Does Alex Cora deserve a second chance? Danny Ainge defends ex-Red Sox manager

Darren Hartwell

Alex Cora is out of a job and likely faces a multi-year suspension for his role in illegal sign-stealing operations with the 2017 Houston Astros and 2018 Boston Red Sox.

That begs the question: Will Cora ever manage in Major League Baseball again?

We may not know the answer for quite some time, but Cora has a supporter in Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who said Thursday he would hypothetically consider hiring Cora after the former Red Sox manager serves his punishment.

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"Yes. I would consider doing it," Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Toucher & Rich." "I'm not saying I would for sure. I mean, there's a time and a place that maybe it's just not worth the distractions and what might come. But I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand."

Ainge admittedly is biased: He believes Cora was a "terrific manager" in Boston and is disappointed this sign-stealing scandal will taint the young manager's legacy.

"What I don't like about it is, we'll judge him and remember him on something that wasn't so good: the scandal that happened in Houston and Boston," Ainge said. "And it's unfortunate, because I'll remember Alex as being a really good guy who got us a championship in 2018. I won't remember him for this."

But as a former MLB player who spent three years with the Toronto Blue Jays before beginning his NBA career, Ainge also doesn't necessarily believe Cora committed an unforgivable crime.

"In baseball, there is this culture of trying to steal signs," Ainge said. "Everybody's doing it. I'm not saying that what (the Red Sox) did is right by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a 100-year culture of gaining an advantage at all times, of stealing the signs of other teams."

"It's wrong, what was done. But I think that center field cameras, and when you have Eck (Red Sox color analyst Dennis Eckersley) calling which pitch is coming when he's doing broadcasts of the game because he can see the signs, I think there's some responsibility there."

The Red Sox were quick to take action Tuesday by parting ways with Cora based solely on his involvement in Houston's cheating scandal.

Ainge doesn't believe a sign-stealing operation should result in the 44-year-old being blacklisted from baseball, though.

Does Alex Cora deserve a second chance? Danny Ainge defends ex-Red Sox manager originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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