So Alex Cora is gone as manager of the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros have emptied the front office over this MLB scandal involving the theft of signs from opposing teams.

We are supposed to believe that the Astros won the World Series in 2017 and the Red Sox in 2018 because Cora had developed an elaborate scheme to steal signals. Aren't you supposed to do that?

A sharp manager should study the other team's every move and learn from it. That is a part of the defense. If pitchers think that their signs have been stolen, they should mix things up a bit. We're not talking about the theft of a playbook or something more sinister.

Legendary player and manager Pete Rose, who has been banned from baseball for betting on the outcome of games, suggests to Randy Miller of NJ.com that there is a double standard here as managers and general managers are being fired over this but "what about the players who were behind this and taking the knowledge? Should they get off scot-free?"

Rose, for the record, thinks sign stealing is a big deal and is, in fact, a bigger deal than betting on your own team daily, as he freely admits he did. But I still don't get why this is wrong.

Uncle Turtleboy over at TB Daily News notes the hypocrisy of Boston sports fans who were outraged at the Patriots being nailed for stealing signs yet have not uttered a word in defense of the Red Sox. Turtleboy suggests the difference might be that fans like and admire Bob Kraft but have no use for Red Sox owner John Henry.

As long as signals are being used in sports such as baseball and football there will be an attempt by opposing teams to steal those signals. That is as it should be. It's part of the game. In the words of the former UCLA Bruins football coach Henry Russell "Red" Sanders, "winning isn't everything; it's the only thing."

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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