2018 World Series MVP Steve Pearce Says Red Sox Won Title 'Fair and Square'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2020

TORONTO, ON - MAY 21: Steve Pearce #25 of the Boston Red Sox waits on first base during a pitching change in the seventh inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on May 21, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Former Boston Red Sox slugger Steve Pearce says the club won the 2018 World Series "fair and square" amid an MLB investigation into an alleged sign-stealing scheme.

Pearce, that year's World Series MVP, made the comment Monday during an appearance on WEEI in which he announced his retirement from baseball:

"That's such a joke to us. When it came out we were all kind of joking about it. We just want this to pass us. We won it fair and square. Whatever they accused us of, we were all kind of like, 'I can't believe this is even an issue.' Once the report comes out we're all going to be free.

"You don't like it, especially that we were the champions and individually I have that award. And we have this floating over our head when we just had such an unbelievable season. We had the perfect team and great camaraderie with everybody and then this gets thrown out here. We're just like, 'What the heck?' ... We just want this to pass us. We just want to play some baseball. Another bump in the road, I guess."

In January, Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported some Red Sox players "visited the video replay room during games to learn the sign sequence opponents were using" during the 2018 regular season, which saw the club post an MLB-best 108-54 record.

"Red Sox sources said this system did not appear to be effective or even viable during the 2018 postseason, when the Red Sox went on to win the World Series," the report noted. "Opponents were leery enough of sign stealing—and knowledgeable enough about it—to constantly change their sign sequences."

MLB launched an investigation into Boston's actions based on the allegations.

Commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN's Scott Van Pelt in March (via Christopher Price of the Boston Globe) the probe was complete but the announcement about its findings would be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are done with the investigation," Manfred said. "There's been a delay in terms of producing a written report because frankly I have not had time to turn to it with the other issues. But we will get a Boston report out before we resume play."

Last week, MLB released a statement that downplayed reports about potential contingency plans to start the 2020 campaign, saying there's no "detailed plan" in place amid an indefinite postponement.

Pearce played for the Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays during a 13-year MLB career.

He recorded three home runs and eight runs batted in during the 2018 World Series to win MVP honors.