Red Sox should wait on MLB rulings before punishing Alex Cora

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28: Alex Cora #20 of the Boston Red Sox checks his tablet prior to Game Five of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28: Alex Cora #20 of the Boston Red Sox checks his tablet prior to Game Five of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox should wait on making a decision about Alex Cora’s future until the MLB completes its investigation into the 2018 season.

On Monday afternoon, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred dropped the proverbial hammer on the Houston Astros by suspending AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow for a year. Neither can work in baseball and will not receive wages for the 2020 season due to the cheating scandal carried out by Houston in 2017. The eyes of the baseball world now turn to the Red Sox and manager Alex Cora as he’s next on the chopping block.

Cora was Hinch’s bench coach during the 2017 season and according to Manfred’s report, a major influence in the scandal in Houston. As 2017 was winding down it was announced by the Red Sox that AC would be taking over the helm at Fenway Park. The former infielder would lead Boston to their best season in franchise history and their fourth World Series in 15 years.

After Manfred served his punishments to the Astros, their owner Jim Crane would fire the pair of Luhnow and Hinch. Considering the damning report against Cora, it’s felt that his punishment will be even harsher than his former comrades. Then we have to add in the allegations that the Red Sox improperly used the replay rooms during the 2018 season, and things don’t look good.

Many, and it feels like most, are calling for Cora to be removed as the Red Sox manager. I can see the argument as he is being named in two separate cheating allegations in back to back seasons. However, Boston’s ownership team shouldn’t overly punish Alex for something he did with another organization. Crane firing Hinch and Luhnow makes sense as they’re still with the organization.

"“Cora was involved in developing both the banging scheme and utilizing the replay review room to decode and transmit signs,” wrote Manfred. “Cora participated in both schemes, and through his active participation, implicitly condoned the players’ conduct. I will withhold determining the appropriate level of discipline for Cora until after the [Department of Investigations] completes its investigation of the allegations that the Red Sox engaged in impermissible electronic sign stealing in 2018 while Cora was the manager.”"

Personally, I don’t believe the Fenway Sports Group should fire Cora, especially not before Manfred finishes the investigation into 2018. Comparing what the Astros did in 2017 to what the Red Sox are alleged to have done in 2018 isn’t apples to oranges, it’s a parking ticket to a DWI. Yeah, both are driving infractions but one was far more serious than the other.

Also, the league should take some ownership in their lack of supervision of the replay rooms during the 2018 regular season. With his name so heavily implicated in the 2017 Astros report, I can see his suspension being a multi-year affair. If that is the case, then fine, let him go, but don’t hand him an in-house punishment until the league has spoken.

Reacting to what was done by the Astros owner wouldn’t improve the image of the Red Sox. Could the outcomes be the same? Absolutely, and most likely will, but trying to get ahead of the storm won’t necessarily allow you to avoid it. The actions are still there and will still be spoken of in regards to the 2018 regular season.

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However, if John Henry holds a press conference within the next few days and dismisses Alex Cora, I won’t be surprised. This is a team that has shown they have zero qualms with firing a manager in the wake of a scandal.

Remember how easily they cut ties from the best manager in history after the “beer & chicken” debacle? I won’t be shocked to get the alert on my phone that Boston has removed Cora from his position ahead of his league punishment. in the coming days.

Any way you cut this it isn’t good for the Red Sox and more so Alex Cora. What happened in Houston is inexcusable and if AC was as involved as Manfred has stated, then he deserves his punishment. However, he shouldn’t get dragged for what happened in 2018 as the league was practically begging teams to use the replay rooms in that way, despite their “mandate” to not use them for sign stealing.

Cora has been a major part of the recent success of the Red Sox as he was a component in two of their World Series titles since 2004. As a manager and a player, he’s been a leader for this organization and has earned at least a respite before his punishment is handed down. I’m sure Boston would want to get to their next chapter as soon as possible but acting hastily won’t be in their best interests.

Next. Expect Alex Cora to follow AJ Hinch. dark

This mess is far from being cleaned up and now that we’re a few short weeks from the pre-season schedule beginning, things are about to get hectic. If Henry and the Red Sox are going to make a move then they’ll need to do it ASAP, but they should wait to hear what Manfred and his investigators say about 2018. Either way, I don’t see this ending well for Cora but as far as Boston is concerned, they need to be patient in a time where it’s easy not to be.