FORT MYERS, Fla. — Major League Baseball will not have a decision in the Boston Red Sox sign-stealing investigation this week, a person with knowledge of the probe told The Associated Press, meaning the team will open spring training without knowing if it will be punished.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity Tuesday because there was no formal announcement. Commissioner Rob Manfred said last week that he hoped to have the investigation wrapped before the start of spring training; Red Sox pitchers and catchers reported Tuesday and have their first workout Wednesday.
The Red Sox were reportedly ready to promote bench coach Ron Roenicke to manager, but they appeared to be waiting for the results of the investigation to make sure the former Brewers boss wasn’t a target. Alex Cora was let go for directing the sign-stealing scheme with the Houston Astros in 2017, the year before he took over in Boston.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.