Ex-Astros GM Jeff Luhnow places blame on Alex Cora in sign-stealing scandal

Justin Leger

On Monday, MLB released its report detailing the investigation into the Houston Astros' 2017 sign-stealing scandal, and Alex Cora was a central figure.

Cora, the Astros' bench coach that season, had a major role in developing the system used to illegally steal signs and relay those signs to the batter.

The fallout from the scandal keeps growing, as Cora lost his job as Sox manager Tuesday evening, one day after MLB handed down one-year suspensions for Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, both of whom since have been relieved of their respective duties by the organization.

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Shortly after his dismissal, Luhnow released a statement denying his involvement and placed blame on Cora 

"I'm not a cheater," Luhnow wrote. "Anybody who has worked closely with me during my 32-year career inside and outside baseball can attest to my integrity. I did not know rules were being broken.

"As the commissioner set out in his statement, I did not personally direct, oversee or engage in any misconduct: The sign-stealing initiative was not planned or directed by baseball management; the trash-can banging was driven and executed by players, and the video decoding of signs originated and was executed by lower-level employees working with the bench coach. I am deeply upset that I wasn't informed of any misconduct because I would have stopped it."

The league has yet to discipline Cora as it continues to investigate a separate sign-stealing operation involving the 2018 Red Sox. Once that investigation is complete, it's likely Cora's penalty will be as harsh -- if not harsher -- than Hinch and Luhnow's year-long bans.

Ex-Astros GM Jeff Luhnow places blame on Alex Cora in sign-stealing scandal originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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