Red Sox

Timeline: When sign stealing began in Houston under Alex Cora

Red Sox manager Alex Cora could be facing a lengthy suspension by Major League Baseball.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora’s named appeared 11 times in Major League Baseball’s report on Houston’s sign-stealing scheme from 2017, when Cora was the bench coach for the Astros. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Red Sox manager Alex Cora could be facing a lengthy suspension by Major League Baseball. Commissioner Rob Manfred suspended Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for a year for failing to stop a sign-stealing scheme Cora developed as Houston’s bench coach in 2017. The Astros fired both Luhnow and Hinch shortly after the suspensions were announced.

Manfred said he would wait for MLB to finish its investigation of claims the Red Sox engaged in similar activities under Cora’s watch in their run to the 2018 World Series, before handing down a punishment.

Cora’s name appears 11 times in the report issued by Manfred.


Here is a timeline of Cora’s involvement with the scheme:

■  Nov. 15, 2016: Cora hired by the Houston Astros as bench coach.

■  Beginning of the 2017 season: Astros employees in the video replay review room start using the live game feed from the center field camera to decode opposing teams’ sign sequences. Once it was decoded, a player in the video replay room acted as a “runner’’ to relay the information to the dugout.

■ Early in 2017 season: Cora began to call the replay review room to obtain the sign information.

■ Approximately two months into 2017 season: Cora has a video technician install a monitor displaying the center field camera feed just outside the the Astros’ dugout.


■ During 2017 season: Team employees or players would communicate expected pitches by banging a trash can to signal offspeed pitches. Witnesses say the scheme was player driven, and that with the exception of Cora, non-player staff had no involvement in the scheme.

■ Sept. 15, 2017: The Red Sox are fined an undisclosed amount for using an Apple Watch to convey decoded signs to the dugout. Manfred issues a memo to all teams, putting them on notice that “use of electronic equipment to steal signs would be dealt with more severely by my office.’’

■ Oct. 5, 2017: The Astros and Red Sox begin their American League divisional series, which Houston wins 3-1.


Houston won Games 1 and 2 decisively, rolling to 8-2 victories in both games at Minute Maid Park on Oct. 5 and 6. The series became more competitive when the action shifted to Fenway Park, with the Red Sox rolling to a 10-3 win in Game 3 on Oct. 8 before succumbing in Game 4, 5-4 on Oct. 9.

■ Oct. 22, 2017: Red Sox announce a three-year deal for Cora to become their new manager.

■ 2017-18 offseason: Commissioner’s office informs clubs that phones in replay review room and dugout will now be monitored.

■ March 29, 2018: Cora makes his debut as manager of the Red Sox.

■ Oct. 18, 2018: Red Sox beat Astros in Game 5 of the ALCS to advance to the World Series. Houston took Game 1 at Fenway and the Red Sox rebounded to take Game 2. On the road at Minute Maid Park, Boston won three games in a row to advance.


■ Oct. 28, 2018: Cora coaches Red Sox to World Series win over Dodgers.

■ Nov. 12, 2019: The Athletic publishes a report detailing the trash-can scheme, prompting an MLB investigation. The next day, Cora declines to comment on the report to the Globe.

■ Jan. 7, 2020: Major League Baseball announces it will investigate allegations that the Red Sox illegally stole signs in 2018 using the video replay room, following another Athletic report.

■ Jan. 13, 2020: Luhnow and Hinch are suspended, then fired, after commissioner’s report is released.

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