Freshly disgraced Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora appeared to allude to the fact that Carlos Beltran was helping the New York Yankees win baseball games in more than one way during the London Series last summer.
A video of Cora during a press conference resurfaced Wednesday – nearly a day after the Red Sox fired him for his role in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in which the team used technology to determine what types of pitches pitchers were throwing to batters and alerting them by banging on a trash can or whistling during the team’s 2017 championship season. Cora was the bench coach for the team, and Beltran was a player. Beltran retired after the 2017 season.
The Yankees and Red Sox played the first MLB regular-season games in London last June. New York swept Boston in the series, outscoring the Red Sox 29-21. Cora was asked about his team’s performance and credited the Yankees – and specifically Beltran with a wink – for how they performed. Beltran was a special adviser to the team during the 2019 season.
“Their attention to detail is phenomenal. I was joking with somebody that the biggest free-agent acquisition is Carlos Beltran,” Cora said while winking at the reporter. “He … I know how it works, you know; he’s helping a lot. They’re paying attention to details and we have to clean our details.”
Cora continues and mentions “devices” unprompted.
“I’m not saying, you know, devices and all that stuff. Just stuff that the game will dictate, and will scream at people. And he’s right there,” Cora said. “Throughout the evening I was looking, and I saw it.”
Cora was implicated in the Astros scandal. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said Cora was integral in setting up the Astros’ sophisticated sign-stealing system which involved a camera in center field and a team employee banging on a trash can to alert batters of potential breaking balls. According to a report from The Athletic in November, Cora played a "key role" in the system.
Cora has not been disciplined but will likely face penalties upon the conclusion of the investigation into Boston’s own video-replay scandal, which allegedly occurred in 2018 during their own World Series title run.
Some players would use the video replay room to steal signs between opposing pitchers and catchers during games in 2018, The Athletic reported Wednesday, citing anonymous sources who said they were with the organization during the championship season. Boston defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers that year.
The sources told The Athletic that the team wasn’t able to do it in the postseason because of in-person monitors used by Major League Baseball (MLB) in those games.
Beltran avoided suspension Monday as Manfred said that there was no way to determine all the players who were involved in sign-stealing. He is currently the manager of the New York Mets.