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Dodgers Hire Previously Suspended Former Red Sox Front Office Member

Over the last few years, we’ve seen frequent accusations of hypocrisy supported by braindead false equivalencies, including sometimes by people with talented brothers. “The Dodgers and their fans are so upset by what the Astros did in 2017,” the intellectually dishonest cries go, “but they have no problem having Mookie Betts and David Price and Joe Kelly, whose Red Sox did the same thing in 2018.”

These arguments, of course, are so easily refuted a six-year-old could do it. What the Astros did in 2017 bears hardly any resemblance to what the Red Sox did in 2018. Houston’s cheating was conceived, planned, and orchestrated by the players themselves, making every player in that dugout either a cheater or an accessory to cheating. On the other hand, the cheating by Boston was carried out by one rogue video-room employee, and while the players benefited from it, they had no way of knowing (and no reason to suspect) anything untoward was happening.



Okay, a six-year-old probably wouldn’t say “untoward,” but this stuff isn’t hard to understand. Those cries of hypocrisy are just the addled whimpers of weak wills and minds.

Of course, if the Dodgers were to hire the guy who actually did the cheating for the Red Sox? Now that would merit some deep introspection. But obviously, they’re not gonna—

Well, crap. I guess it’s introspection time.

There are plenty of ways to justify this hire, of course. His role won’t be the same as it was with Boston, so there’s no chance of a recurrence of the violation. Also, the impact of Watkins’ cheating was far more limited than that of the Astros. The commissioner’s report said:

Unlike the Astros’ 2017 conduct, in which players communicated to the batter in real time the precise type of pitch about to be thrown, Watkins’s conduct, by its very nature, was far more limited in scope and impact. To the extent Watkins used in-game video to decode sign sequence information, the information he obtained was the cue for the actual pitch’s sign among the many signs flashed by the catcher when a runner was on second base. The information was only relevant in circumstances when the Red Sox had a runner on second base (which was in 19.7% of plate appearances league-wide in 2018), and Watkins communicated sign sequences evidently decoded from the in-game feed in only a small percentage of those occurrences.

It’s easy to say “cheating is cheating,” but there are degrees of cheating just like there are degrees of breaking the law. An employer refusing to hire a violent criminal while willingly hiring someone who shoplifted as a teenager would not be accused of hypocrisy; he’d be correctly assumed to possess the ability to understand nuance.

Watkins has apparently been working for Boston in the two seasons since his suspension. The fact that they kept him around after the suspension — and that Betts and Martinez vouch so strongly for him — suggest that he has something valuable to bring to the table. Is it valuable enough to justify the potential backlash?

Look, I’ve advocated, both here and on my podcast, for the Dodgers to pursue Carlos Correa on the grounds that he’s the best shortstop in baseball. Correa is in the league, so he’s going to play for someone, and it seems silly to me that the Dodgers were the only team morally obligated not to sign him. So I don’t feel bad not being upset about them hiring Watkins — who, unlike Correa, was actually punished and “did the time” for his cheating — since they can be nearly positive the cheating won’t happen again.

I don’t believe in “win at all costs,” but I believe a guy who paid the price for his cheating and isn’t going to do it again deserves a job if he can help the team win.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. He's been blogging about baseball and the Dodgers 2004 and doing it professionally since 2015. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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10 Comments

    1. Sorry, but especially after the loss of so many good players in the off-season, now you want to somehow justify a move like this? He can bring what exactly, that is worth the controversy alone, to the table?? They’re slapping the fans in the face in many different ways right now. Bad timing…on a bad move. A literal drop of integrity on this move.

  1. I said years ago about Cora. Cora was the bench coach for Houston during the scandal…they cheated for the title in ’17. His very first year being hired by the Sox they win the title. Ironic ain’t it. Pretty sure he used the same method against us again. But know one is putting 2 and 2 together. Rob Manfred is clueless. And it sure doesn’t equal 5 either damnit. Look folks stop being naive. Open ur eyes for a second. Now, if he didn’t win the title his first year being hired then, I would say yeah theirs a chance it didn’t happen. Cora got suspended @fter he won the title for the Sox. I just would like to ask the turd. Why in the [email protected] would you do such a thing twice. I tell you what to end all this make him take a polygraph test. You’ll get ur answer for sure. Gooo [email protected]’n Dodgers!!!

  2. I’m waiting for the first comment from a fan saying they’ll never have anything to do with Dodgers again! Even though they had no idea who this guy was until you wrote this article

  3. Man, that was one heck of a rambling commentary. Why use 10 words when 59 will do? So man-with-platform to rant, what’s your take on Trevor Bauer?

  4. What a waste of time and space in this article. This should have been a one or two paragraph.
    This article screams for an editor.

  5. Yeah, we not tryna hear nothing this guy has to say. Stand a firm grip here boyz…

  6. I said the same thing years ago about Cora. The mastermind turd who started this crap. I still do believe he used the same cheating tactics for Houston that he did for the RedSox WS win against us. The thing is he was just never caught for that one. Rob Manfred, u have no clue dude. Even I figured that one out. Think about it. Cora in his first season with the Sox he wins a title right @fter leaving Houston WS win. Then gets suspended @fterwards for the cheating scandal. Ironic ain’t it. I wish some dumb prick RedSox fan gets on here trolling my fanbase…well, Cora wasn’t the manager @ the time. Yes he was. Then to take some of the heat off , they gave us Betts & Price. As a silent apology. Like really bruh.

  7. #Hoesmad #whosyordaddy #yankeescheated #redsoxcheated Astros were made an example of. These other teams were cheating too Stop whining about 2017 still. Stop ostrcizing those who were busted. It’s old news. Yall lost at home in 2017, btw.

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