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

Bernie Carbohydrate

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Anyone sportswriter speculating on a vacated title doesn't understand baseball history and/or Manfred's balancing act vis-à-vis the owners. That's just dumb clickbait.

I do buy the rest-- hammer Cora, Dombrowsky, max fine, and a stiff draft penalty. The Red Sox deserve to take a heavy hit on this one. Houston got off light, and even if we lost a fistful of picks we'll be getting off easy as well. The fine is symbolic, give Frazee Junior's assets.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Anyone sportswriter speculating on a vacated title doesn't understand baseball history and/or Manfred's balancing act vis-à-vis the owners. That's just dumb clickbait.

I do buy the rest-- hammer Cora, Dombrowsky, max fine, and a stiff draft penalty. The Red Sox deserve to take a heavy hit on this one. Houston got off light, and even if we lost a fistful of picks we'll be getting off easy as well. The fine is symbolic, give Frazee Junior's assets.
The only thing I care about, or worry about, at this point is the draft picks. I'm hoping the it won't be as bad as the Astros' in this respect, but the repeat offender aspect has me worried - this could offset the fact that the Sox' offense appears to be less significant.
 

lexrageorge

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Anyone sportswriter speculating on a vacated title doesn't understand baseball history and/or Manfred's balancing act vis-à-vis the owners. That's just dumb clickbait.

I do buy the rest-- hammer Cora, Dombrowsky, max fine, and a stiff draft penalty. The Red Sox deserve to take a heavy hit on this one. Houston got off light, and even if we lost a fistful of picks we'll be getting off easy as well. The fine is symbolic, give Frazee Junior's assets.
The bolded seems strange to me. From what we know, what happened seems minor, especially compared to what Houston did.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The bolded seems strange to me. From what we know, what happened seems minor, especially compared to what Houston did.
Yeah, I don't understand anyone saying the Sox deserve to get a heavy punishment. At least not based on the allegations that have been reported. I'm sure the punishment be a bit harsher than the crime because of the Apple Watch debacle, but even then I can't see it being equal or worse than the Astros got.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

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Yeah, I don't understand anyone saying the Sox deserve to get a heavy punishment. At least not based on the allegations that have been reported. I'm sure the punishment be a bit harsher than the crime because of the Apple Watch debacle, but even then I can't see it being equal or worse than the Astros got.
I'm assuming the repeat offender status will get us at or near the Astros penalty, and I maintain that's fair (well relatively fair, by MLB's inconsistent justice standards). The Sox got caught cheating in 2017. They were put on notice. They cheated again in 2018. Even if the Astros did worse, we were already on "probation."
 
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Average Reds

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I'm assuming the repeat offender status will get us at or near the Astros penalty, and I maintain that's fair (well relatively fair, by MLB's inconsistent justice standards). The Sox got caught cheating in 2017. They were put on notice. They cheated again in 2018. Even if the Astros did worse, we were already on "probation."
This has been my expectation as well. Co-sign.
 

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soxhop411

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No punishment announcement this week. Goal is by the regular season:
MLB is not expected to announce findings from its illegal sign-stealing investigation into the 2018 Red Sox this week, but the plan is before the regular season. Word is that the scheme was not as systemic or widespread as that of the Astros, thus, the penalties are not expected to be as severe. Still, Betts and David Price were part of the team that beat the Dodgers in that World Series, and they are Dodgers now. And you might remember how early this spring many Dodgers went off on the Astros, including 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger saying Houston’s Jose Altuve was not the 2017 AL MVP, runner-up Aaron Judge was. Betts was the 2018 AL MVP.

The Dodgers, though, asked MLB if it should be concerned about acquiring Betts and were assured not to worry.
 

OCD SS

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Anyone they might need to talk to would be available by now with all clubs being right in the middle of spring training, certainly anyone on the Sox. I can come up with 2 reasons for the delay:

1. MLB uncovered that this was much more common than they’d like, and the "Red Sox" investigation has extended to other teams, and MLB is just not letting the media know of the expanded the scope.

2. MLB wants to sweep this under the rug as much as possible, and is waiting to see if there are any more leaks or reporting coming before they release a report, having a least learned hat it looks bad to put out an incomplete report that is then contradicted (if not learning that maybe they should just release the whole thing).

Maybe they think holding off on a report, especially one that deals with multiple teams as in my first scenario, will serve as a PR boost to open the season, and something that will put baseball in the news right before opening day, and taking some air time away from the NCAA. I don't think Manfred is nearly this Machiavellian, and he only seems to take good news as good and doesn't want any bad news out there, but at this point there's not an obvious reason for the delay...
 

Saints Rest

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I think #1 is right. I’d be surprised if this sort of scheming was contained to just these two teams. Many non-Astros have come out saying that “everyone” knew the Astros were doing this. My sense is that if everyone knew, at least some ended up imitating it.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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You still have to throw a breaking ball even if you believe the other team has an advanced sign stealing scheme, so yes.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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You still have to throw a breaking ball even if you believe the other team has an advanced sign stealing scheme, so yes.
If the Dodgers knew the Astros were using the CF camara to steal signs, they would have notified MLB before the series started, MLB would have put an official in the Astros dugout and that would have been the end of it. Instead, as always, they only changed the signs when a base runner was on 2nd.

If everyone knew about it why did Cora feel the need to warn Martinez?
 

CoffeeNerdness

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I mean you're moving the goal posts from generally knowing about a sign stealing scheme to knowing the specific details. Also, eight teams dimed out the Astros to the MLB and the MLB ignored all of them.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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I mean you're moving the goal posts from generally knowing about a sign stealing scheme to knowing the specific details. Also, eight teams dimed out the Astros to the MLB and the MLB ignored all of them.
Is there evidence that other teams were using the CF camara? In response to the other poster, "cheating" is a far better description than "an advanced sign stealing scheme".
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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The idea that the commishioner’s office would think it appropriate to “clear” a specific player at request while continuing to withholding the report is all you need to know about how incompetent Manfred is.
I'm so skeptical of all this reporting.

It could have been something far different what is being reported if it's true at all. Like maybe someone in the commissioner's office said something to the effect that "we have no reason at this time to expect to the Commissioner is going to go back on what he said in the Astros' report about the difficulty of disciplining individual players."

I agree you could make the case they shouldn't even be saying things like that but I guess I also wouldn't be surprised if the MLB offices don't want them sitting on an investigation to fuck up the business of baseball transactions.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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View: https://www.reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/fcik3c/proposed_changes_per_verducci_on_use_of_video/?ref=share&ref_source=link


Per Verducci, "The cleanup in baseball is about to begin. In the wake of the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, Major League Baseball is informing clubs about planned in-game protocols to bar non-uniformed personnel from the clubhouse, close video rooms, turn off all live video feeds except for the replay review monitor, and crack down on the use of “engineered” substance mixtures by pitchers specifically designed to create more spin, not just a better grip—all under the threats of suspensions or firings.
The in-game video portion of this has to be a reaction to this Red Sox investigation. People that speculated above that the investigation into the practice of using the video room to decode signs may have started with the Sox and moved to other teams may be 100% on the money.

In terms of the seriousness, Verducci also referenced a conversation with a GM, who said “Joe looked right at me and my manager,” said one GM after Torre addressed his staff, “and said, ‘If your team does not comply, you’re gone, and you’re gone.’”
Somewhere Roger Goodell nods approvingly.
 

nvalvo

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Closing video rooms is the right move. The status quo where you're allowed to watch video, but not use that video to figure out opponents' signs, is just a bizarre set of rules.
 

Tharkin

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It’s most likely pine tar or some other sticky resin-like substance. Bullfrog is more to assist with grip on hot, sweaty days. The sticky stuff is what increases spin rate.
I hear variations of this often enough that I must be thinking about this the wrong way. It seems to me that increasing grip is how you'd increase spin rate. Why does one thing increase grip but not spin rate, and another increases spin rate but not grip? Is it just a matter of the degree of grippiness, like tacky vs. sticky?
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

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I hear variations of this often enough that I must be thinking about this the wrong way. It seems to me that increasing grip is how you'd increase spin rate. Why does one thing increase grip but not spin rate, and another increases spin rate but not grip? Is it just a matter of the degree of grippiness, like tacky vs. sticky?
The bullfrog essentially keeps your hand/fingers dry so the ball doesn’t slip. Pine tar makes your fingers stick to the ball longer when you are throwing which, in theory, causes the ball to spin more as it rolls off your fingertips. Trevor Bauer did a lot of research on it. Basically the only way to increase spin rate is by throwing harder or using something sticky. https://www.sportingnews.com/us/mlb/news/indians-trevor-bauer-cheating-allegations-pine-tar-astros-twitter-explanation-spin-rate/18eue4z3a39jj1g1chagmpbraz
 

koufax32

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Wasn’t it Clay Buchholz that was combining bullfrog and rosin to make something sticky? I want to say the issue came up in Toronto.
 

Marciano490

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How could there possibly be a fulsome investigation into the Astros’ conduct and penalties levied with so much work undone in the Sox investigation, especially given Cora’s involvement with both franchises?

And how can they punish one team definitively when they haven’t assessed how all the others behaved?
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Angels clubhouse manager since 1990 fired for providing illegal substances to increase grip.


Harkins, known as Bubba, has tended to Angel Stadium visiting teams since 1990. He started his career with the Angels in 1981 as a batboy. He left after three seasons but returned as a clubhouse attendant in 1986.
Maybe instead of putting a lifer like this guy on the unemployment line the MLB should be working with pitchers to improve the quality of the baseballs so they don't have to resort to systemically skirt the rules. I suppose if he was helping the other team as the visiting clubhouse attendant then that's a different story, but the reporting is a bit thin.
 

Saints Rest

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How could there possibly be a fulsome investigation into the Astros’ conduct and penalties levied with so much work undone in the Sox investigation, especially given Cora’s involvement with both franchises?

And how can they punish one team definitively when they haven’t assessed how all the others behaved?
This is why (I think) that the "Red Sox investigation" is taking so long. I put those three words in quotes because I think that as they looked at how things migrated from Houston to Boston, they quickly realized that there were similar schemes of varying effect in use by every club. We all acknowledge that "stealing signs" has been going on since Abner Doubleday, so why should it come as any surprise that all teams do this and that not all teams do so in the same way? The Astros didn't invent sign-stealing, they just took it "one step too far." Now Manfred is realizing that that one step didn't cross a simple line, it vaulted over a wide grey area.
 

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The video reaction seems like a twitch when it comes to sign-sequencing. Anyone could be watching on television, figuring out the sequences and calling a pal near the dugout to update him. This makes no sense at all when every team should just be switching things up to end that possibility.

I'm not commenting on "real time" video deciphering of the catcher's call - which is a real issue unless every sign is switched.

Teams just have to be smart. Everything's subject to foul play - from figuring who's covering second base to knowing when there's a throw over to figuring out the third base coaches signs.

I think this is an over-reaction that doesn't really solve the issue of code-breaking.
 

jon abbey

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This is why (I think) that the "Red Sox investigation" is taking so long. I put those three words in quotes because I think that as they looked at how things migrated from Houston to Boston, they quickly realized that there were similar schemes of varying effect in use by every club. We all acknowledge that "stealing signs" has been going on since Abner Doubleday, so why should it come as any surprise that all teams do this and that not all teams do so in the same way? The Astros didn't invent sign-stealing, they just took it "one step too far." Now Manfred is realizing that that one step didn't cross a simple line, it vaulted over a wide grey area.
Or they're just really slow because they're not really set up for this, the Astros investigation took months and they seemed to not start on the Red Sox one until the Astros one was concluded.
 
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The entire thing is a little strange. And what to make of MLB selectively ruling some people out? Like (as has been suggested) telling the Sox that it was ok to proceed with Roenicke, or telling the Dodgers that there was nothing to worry about Mookie? How do you (apparently) absolve some people, yet the investigation isn't over? What's taking so long? This doesn't strike me as something that requires forensic detail to figure out. Seems to me managing the PR impact of this report is taking some time, as is determining what exactly is MLB's position on that very large grey zone where some form of cheating is ok, some other forms cross the line.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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This is why (I think) that the "Red Sox investigation" is taking so long. I put those three words in quotes because I think that as they looked at how things migrated from Houston to Boston, they quickly realized that there were similar schemes of varying effect in use by every club. We all acknowledge that "stealing signs" has been going on since Abner Doubleday, so why should it come as any surprise that all teams do this and that not all teams do so in the same way? The Astros didn't invent sign-stealing, they just took it "one step too far." Now Manfred is realizing that that one step didn't cross a simple line, it vaulted over a wide grey area.
He has an "easy" out for not taking a deeper look at other teams, while dinging the Sox; they're repeat offenders. "While allegations regarding other organizations surfaced during our investigation, we felt as though we had to take a deeper look at the Red Sox given the parameters of our 2017 punishment." Or some such statement. When it comes to sign stealing Manfred is basically Kramer saying "Starting nowww."
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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The entire thing is a little strange. And what to make of MLB selectively ruling some people out? Like (as has been suggested) telling the Sox that it was ok to proceed with Roenicke, or telling the Dodgers that there was nothing to worry about Mookie? How do you (apparently) absolve some people, yet the investigation isn't over? What's taking so long? This doesn't strike me as something that requires forensic detail to figure out. Seems to me managing the PR impact of this report is taking some time, as is determining what exactly is MLB's position on that very large grey zone where some form of cheating is ok, some other forms cross the line.
They can't go after Mookie after letting the Astros players off the hook.
 

jon abbey

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Don't feel like hunting down the reference, but Joel Sherman (pretty sure) said this would be announced this week as a side note in one of his last few columns.
 

Sampo Gida

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But if Mookie’s success were based on an illegal scheme to steal signs, the Dodgers would’ve wanted to know about that before any trade.

Not really , seeing as they didnt give up all that much and really only have a 1 yr commitment. Also, he is a pretty good player without 2018. He doesn't need to cheat to be good, but as we saw with Bonds, cheating can make you much better. However, I do think other teams will want a better handle on 2018 before shelling out 300-400 million. His stint in LA should be an important indicator. I really don't know what he did if he did anything in 2018, and we may not ever know for sure after the investigation results are released, but uncertainty doesn't help him
 

Danny_Darwin

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Don't feel like hunting down the reference, but Joel Sherman (pretty sure) said this would be announced this week as a side note in one of his last few columns.
I predict Friday news dump, maybe around 4:30? I don’t think a ton of people are paying too much attention to baseball right now, if I’m being honest, so if you want something to pass quietly, now might be an ideal time.
 

bosockboy

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I predict Friday news dump, maybe around 4:30? I don’t think a ton of people are paying too much attention to baseball right now, if I’m being honest, so if you want something to pass quietly, now might be an ideal time.
Yes there’s never been a quieter spring training with everything going on.
 

steveluck7

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If you want quiet and a time when the news will be over shadowed, I would propose next Thursday, at around 4:00 p.m.
No one whatsoever will be paying attention