Red Sox bring back controversial manager

The Boston Red Sox have brought back manager Alex Cora less than one year after they let him go following MLB’s investigation into the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported.

Cora, 45, led the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series championship in his first year at the helm and was with Boston for the 2019 season. In January 2020, the sides parted ways following the league’s investigation into the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme. At the time of his firing, the league was also investigating sign-stealing allegations against the Red Sox that eventually were deemed far more minor.

Cora finishes suspension for Astros’ sign-stealing

As the Astros’ bench coach in 2017, Cora was found to have ordered the installation of an illegal monitor near the home dugout and assisted players in stealing signs through technological means at Minute Maid Park.

Cora was suspended for a year, along with then-Astros manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow. Hinch was hired to manage the Tigers last week.

MLB’s decision on Cora’s suspension actually came later, after it looked into allegations against the 2018 Red Sox squad. When the investigation wrapped, MLB suspended video replay system operator J.T. Watkins for decoding signs and feeding them to players. The league levied the one-year suspension against Cora, but said it was only for his role with the 2017 Astros scheme.

Cora in running for job since it opened

He reportedly was a finalist for the job with Sam Fuld, the Philadelphia Phillies information coordinator. The organization visited Cora in his native Puerto Rico last week, Heyman reported. Notably, Chaim Bloom, the Red Sox’s chief baseball officer, was not with the organization the first time Cora was hired.

Hours before their 2020 season finale, the Red Sox announced that Ron Roenicke would not be back as manager. Roenicke was the bench coach under Cora and took over as manager for the shortened 2020 season, leading the organization to a 24-36 record and last place in the AL East.

Upon the news, Cora’s name was immediately in the running for the position. Cora played in the league for 14 seasons and was a TV analyst for three before turning to managing. He went 192-132 in his first tenure with the Red Sox.

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora gestures toward the outfield after a win over the San Francisco Giants in a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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