Yankees: Red Sox rapid backslide is more evidence they were cheating
By Adam Weinrib
The Red Sox look completely different without Alex Cora? So weird, Yankees fans!
If New York Yankees fans are going to be routinely dragged through the mud by “producers” and Astros fans who’ve got hidden camera footage of a man sitting in center field doing nothing, then the least we can do is make sure no one forgets how wrapped up the Red Sox were in this entire mess.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to reintroduce you to the 2018 Red Sox, arguably the luckiest, phoniest 108-win team in history. 108! One hundred regular season wins … plus eight! And now they’re … the worst in the AL! By far! That rogue video room intern sure must’ve cooked up some doozies that year, huh?
Yes, that Sox team had David Price, Chris Sale, and Rick Porcello on the mound, far better options than this year’s rotation of Aaron Barkman, Chris Mazza, Nathaniel Grabner, and Evan Tomsula, only one of whom is a real person (but which one?!). But, in terms of offense, they’ve only lost Mookie Betts (the largest possible “only” you could ever have, but still). They’ve also lost Alex Cora, who was fired for what he did in Houston and nowhere else, Red Sox fans will breathlessly tell you. Sure.
Hey, is the entire rest of the offense way, way worse now? They are? Interesting coincidence!
It’s all right there in front of you, though shills like John Smoltz, as well as the rats at the Boston Globe are working overtime to convince us that JD Martinez is struggling because of a … COVID-19-related change to his pregame video routine? Are we serious here? He really needed new video footage on James Paxton and the Rays, who he’s faced 10 trillion times? Martinez slashed .330/.402/.629 with 43 homers and an insane 130 RBI in 2018. His average, thus far, has dropped a casual 100 points. I’m sure that’s due to the video room, but has nothing to do with how much study time he’s gotten.
Rafael Devers entered Sunday at -0.7 WAR, hitting under .200. Andrew Benintendi, before hitting the IL, was in Gary Sanchez territory, batting .103 with no power. These guys could not miss in 2018. Now, without Betts — and, to be fair, Steve Goddamned Pearce — they’re now completely lost.
Yes, nothing to see here! Just a bunch of individual slumps after the central figure in a cheating scandal was dismissed! Every team in MLB is facing unprecedented restrictions, but only this one is backsliding! OK!
We know the Red Sox “used their video replay room illegally” in 2018, just like we know that the team was warned about cheating in 2017, promised they’d never do it again (pretty please!), and then proceeded to develop an all-new method using Apple Watches weeks later, which they were quickly admonished for.
This “investigation” into the Red Sox methods resulted, somehow, in a lone wolf, video replay room operator JT Watkins, being suspended for his actions. But now, months later, Dodgers (and former 2018 Red Sox!) reliever Joe Kelly is out here railing on the Astros specifically for snitching on their scheme. You know why? He’s proudly a member of a clubhouse that never snitched, and protected their secret with thinly-veiled excuses.
Alex Cora was the ringleader of a 2017 scheme in Houston. He then joined the Red Sox, a franchise known for skirting the rules repeatedly during the ’17 season after being warned to stop doing so, and the offense rose to historic levels, adding 15 wins. Cora left after the 2019 season, and every offensive player regressed. It’s all laid out plainly for anyone to see. Only the most naive among us would believe that Cora, an admitted cheater, took the reins for a franchise that had been caught cheating the previous year, and decided not to cheat anymore. Come on, now. It was a match made in cheating Heaven!
The Yankees are claiming “significant reputational harm” if their sign-stealing letter is unsealed, mainly because … the Red Sox and Astros letters also remain sealed! Why are the Yankees, the team accused of the least, the only franchise getting exposed here?
Open the Yankees letter. Open the Red Sox letter! Based on the eye test in 2020, you’re going to like what you see.