The Astros cheated. Now they’re punished - and disgraced

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Alex Cora was named by Rob Manfred as a primary participant in the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scheme of 2017 and may face future discipline for his role upon the completion of an ongoing investigation into a similar scheme allegedly used by the Red Sox during Boston's World Series championship season of 2018.

Astros owner Jim Crane went even further, firing both Luhnow and Hinch shortly after the discipline was announced. The organization says that all clubs have been asked by Major League Baseball not to comment on the Astros' punishment. "Irrespective of Luhnow's knowledge of his club's violations of the rules, I will hold him personally accountable for the conduct of his club".

There was also a second scheme where the Astros would use the team replay room to help decode catchers' signs to the pitcher.

Bauer took to social media and with a variety of videos and re-posts to expose some perceived hypocrisy by Astros players and management.

"The conduct described herein has caused fans, players, executives at other Major League Baseball clubs, and members of the media to raise questions about the integrity of games in which the Astros participated". Sue MLB, Manfred, Crane and anyone else involved in cheating during the 2017 World Series. And the team will forfeit its first- and second-round selections in the 2020 and 2021 player drafts.

■ Cora began calling the replay review room "early in the season" in 2017 to get information on signs.

■ Manfred said that because Cora was "an active participant in the scheme" and that Hinch was aware, players may have thought the behavior was being encouraged.

Manager Alex Cora of the Boston Red Sox looks on during the game against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Aug. 15, 2018. The runner would decode the catcher's sign and signal the batter.

On occasions, employees in the replay review room communicated the sign sequence with text messages sent to a staff member on the bench with a smart phone - or, in other instances, to a cell phone nearby, the investigation found. It then evolved into having a monitor installed just outside the dugout to allow players to see the feed themselves. However, he noted that the "evidence consistently showed I didn't endorse or participate in the sign stealing practices".

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