Alex Cora: 'I Completely Reject' Being Singled Out in Astros' Sign Stealing Scandal

Jordan Cohn
June 12, 2020 - 9:00 am

Wild how a devastating pandemic can almost completely wipe the largest cheating scandal in MLB history out of the news cycle, isn't it?

As a refresher, the Astros stole signs from their opponents using illegal technology and trash cans, among other mechanisms. Punishments were handed to different members of the Astros, most notably Jeff Luhnow, A.J. Hinch, Carlos Beltran and Alex Cora. Remember all that, now?

At least one significant member of the group in question is taking exception to how the whole investigation has gone down and what the aftermath of the various reports and testimonies has led to.

To be clear, Alex Cora doesn't deny his involvement in the Astros' sign stealing scandal. It's hard to deny that, given all of the evidence and testimony that supports the contrary.

However, he is not as receptive to the idea that he was one of the primary contributors behind the whole scandal that likely provided the Astros with a significant advantage during their 2017 World Series run. MLB insiders Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich pegged Cora as exactly that, saying that the 2017 Astros bench coach, along with then-active player Carlos Beltran, were "driving force(s) behind the trash-can banging system." An inside source doubled down on that allegation in the same story, claiming that Cora and Beltran furthered the initial "video room stuff" into a more efficient way of stealing signs.

According to Cora, these are unwarranted accusations. In an interview with ESPN's Marly Rivera, Cora says that he "completely reject(s) and disagree(s)" with the notion that people within the Astros organization have singled him out "as if (he) were the sole mastermind."

"If there is one thing I am absolutely sure of, it is that it was not a two-man show," Cora said, referencing the frequent ties to him and Beltran as the ringmasters of the operation. "We all did it. And let me be very clear that I am not denying my responsibility, because we were all responsible."

It doesn't help Cora's case that he was the manager of the Red Sox in 2018, the same season in which they were alleged to have run a sign-stealing operation which may have helped them secure the 2018 World Series title, though there is no proof of his involvement there.

There has already been support of the argument Cora recently relayed to ESPN. In February of 2020, CBS Boston's Michael Hurley called Rosenthal and Drellich's report "a bit extreme," opining that Beltran and Cora's "bad guy" framing didn't sit well with him and that he finds it hard to believe the rest of the players and staff were "helpless fawns" in the scheme.

Cora says that he knows he deserves his suspension and isn't proud of his past, but additionally emphasizes that the whole team is at fault.

"Everybody," Cora said. "We're all responsible. Everyone who was part of the team from around mid-May until the end of the season, we are all responsible."

For the time being, Cora is jobless and awaiting the end of his suspension, but he isn't ruling out a return to baseball in the future. Still, he's calling his baseball aspirations "secondary" to several other aspects of his personal life.

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