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Alex Cora: Astros’ cheating ‘was not a two-man show’


Back in January — which, due to the scale of events that have happened since, feels like five years ago — Major League Baseball completed its investigation into the Astros’ cheating scheme in 2017. The league suspended GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch each for one year (both were subsequently fired by the Astros), fined the team $5 million, and rescinded the club’s first- and second-round draft picks in both 2020 and ’21.

Alex Cora was the bench coach for the Astros in 2017. Partially as a result of the Astros winning a championship that year, Cora landed a managerial job with the Red Sox in 2018, winning another championship. Those Red Sox, too, were the subject of a separate Major League Baseball investigation into cheating.

Cora and DH/OF Carlos Beltrán, who was named Mets manager in November and fired in January, were cast as the ringleaders of the Astros’ cheating scheme. Cora spoke to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, making his first public comments since the investigation. Cora insists that, despite the framing of the scandal, the Astros’ cheating “was not a two-man show.” He added, “We all did it. And let me be very clear that I am not denying my responsibility, because we were all responsible.” Cora specifically named Luhnow as someone “singling me out … as if I were the sole mastermind.”

Some members of the 2017 Astros, and even owner Jim Crane, went out of their way to deny any knowledge or involvement. Some players said that they felt pressured into complicity. Crane even said that MLB’s investigation “explicitly exonerated” him.

Cora said, “We made a mistake and I must pay for the consequences of my actions.” At least someone involved with the cheating is accepting a modicum of accountability.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.