Alex Cora should face baseball’s ultimate wrath — a lifetime ban — no lesser action should be taken by Major League Baseball.
Pete Rose gambled on professional sports, on his own team winning even, and was slapped with a lifetime ban. Shoeless Joe Jackson was a member of the 1919 White Sox that conspired with organized crime figures to throw the World Series. But details of his involvement remain murky with teammates professing his innocence. His series stats of 0 errors and a .375 batting average,the highest on the team, support that innocence. Nevertheless, Joe was banned along with the other seven “Black Sox” players.
Alex Cora cheated baseball. He helped to install video equipment fixated on the catchers’ signals to opposing pitchers. Those signals were then relayed via live-stream to players in the dugout who then signaled to the batter which pitches were coming by banging on trash cans. And he did that on two consecutive World Series winning teams. TWO!! The Astros in 2017 and the Red Sox in 2018.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred handed down season suspensions to Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch. The pair were subsequently fired by the organization on the same day. Alex Cora, the Astros former bench manager and current Red Sox Manager, was fired by Boston on Wednesday.
Let’s Not Relieve the PED Era
If Commissioner Manfred wants to send a message to any current or future member of Major League Baseball that actions like this will not be tolerated, he needs to hand down baseball’s greatest penalty, a lifetime ban to Alex Cora. His actions, as well as the actions of others, potentially altered the outcome of two World Series. New York Yankees then manager Joe Girardi lost his job after losing to the Astros in 2017. So it altered the livelihoods of members within Major League Baseball as well.
In the steroid era, arguably baseball’s darkest era, then MLB Commissioner Bud Selig did not take an active enough role in curbing steroid and performance-enhancing drug use among professional baseball players. It led to embarrassing congressional hearings, and baseball history was altered when several records were broken by known dopers. This included Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds each breaking Roger Maris’s home run mark (which stood for 37 years) within the span of three years from 1998-2000. And in 2007, after years of inaction on the matter, a “roided up” Bonds would break Hank Aaron’s career home run record.
Rob Manfred needs to do what Bud Selig didn’t have the stones to do and preserve the integrity of the game by banning Alex Cora from the Major Leagues for life. Reserve two-year suspensions for players and team officials who had minor roles in the scheme. But to mastermind the scheme and implement it in two organizations affecting the most coveted prize in the sport?
A lifetime ban is what Alex Cora should get and it’s what he deserves. End of Story.
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