When Chaim Bloom took the Red Sox job, he didn’t envision his tenure would start like this. He has been tasked with the difficult decision of what to do with Mookie Betts, which I still believe will be traded before the season starts. He has also had to deal with ownership not knowing exactly the direction they would like to take Boston. First it was getting under the luxury tax, now they have changed their tune and want to let things play out and make another run at the pennant. Finally, Bloom is now tasked with finding another manager.
On Tuesday night, less than 24 hours after Alex Cora was implicated by Major League Baseball as the ringleader of the Astros cheating scandal in 2017, the teams mutually parted ways. Many fans are going to have mixed opinions on Cora now. The fact of the matter remains the Red Sox had one of the best teams in the history of Major League Baseball and were good enough to capture the title after the 2018 World Series. That is something no one can take away. Even if the record books wipe out the winner, the games were played, and Red Sox won them.
I am sure that I will be in the minority amongst many of my peers in the writing community. I am almost certain I am going to be in the minority of baseball fans with my opinion on this matter. If you have ever read my work, you know that I have very strong opinions around a matter of subjects and this issue is no different for me. My stance is I DON’T CARE about the stealing signs that has taken place by the Astros and now allegedly by the Red Sox.
This game is about winning especially at the major league level. When the pitchers on the mound are throwing the baseball at 95 miles per hour and in most occasions faster than that, it behooves every organization to try to get whatever little advantage they can at the plate. The Astros went about this more egregiously than any other team. However, Boston didn’t do anything wrong “stealing” signs from the video room.
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/Associated Press
When I say didn’t do anything wrong I truly mean they didn’t do anything wrong. Commissioner Manfred most likely will not see things the same way that I do. Here is why the Red Sox didn’t do anything wrong. They utilized the Major League sanctioned video room to pick up the video on the pitchers. The video room installed and put in place to gather information about the pitchers on the opposing team. Isn’t figuring out how the signs gathering information? Stealing signs is as old as the Black Sox and if you as a fan think that no other teams are doing this then I have some land in Alaska to sell you.
Every team steals signs period the end. How they go about doing it is the problem here. No team has ever been as brash as the Astros were about their sign stealing. Most of the time it is the runners on second base or the third base coach noticing something and relaying that back to the hitter. Some hitter will study the pitchers and the catchers and notice how they set up to deliver and receive certain pitches. That is also sign stealing.
The “integrity” of the game is going to be just fine. This practice has made the Red Sox and Astros the most watchable teams in the game. Commissioner Manfred should be happy this happened to an extent that this much like the Home Run chase between Sosa and McGwire and then Bonds breaking that record has saved baseball once. This may have the same affect. No fan, especially ones who are new to the sport want to watch a game that ends 1-0 every time. They all want to see homeruns and action. This puts butts in the seats and helps grab the attention of the fans. Even the biggest of baseball purists don’t want every game to end 1-0.
It doesn’t make you a bad fan to boast about the 2018 World Series, it doesn’t make you a bad fan to still support the Red Sox. Don’t listen to what the holier than thou Yankees and Dodgers tell you from their glass baseball houses about what is okay in baseball. It is okay to be okay with this.
Baseball is going to recover from this just fine. Alex Cora will get punished, but he isn’t going to be banned from baseball. If you all think that he should be that is fine, as it is your opinion. However, if you ban Cora for this then every single player who was associated with Steroids should be banned as well. That includes two Red Sox legends in David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. It is not our duty as fans to play the moral police. It is our duty to support the team through thick and thin. After all it is surprising given the results that more teams have not done this considering both the Astros and Red Sox did win a World Series. Which can not ever be taken away.