Keeping up with the 617: The return of Alex Cora

On Friday morning, the Boston Red Sox organization announced the rehiring of former manager Alex Cora on a two-year contract. Although it seemed like a surprising move to many, it appeared inevitable that Cora would end up in a Red Sox uniform again. Prior to their negotiations with Cora, the Red Sox made no splashes in the managerial market until they were able to open up talks following the conclusion of this year’s World Series. In addition, they personally flew to Cora’s home country of Puerto Rico to conduct an interview for their vacant position. Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom is hoping for a retool of this promising roster, and he believes that Cora is the right manager for this current squad.

The re-signing of Alex Cora is a double-edged sword; on the one hand, he led the Red Sox to a franchise record of 108–54 and finished the year with a World Series ring. However, his name was linked to the Houston Astros cheating scandal that rocked the baseball world just under a year ago. His involvement in the disgraceful and intricate cheating scheme resulted in a one-year ban from MLB, and an immediate dismissal from the Red Sox.

If you focus on Cora’s talent, charisma and Baseball IQ, he is the perfect fit for the Red Sox; he continues to hold strong relationships with some of the players following his one-year suspension, and the passionate Red Sox fan base believed he was the ‘chosen one’ during that magical 2018 World Series run. His transition to next season will be perfect for the Red Sox, a team searching for its identity. Cora will provide strong support and managerial experience, hoping to inject some life into a struggling Boston Red Sox organization.

Meanwhile, Cora is fresh off serving a suspension for a sign-stealing scandal. Although the art of sign stealing is an integral part of baseball, the methods the Astros used to gain an advantage were disgraceful to the sport. There were reports of cameras in center field, banging on trash cans and even buzzers attached to players’ bodies. To make matters worse, Alex Cora was behind the scenes for all of this and continues to deny allegations that were already proven to be true.

Personally, I feel like this is not the right move ethically for the Red Sox. I understand that cheating, whether it’s performance-enhancing drugs, sign stealing or pine tar, has been a part of baseball since its beginnings. However, they’re ruining the dignity of the game and the organization with this hiring. As much as I want to believe that Alex Cora is a ‘changed man’ and will deliver on his promises, he is still partially to blame for the Astros cheating scandal.

Look, I still love Alex Cora. Although he did lose my respect following his actions with the Astros organization, he did bring a championship to Boston and was an unbelievable manager during his brief stint with the Red Sox. As a Red Sox fan, it’s relieving to see a familiar face back at the managerial helm, but Cora shouldn’t deserve a managerial position right now. The punishments handed out by MLB to the Houston Astros were awful to begin with, and now Alex Cora has a chance to redeem himself. If he’s able to deliver on another parade down Tremont Street, this move will be praised by this fan base. Right now, however, this is not the best move for this organization. Let’s hope 2021 doesn’t crash and burn for the Red Sox.