The Boston Red Sox announced Tuesday they had fired manager Alex Cora following Major League Baseball’s report detailing his role in stealing pitching signs during the Houston Astros’ World Series-winning 2017 season.
The investigation found that Astros players and employees would monitor opposing catchers’ signals using a camera in center field of the team’s stadium, then relay the signals to their hitters by banging on a trash can.
Cora, then a coach with the team, arranged for a video room technician to install a monitor displaying the camera feed just outside the Astros’ dugout, according to the report.
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The Red Sox announced Cora’s departure on Twitter in a statement on behalf of the team’s principal owner, John Henry, its chairman, Tom Werner, and its chief executive, Sam Kennedy.
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“Alex is a special person and a beloved member of the Red Sox,” the statement said. “We are grateful for his impact on our franchise.”
Cora said in the team statement that he did not want to “be a distraction to the Red Sox.”
“It was an honor to manage these teams and help bring a World Series Championship back to Boston,” Cora said. “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.”
Cora did not comment on the report on his role in the scheme.
The Astros fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch on Monday after they were suspended. The team was also fined $5 million, the maximum allowed, and will forfeit its first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 amateur player drafts, Major League Baseball said.
Major League Baseball did not say in its report whether it planned to penalize Cora, but he could still be disciplined by the American League after it completes a report on suspected sign stealing by his 2018 Red Sox.
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Four people associated with the Astros during the 2017 season — when the Astros won their only World Series title — said the team used a camera in the outfield to steal pitching signs during home games, the sports site The Athletic reported in November.
“Witnesses explained that they initially experimented with communicating sign information by clapping, whistling or yelling but that they eventually determined that banging a trash can was the preferred method of communication,” according to the Major League Baseball report.
Stealing signs using the human eye is a generally accepted practice in baseball, but using technology to steal them is considered a forbidden form of cheating.