Dodgers: Andre Ethier disappointed in MLB ruling on Red Sox cheating

Former Dodger Andre Ethier is disappointed in Major League Baseball’s ruling on the 2018 Red Sox illegal sign stealing, as most baseball fans are.

Former Dodger Andre Ethier voiced what every baseball fan who doesn’t root for the team that calls Fenway Park home was thinking when learning about Major League Baseball’s conclusions from their investigation of the Red Sox sign-stealing activities in 2018.

“Typical Rob Manfred story,” Ethier told David Vassegh on Dodgers Talk. “With all of this stuff coming out, I don’t think we’re necessarily hearing all of it. And for a guy like Alex [Cora], who was a year before in Houston where all of this stuff was going on. I mean, where there’s smoke there’s fire. Obviously, he brought this system over, and knew about this system.”

After months of delay, MLB leaked the findings of their investigation through the media on Wednesday afternoon, conveniently on the eve of the NFL Draft, the first major sporting event in the country since the middle of March. Talk about trying to bury the news.

The Red Sox cheated in 2018, they illegally stole signs using their video replay room. But MLB’s punishment was reserved for the video replay operator, who is banned from doing the same job until 2022. Meanwhile, manager Alex Cora is suspended for whatever 2020 season evolves, but only for his actions specific to his time in Houston. The Red Sox also lost a second round pick.

That is it?

Yes, that is it. Commissioner Rob Manfred, as he did in issuing punishment for the Astros elaborate sign-stealing scheme, has sent a message to people who participate and follow Major League Baseball that sign-stealing is only a minor offense.

While the investigation concluded there was insufficient evidence to suggest the Red Sox continued to cheat during the 2018 postseason, it’s hard for the Dodgers organization and fans of the team to feel any better about the situation, having lost in the World Series in back-to-back seasons to teams that used an unfair advantage to help them get there.

Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy doesn’t think MLB’s conclusions taint the franchise’s 2018 championship.

“We accept the findings in the report, and Major League Baseball conducted the interview,” Kennedy said according to ESPN. “It was exhaustive and thorough, and it found that [Watkins] engaged in the conduct described in the report and with a limited group of players. That’s really all we can say, given that it was baseball’s conclusion and their report.”

Ethier continued to sound off on the ruling with Vassagh during his radio appearance on Wednesday. He questioned how suspensions for players was limited when MLB has no problem suspending players for cheating using performance-enhancing drugs. He was also bothered by the lack of transparency in the investigation with a lot of questions left unanswered in the final report.

“People just want the truth,” Ethier said.

Ethier retired after the 2017 season in which he was limited in action due to a back injury. He finally found his way into the lineup in September, and became a pinch-hitter for the team during the postseason. He went 2-5 with a walk against the Astros in the World Series. Ethier hung up his cleats as the Dodgers all-time leader in postseason appearances.

The Dodgers used this past offseason to acquire two players from the Red Sox team that stole signs in 2018. Mookie Betts and David Price join Joe Kelly as a trio of former-Red Sox now inside the Dodgers clubhouse. The details of the investigation do not specify which players participated in the sign stealing, or who was aware of what was going on.

All we know is what is stated in the report, “Communication of these violations was episodic and isolated to Watkins and a limited number of Red Sox players only.

A limited number of Red Sox players only.

We are left guessing what that means.

So much for being punished for cheating.