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Red Sox re-hire Alex Cora as manager

Cora returns to the Red Sox less than 10 months after being let go following his alleged involvement in two separate sign-stealing scandals.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at San Diego Padres Photo by Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox have re-hired Alex Cora as their manager, as MLB Network’s Jon Heyman first reported on Friday morning:

Cora was let go by the Red Sox in mid-January after MLB’s report on the 2017 Astros’ electronic sign-stealing scandal cited him as one of the masterminds of the scheme. The 45-year-old Cora, who was serving as Houston’s bench coach at the time, was also suspected of being involved in a sign-stealing scandal with the Red Sox in 2018, his first year as the manager in Boston.

With the Red Sox anticipating that Cora would be suspended one way or the other, they parted ways with the skipper who led them to a World Series victory in 2018, promoting bench coach Ron Roenicke to take his place. While he was eventually suspended for the 2020 season due to his role in the Astros scheme, MLB determined that he did not play an active role in Boston’s sign-stealing scandal. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred called out Cora for his apparent lack of communication to his players about the sign-stealing rules, but video replay coordinator J.T. Watkins ultimately was the one to take the fall for the scandal, receiving a suspension for the 2020 season.

Prior to his suspension and untimely dismissal, Cora was regarded as a rising start who was emerging one of the best managers in baseball, having posted a 192-132 record over two seasons in Boston. But it’ll be interesting to see if he’s as effective in 2021 with Mookie Betts no longer in his lineup and Chris Sale’s status uncertain heading into the season.