MLB absolutely teed off on Astros for sign-stealing scandal, and it's a terrible sign for Alex Cora

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By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Major League Baseball has determined its punishment for the Houston Astros in their sign-stealing scandal. And let me tell ya, it's a real humdinger of a punishment. The kind that should truly deter teams from doing this again.

As reported by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic, MLB will hand down the following punishments, an unprecedented package of bombardments that is sure to set the Astros back:

-- One-year suspensions for both manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow

-- Assistant GM Brendan Taubman placed on baseball's ineligible list

-- Loss of first- and second-round picks in both 2020 and 2021

-- $5 million fine

Oct 22, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (20) speaks to the media during media day prior to game one of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (20) speaks to the media during media day prior to game one of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The most notable name missing from this doozy of a punishment, however, is Red Sox manager and former Astros bench coach Alex Cora. The Athletic's reports on the two controversies described Cora as a "mastermind" of the sign-stealing operations, which included banging on a trash can in the dugout (Astros) and illegally using the video replay room to learn opponents' signal sequences (Red Sox).

Cora's punishment is yet to be determined and will come out after MLB concludes its investigation of the Red Sox, according to The Athletic. But since he's heavily involved in both scandals, and the Red Sox' apparent transgressions came after a league-wide memo warned them not to slip up again, he's almost certainly going to get hit extremely hard.

Since Hinch is getting a one-year suspension - which ESPN's Jeff Passan describes as more of a nine-month suspension, starting Monday and ending the day after the 2020 World Series ends - Cora is in line for something even longer. Maybe he gets fined personally in addition to a suspension.

Whatever Cora gets, it's going to be "harsh," according to Passan. And if what they're giving to the Astros is not harsh by comparison? Yikes.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].