Red Sox replay operator, Alex Cora suspended in sign stealing scandal

Major League Baseball on Wednesday suspended Red Sox video replay system operator J.T. Watkins without pay through the 2020 postseason and stripped the team of its second-round draft pick this year after completing an investigation into allegations that Boston stole signs during the 2018 season.

Former Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who mutually parted ways with the team in January as part of the fallout from the Astros sign-stealing scandal, is suspended through the 2020 postseason as well -- but only for his conduct as Houston's bench coach, the league said in its announcement. Cora and former Astros player Carlos Beltran were the key individuals in a scheme to place a camera near Houston's dugout and have players bang on a trash can to signal breaking pitches. Cora left Houston after the 2017 season and managed the Red Sox to the 2018 title.

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Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred wrote in his report that he does not believe Cora was aware of Watkins' actions, and he will not impose additional discipline.

Cora said in a statement Wednesday that he is "relieved that these MLB investigations are concluded."

"I am grateful for the Commissioner's thoughtful and thorough investigation relating to my conduct as Red Sox manager," Cora said. "I also take full responsibility for the role I played, along with others, in the Astros' violations of MLB rules in 2017. The collective conduct of the Astros' organization in 2017 was unacceptable, and I respect and accept the Commissioner's discipline for my past actions."

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