Earlier this week, multiple reports alleged the Houston Astros used a team employee to record and monitor the opposing team's dugout during both the ALDS and ALCS.
Red Sox ace Chris Sale won't pitch Game 5 of Boston's league championship series against the Houston Astros, manager Alex Cora announced Wednesday evening. The man had a small camera and was texting frequently, but did not have a media credential. The man was removed from the area "several times" by security personnel, a source told The Associated Press. Back in 2015, the Royals believed the Blue Jays were stealing signs during the 2015 ALCS (to say nothing of the infamous "man in white" conspiracy in Toronto a few years prior).
Security sources say they had been warned about the man, because of some suspicious activity in Houston's ALDS series against the Cleveland Indians.
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The Indians entered the series concerned the Astros, who have been suspected of cheating in the past, had stolen some signs or had other useful information about them, one person said.
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But while the Astros feel absolved of any wrongdoing, the incidents taking place during baseball's greatest month have raised questions about sign-stealing and ethics in the age of high-speed, high-definition cameras.
Asked if he thought anything untoward was going on at Fenway Park during Games 1 and 2, Cora said, "No, I don't". Teams routinely try to gain an advantage by trying to detect patterns, whether it's a catcher showing signs to a pitcher on the mound or a third-base coach relaying signs to a batter. Astros manager AJ Hinch said he was also aware of the report.
"No, I don't", he said.
The Indians reportedly filed a complaint Tuesday with Major League Baseball alleging that the Astros had an employee who was attempting to video Cleveland's dugout during the ALDS. While he doesn't cite specific teams that have been placed under the microscope, it's worth remembering that the Red Sox themselves were fined in 2017 for illegal use of an Apple Watch in the dugout in an effort to steal signs from the division-rival Yankees.