BOSTON (CBS) — Last week, Rob Manfred said that he hoped to have the investigation into the Red Sox allegedly stealing signs in 2018 wrapped up before camp opened for the team. Plans, however, sometimes change — even for commissioners of major sports leagues.
And so, with Red Sox pitchers and catchers officially reporting to Fort Myers on Tuesday, news came via The Associated Press that Manfred will not have his investigation finished this week.
That development might help explain why news broke earlier Tuesday that the Red Sox plan to elevate bench coach Ron Roenicke to manager, but with the interim tag. Previously, it had been reported that the team was awaiting the results of Manfred’s probe before making that decision. But with business to be conducted in spring training, the Red Sox are apparently moving ahead with Roenicke as interim manager.
The first official team workout for pitchers and catchers will be held Wednesday, with potion players due to arrive over the weekend.
MLB’s ongoing investigation is based on alleged improper use of the video replay room by the Red Sox during the 2018 regular season. That use came to light in a story on The Athletic, which cited “three people who were with the Red Sox” during that season.
Alex Cora, who was the manager for that 2018 championship team, had also been a part of the 2017 Houston Astros, who were punished severely for a sign-stealing operation in 2017, the year when they won the World Series. MLB’s investigation into the Astros resulted in a one-year ban for both manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow, as well as the loss of four draft picks and a $5 million fine for the team. MLB did not rule on Cora’s punishment at the time, instead waiting for the investigation into the Red Sox to conclude. In the meantime, Cora and the Red Sox mutually agreed to part ways.
A report last week by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale suggested that MLB’s investigation into the Red Sox was turning up less evidence than the investigation into the Astros, with “little evidence of cheating” reportedly found.