Boston Red Sox

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Raindrops are seen on the Boston Red Sox logo after game three of the American League Divison Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians was postponed due to weather at Fenway Park on October 9, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff,

As reported by Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich in The Athletic, Major League Baseball has decided on a punishment for the Red Sox after investigating accusations of using video replay to steal signs in 2018.

Video replay operator J.T. Watkins takes the fall for this, as he’s suspended for 2020 and would have to do a different job if he returned to baseball in 2021. The Red Sox also lose a second-round draft pick as part of their punishment.

The penalty reflects widely reported beliefs that the Red Sox’ alleged actions are minor in comparison to those of the Astros, who took a much stiffer hit for their sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 season. Houston lost its GM, manager, and first-round pick in 2020 alone.

Former Red Sox manager Alex Cora has also been suspended through the 2020 season, but only for conduct related to his time as Astros bench coach. The Red Sox relieved Cora of his duties soon after reports of the Astros scandal emerged. That wasn’t much of a surprise.

In the end, the Red Sox coasted compared to the Astros. And perhaps that’s what they deserved when you consider the lack of depth or sophistication of their violations compared to what Houston did.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 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