have not seen any allegation on how the Red Sox were supposed to have done this.
I don't think there's been any allegations that they were transmitting the info in real time at all. The allegations are that they were using the replay room to figure out signals, then passing the info to other players to relay if they were a runner on second.

Essentially, the only alleged wrong-doing was using the video room during the game as opposed to watching the same video on mlb.tv over breakfast the next day and then passing the deciphered signs around the clubhouse later.
 
May 9, 2018
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If so, that seems like a nothing. Players are allowed to look at the replay to analyze their own swing etc., and so I don't know how you prevent them from looking at the sign. They already analyzing the at-bat "Gee, he threw me the curve on 2-2, and the cutter when the count was full." I'm not sure how noting that the C put down two fingers for that adds much. And if seeing the signs only helps if a runner is on 2nd, every team changes the signs with runners on anyway. If that's all there is, I don't see much there.

I say that as someone who supports the crucifixion of everyone involved in the Astros affair, including, alas, Cora.
 
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From the above public comments by Manfred: "After a months-long investigation, the league released a nine-age report summarizing the Astros' illegal use of high-tech sign-stealing. The investigation into the 2018 Red Sox is currently ongoing."

Wonder how many ages it will take to complete the investigation into the 2018 Red Sox.
 

nvalvo

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If so, that seems like a nothing. Players are allowed to look at the replay to analyze their own swing etc., and so I don't know how you prevent them from looking at the sign. They already analyzing the at-bat "Gee, he threw me the curve on 2-2, and the cutter when the count was full." I'm not sure how noting that the C put down two fingers for that adds much. And if seeing the signs only helps if a runner is on 2nd, every team changes the signs with runners on anyway. If that's all there is, I don't see much there.

I say that as someone who supports the crucifixion of everyone involved in the Astros affair, including, alas, Cora.
Exactly. Unless there's something we don't know about, the Sox are fine.
 

Max Power

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Fangraphs seems to think the Red Sox gained 5 wins from the sign stealing scheme.


It's impossible to say whether that was due to random variation or whether stealing signs really helped, but hitters in 2018 were much better against offspeed stuff with a runner on second than without.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Fangraphs seems to think the Red Sox gained 5 wins from the sign stealing scheme.


It's impossible to say whether that was due to random variation or whether stealing signs really helped, but hitters in 2018 were much better against offspeed stuff with a runner on second than without.
It would be instructive if they studied other teams and compared the Red Sox to them. Not just in 2018, but in other years, just to see if there are other instances of teams seeing similar improvements from one year to the other. Might help determine if it is a year-to-year improvement within the norm of random variance, or if there was clearly an outside influence.
 

grimshaw

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Aside from the Mookie talk, Olney mentioned that he heard MLB had something new on the Red Sox wrt to the cheating scandals but was vague on how significant and how it could affect the punishment.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Fangraphs seems to think the Red Sox gained 5 wins from the sign stealing scheme.


It's impossible to say whether that was due to random variation or whether stealing signs really helped, but hitters in 2018 were much better against offspeed stuff with a runner on second than without.
The article is kind of dumb because it compares 2018 to 2017, but ignores that the Athletic article alleges that the Sox (and many other teams) were using the same scheme in 2017 and earlier too. It also includes both home and away numbers, but this ignores the fact that the Sox might not have been able to use the scheme in all parks - the Athletic article makes clear a key component was having the replay room really close to the dugout. And it notes that the data shows no year-over-year improvement against breaking balls even when a runner was on second, which doesn't really make sense because you'd think if you could decode the signs you'd decode all of them, not just fastball/changeup.

That's not to say the Sox didn't gain some advantage - obviously they thought they did or they wouldn't have done it - but it's a fool's errand to try to assign a specific number of wins and losses to the scheme.
 

JCizzle

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I thought the Yankees were innocent though? Can’t wait for CC to weigh in.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I like dunking on the Yankees as much as anyone but that article says literally nothing about the Yankees that we didn't already know from the Athletic article.
 

StuckOnYouk

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We were ripped nationally for the apple watch scheme and still are - including by New Yorkers - and now it turns out the Yankees were the pioneers of it.
Why not gloat?
 

Bigpupp

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View: https://twitter.com/pgammo/status/1224722209123577859

View: https://twitter.com/pgammo/status/1224722722300796928

View: https://twitter.com/pgammo/status/1224723764543397889



Peter Gammons on Twitter:
"Talking about all the "cheating" allegations that get thrown around, I ran through some on a radio show w/Tony Gwynn, Jr. and mentioned a dugout convo about the '17 Apple Watch incident and Chris Young mentioning the Yankees. Chris, one of the great people who ever played... called to say that if that was said, even in humor, he did not and never would have said it. His word is gold."

"To make it clearer: Chris Young didn't talk about it, joke about it, say it"
 

edoug

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Lol. Being old is a helluva thing. Backtracking at light speed.
Or it was told to him off the record and is protecting Young. It would suck if he's having imaginary conversations.
 

jon abbey

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"Yet two high-ranking officials involved in the investigation told USA TODAY Sports they believe that the Red Sox will receive no more than a light punishment, with little evidence of cheating. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the punishment has yet to be announced."

"Simply, there is no whistle-blower in this case like the Houston Astros' situation with former pitcher Mike Fiers, telling The Athletic and later MLB investigators of the Astros’ elaborate scheme using live computer feeds. There are no known Red Sox players or former players who acknowledged that the Red Sox did anything illegal."

 

JimD

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"Yet two high-ranking officials involved in the investigation told USA TODAY Sports they believe that the Red Sox will receive no more than a light punishment, with little evidence of cheating. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the punishment has yet to be announced."

"Simply, there is no whistle-blower in this case like the Houston Astros' situation with former pitcher Mike Fiers, telling The Athletic and later MLB investigators of the Astros’ elaborate scheme using live computer feeds. There are no known Red Sox players or former players who acknowledged that the Red Sox did anything illegal."

Really hope this is true - losing Cora was enough punishment. We need the draft picks and international money.
 

DeadlySplitter

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"Simply, there is no whistle-blower in this case like the Houston Astros' situation with former pitcher Mike Fiers, telling The Athletic and later MLB investigators of the Astros’ elaborate scheme using live computer feeds. There are no known Red Sox players or former players who acknowledged that the Red Sox did anything illegal."
but I thought 3 players came forward to start this in the first place?