Published: Wed, January 15, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Five candidates to replace Alex Cora as manager

Five candidates to replace Alex Cora as manager

Cora is directly implicated in the development of the camera-based sign-stealing scandal in Houston and was allegedly the mastermind behind the Red Sox sign-stealing situation. In baseball, it is strategic to observe the signals that the opposing catcher is giving to his pitcher because it is indicative of the type of pitch that may be thrown.

Houston's World Series odds are now sitting at 7/1 after Major League Baseball punished the franchise for electronically stealing signs in the 2017 season.

The news wasn't entirely unexpected considering the fate Houston GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch met in the immediate wake of the release of the report on Monday - and neither was mentioned as often as the 11 times Cora was. Players would then relay these signals to the hitter by banging on trash cans.

Cora agreed, according to the same statement.

Cora, according to the report, helped coordinate an operation in which a TV monitor was hung near the dugout.

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The scheme was entirely player-driven, but the league announced no players will be punished because the investigation found that it wouldn't make sense given that many players are on other teams now and punishing individual players would be hard because so many were involved.

However, such cameras are supposed to be used exclusively for player instruction outside of games, rather than offering in-game feeds. Houston had fewer wins at home than on the road, winning 94 home games and 110 on the road during the two seasons.

In its judgment on Monday, the league said Cora had arranged for the installation of a monitor showing centerfield camera shots, giving players the ability to decipher the signs and alert batters. Major League Baseball said the Astros used their video replay system to decode the pitch signs, and members of the Astros then relayed the information to the batter with noise, including banging on a trash can. This essentially cut out the middle man and any on-field element involved in sign stealing. The cheating occurred in both the playoffs and regular season.

"Given the findings and the commissioner's ruling, we collectively decided that it would not be possible for Alex to effectively lead the club going forward and we mutually agreed to part ways", the team said in a statement attributed to owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, CEO Sam Kennedy and Cora.

Many have speculated that Cora, who was the bench coach for the Astros in 2017, might face an even stiffer punishment for his role in the scandal with both the Astros and Red Sox.

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