Red Sox want fans to 'reserve judgment' on 2018 MLB investigation

Ryan Hannable
January 15, 2020 - 4:01 pm

The Red Sox held a press conference Wednesday following the decision to mutually part ways with Alex Cora after the manager was heavily part of a MLB report released on the 2017 Astros' sign-stealing scheme when he was their bench coach.

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MLB is now investigating the 2018 Red Sox, as it's been reported they also had an elaborate sign-stealing scheme involving the video replay room. The Red Sox were found guilty of coaches using Apple Watch's in the dugout under manager John Farrell, so this is not the first time they have been under MLB's microscope.

Red Sox ownership would like people/fans to "reserve judgment" towards the 2018 investigation, a phrase that was used nearly a dozen times in the 45-minute press conference.

"I think it’s clear we’re going to honor the Commissioner’s directive to not speak about the investigation," Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy said. "But it’s also important to recognize that this collective decision yesterday was related exclusively to the incidents that took place in Houston. The other thing I’d add is the organization is well aware of the rules and communicated those to our uniformed personnel and front office staff, but that’s as far as we’ll go in terms of talking about anything related to Boston."

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner added: "I’d like to reemphasize what Sam said that there will be a time when we’ll be able to talk about this fully. But we ask our fans to reserve judgment on any conclusions they may reach until the Commissioner’s investigation is over. But we obviously took the incident you talked about, the Apple Watch incident, very seriously and we had communications with other personnel about that." 

Owner John Henry shared a similar sentiment.

“I would just say it is unfortunate that we can’t comment, but we don’t have all the facts yet ourselves," he said. "We were surprised with what we learned in the previous report. To answer a previous question, we did take steps after the 2017 Apple Watch incident. We took a number of steps to insure that we didn’t have a problem moving forward. Again, I think it makes a lot of sense. I know it is asking a lot, but I think it makes a lot of sense at this point to wait until the report comes out to be able to address any of these issues.

"I apologize in advance, but it doesn’t help to keep asking. I understand.”

In addition to then not jumping to conclusions message, Kennedy also believes the team will be competitive in 2020 and is looking forward to getting to spring training.


"Tom eluded to it, but we have high expectations in 2020," he said. "We fell short last year. We talked with Chaim (Bloom) when he came in that we’re better than an 81-win club. I think we have a team to compete in the American League East. The bar that John and Tom have set for us here in Boston is extremely high and we feel that pressure each and every day to put a great product out on the field. So, we have a very talented club. We think we can compete in the American League East. And we thank our fans for supporting us the last 20 years.

"As long as these guys to my right own and operate the Red Sox, we’re going to have those high expectations. We have those high expectations each and every year, and as I said before, the highs have been high, and the lows and have been low, but we come into 2020 excited and enthusiastic about a very talented team — veteran players, younger players and are excited about getting to spring training.”

It's expected MLB will have its report and penalties on the 2018 Red Sox completed prior to spring training, which begins in roughly a month.

Related: Red Sox ownership details meeting to part ways with Alex Cora