BOSTON, Mass.(WBZ NewsRadio) —Major League Baseball's investigation into sign-stealing,which has mainly focused on the Houston Astros' 2017 World Series run has now revealed that another organization was illegally stealing signs in recent seasons.
The Athletic has reported that the Boston Red Sox used video equipment to steal opponents signs during their franchise-best 108-win regular season in 2018.
Three members of the Red Sox organization in 2018 told The Athletic that during that regular season, players would walk down the hall from the dugout to the team's video replay room to learn signs that opposing teams were using.
The video replay room is just steps away from the Red Sox dugout at Fenway Park. It is in the same hallway that the door to the team's batting cage is located.
The report does however make it clear that the system was not used during the 2018 postseason, as the MLB sent guards to stand outside of the replay room to monitor any potential sign stealing.
“Red Sox sources said this system did not appear to be effective or even viable during the 2018 postseason, when the Red Sox went on to win the World Series,” the report says. “Opponents were leery enough of sign stealing — and knowledgeable enough about it — to constantly change their sign sequences. And, for the first time in the sport’s history, MLB instituted in-person monitors in the replay rooms, starting in the playoffs. For the entire regular season, those rooms had been left unguarded.”
One of the three members interviewed by The Athletic did not downplay the team's actions.
“It’s cheating,” the person told The Athletic. “Because if you’re using a camera to zoom in on the crotch of the catcher, to break down the sign system, and then take that information and give it out to the runner, then he doesn’t have to steal it.”
The link in the investigation into the 2017 Astros and 2018 Red Sox is Alex Cora, the current manager of the Red Sox, who was hired after he was the Astros bench coach in 2017.
This is the second time in the past three seasons the Red Sox organization has been accused of cheating. In 2017, the team came under fire for using an Apple Watch in the dugout to steal opponents signs. Sox personnel were fined, and the organization was warned that any future use of video to steal signs would be met with severe penalties.
The MLB's investigation is currently ongoing.