The penalties in the Boston Red Sox sign- taking scandal were distributed Wednesday afternoon, and baseball fans throughout the nation were right away up in arms.
Here’s our first truth of the day, though: The penalties, nearly no matter what commissioner Rob Manfred chose– or when they were lastly bied far, a number of months behind anticipated– were never ever going to please the masses. Manfred had actually been quite clear about something: No players were going to be penalized, simply as held true with the Astros examination. They were offered resistance in exchange for their sincere testament.
You can dispute the benefits of that decision all you desire– more on that in a minute– but that was the foundation for penalties. And with no sort of gamer penalty included, any sort of general Red Sox penalty (for violations that occurred in 2018) was going to be considered a “slap on the wrist.”
And, yep, that was the response. Pounds of flesh were not taken.
MORE: Evan Gattis states Astros’ sign- taking apologies “not f—ing good enough”
I will confess that suspending J.T. Watkins, the team’s video replay system operator, as the only personnel penalty appears extremely light. Particularly when Manfred stated this in his report: “While this does not excuse or justify his conduct, I do believe that it created a situation in which he felt pressure as the Club’s primary expert on decoding sign sequences to relay information that was consistent with what he naturally observed on the in-game video.”
Watkins was suspended for the 2020 season (if there is one) and can not be the replay space operator in2021 One can not assist but think about the well-known quote said by UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian: “The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky it will probably slap another two years probation on Cleveland State.”
The other penalties for Boston: the loss of their 2020 second-round choice and a restriction of Alex Cora through the 2020 playoffs– but just for Cora’s participation in Houston’s 2017 sign- taking.
Here’s our second truth of the day: Big league Baseball got precisely what it wanted out of these 2 sign- taking scandals/investigations/punishments.
The main factor MLB used resistance to the players is this: MLB wanted to understand precisely what occurred, since that would bring this awful chapter to an end. The worst-case situation, if MLB attempted to penalize players but no players talked, is that info would have spilled out, in pieces and bits, over possibly the next a number of years. MLB wanted this done. Ended up. That was the main goal, not administering penalties.
Penalizing players would have been challenging. Since it would have likely been a he-said/he-said scenario, showing beyond a shadow of a doubt that a gamer was guilty would have been hard. Which penalty would definitely have actually been appealed, both in the court of public viewpoint and in front of an arbitrator. That would have been a long, awful procedure, and once again, it was quite clear that Manfred’s goal was to end this chapter as completely and rapidly aspossible
Along those lines, there was another thing to think about, too: MLB and the MLBPA are heading towards what will definitely be a controversial CBA settlement (the existing one ends in 2021), and this is not a battle MLB requires to choose with the MLBPA today. Particularly when the course to triumph as it connects to gamer penalties was dirty, at best.
So this is the course MLB picked, and despite the fact that it won’ t agree with everybody, the powers that be are definitely pleased with how it’s played out.