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MLB Hopeful to Finish Red Sox Investigation Before Spring Training

Speaking Thursday after an owners meeting, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he's looking to finish the league's investigation into the Red Sox by the start of Boston Spring Training next week.

"I’m hopeful that that I can get Boston done before the camps open,” Manfred said, with workouts starting Wednesday.

Manfred reiterated that like in his conclusions on the Astros, no Red Sox players will be punished for their role in the team's alleged sign-stealing operation in 2018, when they beat the Dodgers in the World Series. It was then-manager Alex Cora's first season with the team.

Cora was let go by the club just days after the results of the Astros investigation were released, as he was the bench coach during Houston's title run in 2017.

Manfred also said Thursday the league will have new guidelines as it relates to the use of video equipment before the upcoming season starts.

"I think we have too much video available in real time right now," he said.

During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci, Manfred said he has considered not making video rooms available to teams once games start. The only monitor available to a team could be a replay screen with an MLB security official standing next to it.

"That's the first path," he said. "It is an option. We have talked about it. We are not done on 2020 [protocols], no."

When asked by Verducci if more protocols will be in place by the start of the 2020 season, Manfred replied, "Absolutely."

Despite whatever protocol changes come in 2020, Manfred made it clear that MLB has zero tolerance for cheating.

"Whenever you have an allegation that the outcome of a game was altered by a rules violation," he said, "that falls into the category where fans believe the competition has been affected, and it’s an integrity issue. The integrity of the competition."

Manfred also told Verducci that MLB is looking into the Red Sox allegations with the "same thoroughness and vigor that we did Houston."

In the Houston investigation, which lasted three months, MLB interviewed more than 60 people and acquired more than 70,000 e-mails in addition to text messages obtained. According to Verducci, upon learning of the Boston investigation, owner John Henry asked Manfred if Red Sox personnel would be subject to the same type of disclosure. Manfred assured him that the same procedures will be used.

MLB learned of the possible Boston infraction during its investigation of the Astros. In 2017, MLB also fined the Red Sox for using Apple Watches to steal signs against the Yankees at Fenway Park.