The Boston Red Sox keep the excitement of the offseason going. The team announced they have mutually agreed to part ways with manager Alex Cora amidst his cheating scandal with the Astros in 2017 and the Red Sox in 2018; he won World Series championships in both seasons.
This news comes one day after MLB released the findings of their investigation into the Astros’ cheating scandal. The league’s reported listed as Cora as the mastermind behind the majority of Houston’s scandal, while some players and lower-level front office employees were also involved. Manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were not involved but were aware, and after the league handed them one-year suspensions, they were fired by Houston. The Astros were also handed a $5 million fine and stripped their first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 MLB Drafts.
The league could not issue a penalty to Cora at the time for a few reasons. First of all, it had been over two years since Cora was an Astro. Second, the league was investigating him for a separate incident in 2018 when the team allegedly used an illegal video room to steal signs and use a technological advantage.
While the league’s investigation into the Boston situation has yet to conclude (and penalties have yet to be issued for this incident), it became obvious that the league would hand Cora a much greater ban than the ones given to Hinch and Luhnow. It remains unclear, however, what consequences the Red Sox will be given.
Regarding the decision to part ways, Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, and CEO Sam Kennedy released a group statement saying, “Today we met to discuss the Commissioner’s report related to the Houston Astros investigation. Given the findings and the Commissioner’s ruling, we collectively decided that it would not be possible for Alex to effectively lead the club going forward and we mutually agreed to part ways. This is a sad day for us. Alex is a special person and a beloved member of the Red Sox. We are grateful for his impact on our franchise. We will miss his passion, his energy and his significant contributions to the communities of New England and Puerto Rico.”
Cora also released a statement of his own. “I want to thank John, Tom, Sam, the players, our coaching staff and the entire Red Sox organization,” he said. “I especially want to thank my family for their love and support. We agreed today that parting ways was the best thing for the organization. I do not want to be a distraction to the Red Sox as they move forward. My two years as manager were the best years of my life. It was an honor to manage these teams and help bring a World Series Championship back to Boston. I will forever be indebted to the organization and the fans who supported me as a player, a manager and in my efforts to help Puerto Rico. This is a special place. There is nothing like it in all of baseball, and I will miss it dearly.”
Bench coach Ron Roenicke will likely be promoted to interim manager, although former catcher Jason Varitek has also been mentioned as a candidate. Later down the road, the Red Sox will likely interview external candidates. Matt Quatraro would be an interesting candidate, as the Rays’ bench coach has ties to Chaim Bloom. Ryan Christenson, the bench coach of the Athletics, would also be an enticing choice. Finally, Joe Espada is an extremely intriguing candidate, but he will serve as the interim manager in Houston and it is unclear if the Red Sox would want to put their trust in anyone from Houston at the moment.