The Red Sox and Alex Cora part ways thanks to Houston scandal
It’s been nearly half a year since the Houston Astros became the black sheep of the MLB. With the league shattering news of their 2017 cheating scheme, the waves could be felt throughout the league. The Red Sox weren’t immune from the effects as the current manager, Alex Cora, was the bench coach in Houston during the time of the cheating.
It wasn’t long after the news broke that the Red Sox would be having their own press conference. For Boston, it was going to be the first big moment in the Fenway career of new CBO Chaim Bloom. Having to part ways with someone who was not only a fan favorite as a player but now a manager wouldn’t prove to be easy. Especially considering Cora aided in bringing two World Series titles to Boston since 2004.
One thing that has never sat well with me is how easily the Astros organization threw AC under the bus. Obviously it was easy for them considering he was no longer with the team, but it felt so damn dirty and clear what was happening.
In the weeks and months after it became known just how in the know former GM Jeff Luhnow and owner Jim Crane may have allegedly been. But they got off pretty easy while it was Cora’s name that got buried in the mud.
Until now Alex has been incredibly quiet and the former Sox skipper is finally talking.
Former Red Sox manager Alex Cora finally speaks on Astros’ investigation
Cora spoke with ESPN’s Marly Rivera this week and the pair discussed his feelings on the entire mess.
"“If there is one thing that I completely reject and disagree with is people within the Astros’ organization singling me out, particularly (former general manager) Jeff Luhnow, as if I were the sole mastermind,” Cora told Rivera."
Hard to argue with the enigmatic skipper on this one. We all know that the players were given immunity to speak and won’t give themselves up. So who could they easily point the finger at that won’t bounce back on them? That’s right, their former coach and teammate! It wasn’t just Cora that got run over by the Astros’ team bus, former player and newly appointed Mets manager Carlos Beltran got hit as well.
The two were painted as if they were these evil geniuses from a damn James Bond movie. Which is even more mind-boggling when you look at Houston’s history and see that they were cheating before Cora, and after. For Beltran, his managing career may be over before it even began. But to think that Cora and Beltran were sitting in their evil volcano lair plotting ways to cheat is laughable.
"“If there is one thing I am absolutely sure of, it is that it was not a two-man show,” Cora told Rivera. “We all did it. And let me be very clear that I am not denying my responsibility, because we were all responsible.”"
Cora fully accepts his penalty of a one-year suspension but he won’t do it being painted as the bad guy when everyone had involvement. I don’t blame him at all either, nobody likes to be blamed for something they either didn’t do or weren’t the only ones to do it. Luhnow and former manager A.J. Hinch have gotten off without much of a scratch while Cora has to carry this around more than anyone else.
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The one bright spot in this entire mess is that Cora was exonerated in the investigation of the 2018 Red Sox. When it boils down to the facts the MLB took longer to investigate Boston, couldn’t find anything tangible so they punished the replay room attendant. If Houston hadn’t thrown Cora under the bus then his reputation wouldn’t be as tarnished. Luckily the positive outcome of the Red Sox investigation has done some good to clear his name.
"“I deserve my suspension and I’m paying the price for my actions,” Cora said. “And I am not proud of what happened. We made a mistake as a group, the entire (Astros) team. What happened was something that, if you ask anyone involved, no one is proud of it. We’re all at fault. Everybody.”"
When I look back at the entire debacle I share the same sentiment as AC. This was an act carried out by the entire franchise and not just one or two people. He shouldn’t carry the entire brunt of the shame bestowed upon the 2017 Houston season.
An entire team from the players, to managers and coaches, to the front office all played a part in this whether they want to admit it or not. We know enough information by this point that the court of public opinion can make its decision.
When 2021 rolls around I’m not sure what it’ll look like for Alex Cora. Current Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke isn’t stressing about his future with the team as it’s out of his control. Roenicke is currently in the final year of his contract which would leave an opening for Cora to return. The Red Sox have been coy with that notion as CEO Sam Kennedy kind of left the window open while Bloom has all but closed the door. I for one would love to see Alex Cora back in a Red Sox uniform.