The 2018 Boston Red Sox have officially joined the 2017 Houston Astros in an exclusive club: suspended cheaters.
On Wednesday, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred concluded that their investigation found that the Red Sox did indeed cheat. The 2018 champions used its video replay monitor to decode and steal their opponent’s signs during the 2018 season. They also concluded that the scheme was operated by the team’s replay operator, J.T. Watkins, who is also the team’s primary advance video scout.
For this infraction, MLB suspended Watkins without pay for the entire 2020 season, in addition to barring him from being the team’s replay room operator for the 2021 season.
On top of the suspension, MLB also took away the team’s second round draft pick in this summer’s upcoming draft. And although the Red Sox had already parted ways with their former manager Alex Cora, MLB suspended Cora through the 2020 postseason for his role in the Astros sign-stealing scandal when he was their bench coach.
Much like with the Astros punishment, no Red Sox players were suspended or punished for partaking in the sign-stealing scheme.
The punishments handed to the Red Sox hopefully closes a chapter on the sign-stealing scandals, and focus can now be turned to the current issues at hand and whether there will be a season to be played this year.