Alex Cora, who was facing a lengthy suspension for his role in the Astros and Red Sox sign-stealing scandals, has been fired as Red Sox manager.
The Red Sox announced on Tuesday that Cora, who guided the club to a World Series title in 2018 but has since come under scrutiny for instituting sign-stealing schemes in both Boston and Houston, is out as manager.
“Today we met to discuss the Commissioner’s report related to the Houston Astros investigation,” the club wrote in their official statement. “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 mutually agreed to part ways.”
The club is trying to portray Cora’s dismissal as a mutual parting, but there is likely nothing mutual about it. Cora is the common link between the sign-stealing scandals of the Astros and the Red Sox.
As bench coach for the Astros in 2017, it was Cora, according to the commissioner’s report released on Monday, who instituted the system of using a center-field camera to relay opponent’s signs to a video monitor located by the dugout. In 2018, in his first year as Red Sox manager, Cora presided over a system where the club would send information from the video replay room to a player, who would then take it back to the dugout where the signs would be relayed to a baserunner on first or second.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year before being fired on Monday. The league is still investigating the Red Sox, but Cora was likely facing a similar punishment.
Cora’s dismissal comes after two days Major League Baseball would like to soon forget. Two popular managers, who led their clubs to two of the last three World Series championships, are now proven to be cheaters, their titles forever tainted. It also leaves the Red Sox without a manager less than a month before players start reporting for Spring Training. They have a new face running their baseball operations in Chaim Bloom, who’s now facing a scandal the likes of which he couldn’t have foreseen when he took the job.
The Red Sox do have a former big-league manager they can turn to to help lead the club for the near future. Ron Roenicke has been bench coach under Cora for the past two seasons and previously served as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011-15.
Cora, who was preparing to enter just his third season as manager, had a bright future ahead of him. Major League Baseball will survive these scandals, however tarnished it might be; it remains to be seen just what happens to Cora’s career, and whether he will ever be seen in a big-league dugout again.