98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
If we're using the Houston Astros' punishment as the No. 1 example of what happens to cheaters, the Boston Red Sox got off easy.
Investigated for allegedly using video replay technology to steal signs in 2018, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred noted that any advantage the Red Sox gained from this was "limited in impact." Nevertheless, Manfred stripped the Red Sox of their 2020 second-round pick and suspended video replay operator J.T. Watkins for the 2020 season, and deemed that he have a new job with the team should he return in 2021. The league also suspended former Red Sox manager Alex Cora for the 2020 season, but they noted that that was related to his violations with the Astros in 2017.
Again, this is all real light compared to what smacked the Astros upside the head before a 2020 season that's since been paused as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez has a problem with baseball's handling and subsequent punishment following the sign-stealing investigation of the 2018 World Series-winning squad.
Especially when it came to their punishment for Watkins.
“That pissed me off. It wasn’t right,” Martinez told the Boston Globe. “They just ruined this guy’s career with no evidence.”
Martinez seems to have a point when the league outright says that any potential advantage they gained was "limited." And for Martinez, his issues seem to come back to the lack of any actual evidence that would tarnish the '18 Sox.
“If they went to court with that, it would get thrown out," Martinez added. "There was nothing there. The judge would laugh.”