The winners and losers in Red Sox cheating scandal report


Well, that proved to be the lamest sequel since “Caddyshack 2.”

Rob Manfred’s investigation of the 2018 Red Sox’s alleged sign-stealing lived down to its lack of hype, producing a mere sliver of evidence that wrongdoing occurred and consequently disciplining just one lower-level employee and taking away only one draft pick. These guys, in short, were no 2017 Astros, or at least no such evidence emerged.

With that in mind, your winners and losers from this report:

Winners

1. 2018 Red Sox players

Let’s face it, no one would be surprised to learn that other teams’ replay officials used their video equipment to steal opponents’ signs during games and convey that information to runners on second base during the 2018 season. Hence it would be surprising for these guys to be called out and ostracized in any manner approaching the vitriol the 2017 Astros have received for far more egregious violations.

2. Alex Cora

Manfred found him innocent with the ’18 Sawx, so his yearlong suspension covers only what he did while bench coach of the ‘17 ’Stros — which in turn makes him an intriguing manager candidate for any team, maybe even Boston, next season.

Alex Cora and Rob Manfred
Alex Cora and Rob ManfredGetty Images; AP

3. Dave Dombrowski

The since-fired Red Sox president of baseball operations comes away clean as a whistle as he searches for his next opportunity.

4. Red Sox owners

After watching all of the agita in Houston, they’ll gladly sacrifice a second-round selection in this year’s draft and call it a day.

Losers

1. Yankees

Manfred concluded that the ’18 Red Sox cheated minimally during the regular season and not at all during the postseason. That won’t give the Yankees, who lost to Boston in the ’18 playoffs (including, don’t forget, both games in The Bronx, where it would’ve been harder anyway for the Sawx to execute any shenanigans) much vindication.

2. J.T. Watkins

The mastermind behind the Red Sox’s schemes, or at least that’s how history will tell the tale for now.

3. 2017 Astros

Misery loves company, and unfortunately for these guys, their schemes and scams remain far worse than the Bosox’s.

4. Rob Manfred

The commissioner landed here the minute the allegations first surfaced, as he found himself in a no-win situation. He did manage to get some damning information, even as the Red Sox players (who correctly received immunity) must have been spooked by the Astros report. However, how come Dombrowski and/or Cora bear no responsibility for players’ ignorance on the rules about using video during games to steal signs? And why didn’t the owners get fined for what essentially constituted a repeat offense, less than a year after the 2017 Apple Watch scandal?

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