Alex Cora Helped Washington Nationals Learn of Sign Stealing Before 2020 World Series

While you were getting ready to make some home made ice cream and watch the World Series, the Washington Nationals knew that the Houston Astros were guilty of stealing signs.

A report hails from the Washington Post on Tuesday that details former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora telling the Washington Nationals’ manager Dave Martinez what his old running mates were up to.

The key notes here are the current Dodgers’ allegiance to Brian Dozier, as well as Cora’s friendship with Davey Martinez led to the tip-off of what was going on. Furthermore, it’s interesting to me that with Cora’s involvement and then status as a manager; that he would get involved at all.

This is from the CBS Sports article linked above. For one, it seems that the inner-circle of the baseball world knew well that the Astros were up to something.

Houston’s sign-stealing exploits were no secret within baseball going into the World Series, so much so that Nationals players received warnings from around the league. According to Barry Svrluga and Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post, several Dodgers players reached out to Nationals infielder Brian Dozier to warn him about sign-stealing. Dozier played in Los Angeles in 2018.

Therefore – if it wasn’t Mike Fiers who outed his former teammates – isn’t it fair to assume that someone else eventually would have? The truth always comes out, and not everyone could have kept this secret bottled forever.

There’s more, including Max Scherzer reaching out to a former teammate to pick up some tips on the Astros.

Martinez, according to one person, also reached out to Tony Sipp, a reliever for Houston from 2014 to 2018 who spent the first part of 2019 with Washington. Martinez and Sipp didn’t connect, but Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer took his own steps to track down Sipp. It is standard for pitchers and catchers to switch to a more complex set of signs with runners on second — to prevent the runner from stealing the sign and signaling it to the batter, a practice that for years has been considered acceptable — but Scherzer asked Sipp whether the Nationals needed to be concerned about the Astros even with no runners on base. Sipp said yes, according to a person familiar with the conversation.

Obviously, the Astros did a very bad thing; and more less got away with it. Now that the intricate details are coming out, it’s hard to believe that the Astros didn’t have this hit the media during a season or postseason play.