Alex Cora Allegedly Told Red Sox Players That Astros 'Stole' 2017 World SeriesFebruary 3, 2023
Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora is apparently bad at keeping secrets.
In an excerpt from Evan Drellich's new book Winning Fixes Everything (h/t Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald), after he took over as Red Sox skipper in 2018, Cora allegedly bragged about the sign-stealing scandal that helped the Houston Astros win the 2017 World Series.
"We stole that (expletive) World Series," Cora is alleged to have said.
One member of the Red Sox coaching staff told Drellich they knew the Astros stole signs "because Alex Cora told us."
"'We already knew what everybody was throwing before we even got on base,'" the staffer said Cora would tell them. "'We didn't have to get on base.' And everybody was like, 'What the hell does that mean?'"
Cora was a bench coach for the Astros in 2017 and one of the key figures in the sign-stealing scandal.
Per the results of MLB's official investigation released in January 2020, Cora called the Astros' replay review room to obtain information about signs being used by other teams. He also requested a technician to set up a monitor with the center-field camera feed directly outside of Houston's dugout.
The monitor allowed someone to constantly watch the live feed, look for the signs being used and bang on a trash can to relay which pitch was coming to the batter.
MLB suspended Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for the 2020 season. Both men were subsequently fired by the organization. The Astros were also fined $5 million and forfeited their first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021.
Cora wasn't disciplined by MLB at the time, but he agreed to a mutual parting of ways with the Red Sox for his role in the scandal. MLB later announced he was suspended for the 2020 season.
A separate MLB investigation also determined the 2018 Red Sox had their own sign-stealing scandal that was far more limited in scope than Houston's from the previous year. J.T. Watkins, Boston's video replay system operator, was suspended for the entire 2020 season and prohibited from serving in that role in any game during the 2021 season.
After sitting out the 2020 campaign, Cora was rehired as manager of the Red Sox in November 2020. He had his contract option through the 2024 season picked up in November 2021 after leading the Red Sox to the ALCS in his first season back.
The Red Sox finished last in the AL East with a 78-84 record in 2022.