Former Astros bench coach and current Red Sox manager Alex Cora reportedly used to brag about stealing the 2017 World Series, in a literal sense.
Houston’s infamous sign-stealing scandal that involved video and a trash can is well documented since news of the operation broke after the 2019 season, but new details are now emerging ahead of the release of the book, “Winning Fixes Everything,” a deep dive into the nature of sign stealing in baseball centered about that Astros team.
The author, Evan Drellich of The Athletic, details times during the 2018 season, Cora’s first with Boston, when Cora would talk about the 2017 Houston squad after having a few drinks, and outwardly say that his team “stole” that championship.
“We stole that f----g World Series,” Cora reportedly said.
Another notable quote in regards to the 2017 team came from an anonymous member of that 2018 Red Sox team, who recalled Cora bragging about that title, “especially when they started drinking.”
“We knew the Astros [stole signs],” the Red Sox member told Drellich. “Because Alex Cora told us. He said that when they played the Dodgers, ‘We already knew what everybody was throwing before we even got on base. We didn’t have to get on base.’”
Houston beat Los Angeles in seven games, jumping on Yu Darvish in games three and seven to claim the title. Darvish was told by some Astros players that he was tipping his pitches in that series, but after dominating in the previous two rounds of the playoffs, Darvish has since publicly wondered if Houston was actually stealing signs.
The Astros of course nearly didn’t make the World Series that season, falling behind 3-2 in the ALCS to the upstart Yankees, but won two straight games back at home in Houston to claim the pennant. Multiple Yankee players, including CC Sabathia, have openly said they feel cheated out of a chance to play for the title since the sign-stealing scandal took over the sport.
The excerpts from Drellich’s book likely won’t help heal those wounds.
“Winning Fixes Everything,” which is also expected to shed light on how the Red Sox, Dodgers, and Yankees bent the rules themselves, is set to release on Feb. 14.
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1