The Boston Red Sox fired manager Alex Cora last week after he was implicated in a 2017 sign-stealing scandal while he was the bench coach of the Houston Astros. Meanwhile, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred hasn't yet completed his investigation of similar allegations against the Red Sox.
But even with a cloud of suspicion hanging over his team, Boston slugger J.D. Martinez told reporters Saturday he isn't worried about any upcoming punishment.
"I'm excited for the investigation to get over with, just so they can see there was nothing going on here," Martinez said at the team's Winter Weekend fan festival.
J.D. Martinez hit .304 with 36 home runs and 105 RBI for the Red Sox in 2019. (Photo: Richard Mackson, USA TODAY Sports)
According to a report in The Athletic, the team used the video room near the dugout to electronically steal opponents signs and then relayed them to the batter when a runner was on first or second base.
Martinez said that didn't happen. "I was in there, so I saw straight up. Everyone seems to forget that in 2016 and 2017, this was a really good team. They won 93 games those two years and then we just got better."
In 2018, Cora's first season as manager, the Red Sox won 108 games and the World Series.
Martinez also came to the defense of former college teammate Mike Fiers, whose initial comments to The Athletic about the Astros sign-stealing sparked MLB's investigation.
"I've talked to him about it. I understand his side of it," Martinez said. "I understand his side of being in the division and going against those guys; it's one of those things where he's in an uncomfortable position for him, and I understand it."
Fiers left Houston after the 2017 season and is now with the Oakland A's, who finished second to the Astros in the AL West each of the past two years.
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