The verdict was finally handed out by Major League Baseball over the Boston Red Sox 2018 Sign Stealing scandal. And much like the Astros punishment, the baseball world is upset with the leniency of the punishment.
What was the Crime?
Well, treating this as criminal proceedings makes for a better narrative, so that’s how we will present this tale. The 2018 Boston Red Sox played as a team possessed right from the beginning of the season. And that “poise” they would never relinquish to a World Series Championship. However, the air of invincibility around the Red Sox would be tarnished by a report in The Athletic that the BoSox would steal signs. This type of crime is intolerable by baseball standards. And if we are being honest, the world itself does not condone cheating and stealing either. But this is what the 2018 Champs were accused of doing.
And much like the Champions from just one year prior, the 2017 Houston Astros, they too would be caught cheating. The baseball world would be thrown for a loop of epic proportions that would send shockwaves through the very fiber of the MLB fandom. In back to back years, the Champions would cheat to win. And sadly, they would both get away with it.
What was the Punishment?
Truthfully, the Red Sox would not receive anything that can even be called a punishment. Boston would lose a second-round pick in the (potentially not even happening) upcoming 2020 first-year amateur player draft. And a “rogue” employee by the name of JT Watkins would be suspended without pay for the 2020 season and wouldn’t be allowed to operate the replay monitor system in 2021. These are not punishments; these actions can barely be classified as anything. If these were punishments handed out to a child for misbehaving, they would be the equivalent of holding their hands to cross the street. Not a punishment at all.
What Happens Next?
It seemed as if MLB was going to allow the sign-stealing scandal to pass by without any action. Had it was not for Mike Fiers and The Athletic, no one would be the wiser. And if MLB is content with these less than mediocre “punishments,” nothing is stopping other teams from employing this same strategy to win the World Series. This lack of repercussions leaves the greatest sport in the world in a vulnerable state of confusion and disarray because players are upset with the lack of punishment. And now realize that as long as they play their cards right and set up a single “fall guy,” they can win the World Series and get away with cheating.