The baseball world reacted strongly on Wednesday when MLB announced it had completed its investigation into the Red Sox sign-stealing scandal from 2018.
With Boston's video replay room operator taking the brunt of the punishment – while no other personnel within the organization was disciplined – the repercussions on paper seemed to air on the lenient side.
Yankees' skipper Aaron Boone didn't take a side when asked for his thoughts on the matter. He articulated to YES Network's Meredith Marakovits in a digital interview on Thursday that he trusts Major League Baseball and believes that they "got to the bottom of things."
"Who knows exactly what went down," New York's manager admitted. "I do trust that MLB thoroughly investigated and got to the bottom of things as best they can and feel like if that's what was come up with then so be it."
Swipe ahead to the very last question in this video from YES Network's Twitter page to watch Boone address the Red Sox' sign-stealing scandal with Marakovits.
The report from Commissioner Rob Manfred explained that the investigation found the team’s designated replay room operator, J.T. Watkins, to be the engineer of Boston's scheme. Watkins, as highlighted within the investigation, has "vehemently denied" that he utilized the replay review system to decode signs during games and forward them to players.
Watkins is suspended for the entirety of the 2020 season, without pay, and will not be allowed to reassume his role in the replay room in 2021.
Boston's former manager Alex Cora was suspended for the duration of the 2020 MLB season – not for his role in this scheme, but for his direct involvement in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal in 2017. MLB's investigation of Houston found Cora – who was the club's bench coach at the time – to be instrumental in developing the Astros cheating plan. Cora was fired by the Red Sox back in January, but could return to a managerial role as soon as 2021.
As was the case in Houston's punishment, no players on the Red Sox were disciplined. The commissioner also confiscated Boston's second-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.
Boone told Marakovits that above all else, he's eager for this league to put these scandals in the past. He is hopeful that this can serve as a reminder moving forward that you will pay the price if you cheat.
"It's time to move on and I'm glad that we're kind of through those situations," he explained. "Hopefully, as I've said and I do believe this, hopefully as a sport we'll be better moving forward in knowing that you mess around and they're coming for you and I think that's a good thing."
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