Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, and email. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
Should we be concerned with Alex Cora’s role in Astros’ scandal? It seems like he was at least pretty involved. Could MLB suspend him now for any role he had then? – Jim L.
Well, there’s still quite a bit to be found out there. We know Cora was A.J. Hinch’s bench coach on those 2017 Astros, and not surprisingly, he’s been implicated, as has Carlos Beltran, the Astros’ designated hitter then, and now the Mets’ manager. At the least, they knew where to find the trash can that got whacked to signal which pitch was coming.
(Strangest thing about all of this is how the Astros, the most analytically advanced organization in baseball, used Oscar the Grouch’s abode as their primary pitch relaying-device. Don’t they have Apple Watches or something?)
I can’t imagine that Cora gets punished for this beyond perhaps a fine. A suspension seems really unlikely. Part of it is because he’s with another organization now and it would be obtuse to punish the Red Sox for something that happened elsewhere. And part of it – the biggest part — is that you know MLB just wants this to go away, quietly.
The Astros might be the most egregious offender in sign-stealing – the Astros seem to be the most egregious franchise at a lot of things. But you know they’re not the only one, and if MLB did a full investigation of everything that goes in terms of “gamesmanship” or flat-out cheating, with the results public, it probably wouldn’t like what it found.
I suspect they’ll fine the Astros for this, perhaps significantly, then hope it all fades away. Cora will be fine. And if the current Sox are stealing signals, hopefully they’ve cooked up something more elaborate than whacking a trash can.
What does everyone else think? Should Sox fans be concerned Cora will face consequences for any role in this Astros scandal? I’ll hear you in the comments.