After a three month investigation, MLB Comissioner Rob Manfred issued a slap on the wrist to the Boston Red Sox in their cheating scandal.
The reparations Boston will have to pay fall pale in comparison to those of the Houston Astros. The Red Sox’s only punishment is forfeiting a second-round pick in the 2020 draft. Granted, the severity of Boston’s cheating is not on the same level as Houston’s, the punishment still seems way too soft.
For electronically stealing signs in the 2017 regular season and playoffs, and relaying them to their batters, the Astros received a $5 million fine, had their general manager and manager suspended for a year each, and they forfeited some draft picks. The Red Sox are being accused of the same thing, however — electric sign stealing.
The difference lies in the complexity of relaying the sign to the player in the batter’s box; the Red Sox had a replay official who decoded signs, which allowed them only to be aware of the upcoming pitch when they had a runner at second base. On the other hand, the Astros had a video monitor in the dugout and they banged trash cans for offspeed pitches. That distinction is enormous. Decoding signs from second base has been done since the inception of baseball, but the Astros’ exorbiant use of technology to steal signs crossed the line by miles.
Based on the rule they broke, the Red Sox received a punishment that fit the crime.