Alex Cora is back in the Boston Red Sox dugout after the team decided to rehire him following a year-long suspension for his role in the Houston Astros cheating scandal.
Though MLB suspended Cora for only the Astros scandal, his presence on both the 2017 Astros as bench coach and the 2018 Boston Red Sox — who were determined to have stolen signs in a more limited fashion — made him one of last offseason’s most infamous names.
Even before the Red Sox investigation was finished, the team parted ways with him and it wasn’t hard to understand why. Now, Cora is back in Boston and may somehow be the least controversial hire of this year’s manager cycle.
Alex Cora says he’s sorry for cheating scandal(s)
In his re-introductory news conference on Tuesday, Cora expressed contrition for his role in the scandal, saying he deserved to be suspended and lose his job in the aftermath, per the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato.
Alex Cora: "I was spending time at home for the wrong reasons. I want to apologize. I deserved what happened and I'm not proud of it." pic.twitter.com/IM8BeCsfH7
— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) November 10, 2020
Cora even played down the idea of a redemption arc for his return, saying the Astros are part of his story whether he likes it or not. It’s a step his old players in Houston have declined to take.
Cora doesn't want his return viewed as "some great comeback story." Says what happened in Houston will forever be part of his story.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) November 10, 2020
During his time as Astros bench coach, Cora was found to have played a leading role in the creation and execution of the team’s infamous trash can banging scheme, in which a player or employee would watch a feed of the opposing catcher on an illegal monitor behind the dugout and hit a trash can to signal incoming pitches.
Cora was hired as Red Sox manager the season after the Astros’ now-tainted World Series win, and soon oversaw another World Series win that is now considered questionable. However, MLB investigators found no evidence Cora was aware of the Red Sox scheme, which was also far less expansive than the Astros’ scheme.
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