Chaim Bloom indicates the Boston Red Sox have no intention of bringing back Alex Cora as manager once his suspension ends.
Alex Cora is eligible to be hired by any major league team once his suspension is lifted at the conclusion of this year’s postseason but that doesn’t mean the former manager will be back in the Boston Red Sox dugout next year.
MLB’s investigation of sign-stealing by the 2018 Red Sox cleared Cora of all charges, instead pinning the blame on a rouge video replay assistant. The manager and his coaching staff went unpunished but Cora must still serve a one-year suspension for his role in the Houston Astros far more elaborate sign-stealing scandal.
Since he did nothing to soil the franchise’s image during his tenure with the Red Sox, many wondered if the manager who led the team to a franchise-record 108 wins and a World Series title would return once he served his time for the crimes committed with another organization.
Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom pumped the breaks on those rumors in an appearance on WEEI’s Ordway Merloni, and Fauria show.
"“I understand why people would ask that question,” Bloom said. “I get that it’s kind of an obvious question in the air. But I just want to return to what I said on that day which is the reason that we parted ways with Alex was not because we were presuming any involvement or any guilt in the investigation into the Red Sox. We were reserving judgment on that just like we were asking all our fans to. It was because of what went on in Houston, his role in that and how we felt that impacted his ability to lead our club. All of that obviously is still true. So that’s not part of the thought process at all. It’s not on our radar.”"
This statement appears to contradict what Red Sox president Sam Kennedy hinted at last month when he said the team would “talk about that down the road” when asked about a potential return for Cora. It certainly didn’t feel as if the door was closed a couple of weeks ago so why is Bloom now slamming it shut?
There are several reasons why Bloom would brush off theories about Cora, not the least of which is that it does him no favors to comment on someone who is no longer with the organization and can’t rejoin them until next year even if they did want him back.
The Red Sox have moved on with Ron Roenicke as their manager. While he had the interim tag lifted from his title, the vote of confidence hasn’t reached the point of an extension. Roenick is only under contract through the 2020 season – a season that has no clear timeline and still faces the possibility of cancellation.
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The lame duck status is hard enough for a manager without constant whispers about his predecessor returning to dethrone him. Confirming that Cora is a future option would be unfair to Roenicke, who deserves a fair chance to prove he can lead this team.
Even if this season goes horribly wrong for Roenicke, we can’t assume that Bloom has any desire to replace him with Cora. Remember, Bloom wasn’t here when Cora managed this team. He wasn’t involved with the decision to hire him and didn’t benefit from the championship glory that Cora brought to this organization. Bloom has no allegiance to Cora.
If the Red Sox do move on to a new manager in 2021, Bloom will presumably want to conduct his own search to find his guy rather than hand the job back to the guy hired by the previous front office regime. Cora is a proven winner and that should be enough to put his name on the list of candidates but he probably isn’t the front-runner in Bloom’s mind unless pressure from ownership pushes him in that direction.
Reinstating Cora as manager has been on the minds of many fans lately and it’s clear that some in the organization have at least thought about it. That doesn’t mean that Bloom is seriously considering it as an option. We can’t rule out the possibility that Cora will reunite with the Red Sox at some point but it’s not on Bloom’s radar at the moment.