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Red Sox manager Alex Cora fired in sign-stealing scandal

Red Sox manager Alex Cora fired in sign-stealing scandal
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Red Sox manager Alex Cora fired in sign-stealing scandal
The Boston Red Sox and manager Alex Cora have mutually agreed to part ways given the findings of Major League Baseball's sign-stealing investigation into the Houston Astros.Cora, 44, led the Red Sox to a World Series championship in his first season with the team in 2018. He became just the fifth MLB manager to win a title in his first season and the first one from Puerto Rico to win the World Series."Given the findings and the commissioner's ruling, we collectively decided that it would not be possible for Alex to effectively lead the club going forward and we mutually agreed to part ways," reads a statement from the Red Sox.MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Cora was "an active participant" in the Astros' sign-stealing scheme during their run to the 2017 World Series title.The commissioner said Cora, who was Houston's bench coach at the time, was among those who “originated and executed” aspects of the cheating scheme, in which the team used a center field camera to decode catchers' signals to pitchers and banged on a trash can with a bat or massage gun near the dugout to let hitters know which pitch was coming.Astros manager AJ Hinch and team general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday after being suspended by MLB for the team's illicit use of electronics to steal signs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.Major League Baseball also took away the team's first and second-round draft picks in both 2020 and 2021. The team must also pay a fine of $5 million, the report said.Manfred has withheld discipline for Cora until concluding a separate investigation into allegations that the Red Sox used electronics to steal signs in 2018 when they won a franchise-record 108 regular season games and a World Series title.Not long after winning the championship, the Red Sox renegotiated Cora's contract, which included an extension through the 2021 season, with a club option for 2022.The commissioner strongly hinted that Cora will face equal or more severe punishment.ESPN's Jeff Passan said the discipline for Alex Cora is going to be "harsh," citing MLB sources.In his second season as Red Sox manager, the team posted an 84-78 record and finished third in the American League East. Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner and CEO Sam Kennedy released the following joint statement:“This is a sad day for us. Alex is a special person and a beloved member of the Red Sox. We are grateful for his impact on our franchise. We will miss his passion, his energy and his significant contributions to the communities of New England and Puerto Rico.”Cora released the following statement:“I want to thank John, Tom, Sam, the players, our coaching staff and the entire Red Sox organization. I especially want to thank my family for their love and support. “We agreed today that parting ways was the best thing for the organization. I do not want to be a distraction to the Red Sox as they move forward. My two years as manager were the best years of my life. It was an honor to manage these teams and help bring a World Series Championship back to Boston. I will forever be indebted to the organization and the fans who supported me as a player, a manager and in my efforts to help Puerto Rico. This is a special place. There is nothing like it in all of baseball, and I will miss it dearly.”The Athletic reported Red Sox players illegally used their video replay room in 2018 to try to steal opposing teams' sign sequences. According to the article, three sources saw players visiting the video room for that purpose during the regular season."We were recently made aware of allegations suggesting the inappropriate use of our video replay room," the Red Sox said in a statement last week. "We take these allegations seriously and will fully cooperate with MLB as they investigate the matter."Manfred's nine-page report on the Houston investigation mentioned Cora by name 11 times -- more than any individual except Hinch or Luhnow, who were fired by owner Jim Crane one hour after Manfred suspended them for the 2020 season.Cora was also implicated in the sign-stealing investigation while he was with the Astros.“Cora was involved in developing both the banging scheme and utilizing the replay review room to decode and transmit signs,” Manfred wrote. “Cora participated in both schemes, and through his active participation, implicitly condoned the players's conduct.”It's uncertain when MLB will conclude its investigation into the Red Sox. Sign stealing is a legal and time-honored part of baseball as long as it is done with the naked eye -- say, by a baserunner standing on second. Using technology is prohibited."While it is impossible to determine whether the conduct actually impacted the results on the field, the perception of some that it did cause significant harm to the game," Manfred said.Hinch's penalty was among the longest for an MLB manager. Brooklyn's Leo Durocher was suspended for one year by Commissioner Happy Chandler in April 1947 for the "accumulation of unpleasant incidents" detrimental to baseball, and Cincinnati's Pete Rose was banned for life by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti in August 1989 for betting on Reds' games while managing the team.

The Boston Red Sox and manager Alex Cora have mutually agreed to part ways given the findings of Major League Baseball's sign-stealing investigation into the Houston Astros.

Cora, 44, led the Red Sox to a World Series championship in his first season with the team in 2018. He became just the fifth MLB manager to win a title in his first season and the first one from Puerto Rico to win the World Series.

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"Given the findings and the commissioner's ruling, we collectively decided that it would not be possible for Alex to effectively lead the club going forward and we mutually agreed to part ways," reads a statement from the Red Sox.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Cora was "an active participant" in the Astros' sign-stealing scheme during their run to the 2017 World Series title.

The commissioner said Cora, who was Houston's bench coach at the time, was among those who “originated and executed” aspects of the cheating scheme, in which the team used a center field camera to decode catchers' signals to pitchers and banged on a trash can with a bat or massage gun near the dugout to let hitters know which pitch was coming.

Astros manager AJ Hinch and team general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday after being suspended by MLB for the team's illicit use of electronics to steal signs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Major League Baseball also took away the team's first and second-round draft picks in both 2020 and 2021. The team must also pay a fine of $5 million, the report said.

Manfred has withheld discipline for Cora until concluding a separate investigation into allegations that the Red Sox used electronics to steal signs in 2018 when they won a franchise-record 108 regular season games and a World Series title.

Not long after winning the championship, the Red Sox renegotiated Cora's contract, which included an extension through the 2021 season, with a club option for 2022.

The commissioner strongly hinted that Cora will face equal or more severe punishment.

ESPN's Jeff Passan said the discipline for Alex Cora is going to be "harsh," citing MLB sources.

In his second season as Red Sox manager, the team posted an 84-78 record and finished third in the American League East.

Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner and CEO Sam Kennedy released the following joint statement:

“This is a sad day for us. Alex is a special person and a beloved member of the Red Sox. We are grateful for his impact on our franchise. We will miss his passion, his energy and his significant contributions to the communities of New England and Puerto Rico.”

Cora released the following statement:

“I want to thank John, Tom, Sam, the players, our coaching staff and the entire Red Sox organization. I especially want to thank my family for their love and support.

“We agreed today that parting ways was the best thing for the organization. I do not want to be a distraction to the Red Sox as they move forward. My two years as manager were the best years of my life. It was an honor to manage these teams and help bring a World Series Championship back to Boston. I will forever be indebted to the organization and the fans who supported me as a player, a manager and in my efforts to help Puerto Rico. This is a special place. There is nothing like it in all of baseball, and I will miss it dearly.”

The Athletic reported Red Sox players illegally used their video replay room in 2018 to try to steal opposing teams' sign sequences. According to the article, three sources saw players visiting the video room for that purpose during the regular season.

"We were recently made aware of allegations suggesting the inappropriate use of our video replay room," the Red Sox said in a statement last week. "We take these allegations seriously and will fully cooperate with MLB as they investigate the matter."

Manfred's nine-page report on the Houston investigation mentioned Cora by name 11 times -- more than any individual except Hinch or Luhnow, who were fired by owner Jim Crane one hour after Manfred suspended them for the 2020 season.

Cora was also implicated in the sign-stealing investigation while he was with the Astros.

“Cora was involved in developing both the banging scheme and utilizing the replay review room to decode and transmit signs,” Manfred wrote. “Cora participated in both schemes, and through his active participation, implicitly condoned the players's conduct.”

It's uncertain when MLB will conclude its investigation into the Red Sox.

Sign stealing is a legal and time-honored part of baseball as long as it is done with the naked eye -- say, by a baserunner standing on second. Using technology is prohibited.

"While it is impossible to determine whether the conduct actually impacted the results on the field, the perception of some that it did cause significant harm to the game," Manfred said.

Hinch's penalty was among the longest for an MLB manager. Brooklyn's Leo Durocher was suspended for one year by Commissioner Happy Chandler in April 1947 for the "accumulation of unpleasant incidents" detrimental to baseball, and Cincinnati's Pete Rose was banned for life by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti in August 1989 for betting on Reds' games while managing the team.