The Boston Red Sox today officially joined the 2017 Houston Astros on Wednesday as MLB-certified cheats, giving taint to back-to-back world championship teams.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred concluded an investigation that began in January by finding they only used video replay monitors to decode opponents’ signs during the 2018 regular season.
Manfred suspended Watkins without pay for the 2020 season and barred him from working as the team’s replay room operator in 2021. Watkins, 30, is a West Point graduate and former 10th-round pick of the Red Sox in 2012. He played three seasons in the Boston minor league system. Manfred says that in the investigation, they concluded that illegal sign stealing only took place in the regular season and not in the postseason.
"MLB's investigation concluded that in isolated incidents during the 2018 regular season, sign sequences were decoded through the use of live game video rather than through permissible means. The evidence uncovered during the investigation is insufficient to conclude that the conduct continued in the 2018 Postseason or 2019 regular season."
The commissioner also took away Boston’s second-round draft pick this summer. (The draft is likely to be cut from 40 rounds to between five and 10 rounds.