At the start of Tuesday, many baseball fans were wondering how much longer Alex Cora would last as Red Sox manager.
Turns out they didn't have to wait long; by 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, Cora was out as Sox manager after two seasons, and his baseball reputation was still hanging in the balance thanks to MLB's investigation into illegal sign-stealing.
Cora was the most recent person to lose his job as a result of the investigation, but he wasn't the only one.
Major League Baseball on Monday suspended Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow through the 2020 World Series, in addition to fining the team $5 million and taking away its first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 for illegally stealing signs.
The league's official findings from its investigation into the Astros concluded Cora played a pivotal role in creating and implementing the operation used to steal signs.
Cora was named 11 times in the MLB's nine-page report on the investigation into the Astros, and it noted Cora's punishment wouldn't come down until the investigation into the Red Sox for stealing signs in 2018 is completed.
One thing we've learned from using social media over the last decade is there's a tweet for just about every scandal and storyline, and the same is true for Cora's situation. Here's a tweet Cora sent in 2016 on the difficulty of stealing signs.
Stealing signs, relaying signs, getting signs...not that easy.— Alex (@ac13alex) October 17, 2016
Well, that tweet certainly didn't age well.
Even if it's hard to steal signs and use that to your advantage, the league's report details a pretty effective system Cora played a key role in creating and using with the Astros in 2017.
What will be Cora's punishment? Hinch was suspended for an entire season even though he didn't create or participate in the sign-stealing operation. Cora played a larger role, so his ban could be even longer.